Teaspoon’s boba tea fails to compare with local options


Sophie Lynd

The “Liquid Gold” drink contains honey oolong tea with cream and classic honey boba.

Sophie Lynd, Highlander Editor-in-Chief

Iced tea topped with tapioca balls, also known as boba tea, is yet another of the latest food trends.

While boba tea is enjoyed by children and adults, it is especially popular among teenagers.

Within a five-mile radius of campus, Carlmont students have 13 different boba tea options to choose from after school.

One of these 13 options is Teaspoon. Recently expanding their Bay Area market, Teaspoon opened its doors to Boadway in downtown Redwood City; other Teaspoon locations include Milpitas, San Francisco, San Mateo, Palo Alto, and Santa Clara.

Being that it is a popular and local chain, I chose to order one of their “specialty drinks” off the menu to understand what made them such a popular option. “The Liquid Gold” was my choice, which was a mix of honey oolong tea topped with house-made cream and honey boba.

An avid boba-lover myself, I was excited to try a somewhat unusual flavor at a new boba stop.

To say the least, I was unpleasantly surprised.

While the idea of a creamy, honey-flavored drink sounded quite appealing when reading the menu, the execution quite simply failed.

The tea itself had an extremely sweet impression upon taking the first sip, yet it left a distinctly bitter aftertaste. As for the “house-made cream,” it appeared to be powdered milk that was partially still in its powdered form upon my first sip.

However, I did enjoy one crucial ingredient in the drink. The boba itself had a pleasant consistency – relatively soft on the outside, yet chewy towards the middle – and was reasonably proportioned to the amount of tea in the cup.

I did try to keep an open mind in order to enjoy the rest of my drink, but before finishing half of the cup I decided to toss it in the first trash bin I found outside – a difficult thing for me to do after paying $5.50.

Other boba tea brands charge mostly between $3.30 and $5.75 per tea, putting Teaspoon at the higher end of the local price range.

Ya-Ua, located on Alameda de las Pulgas across from the Carlmont Village Shopping Center, is at the lower end of the price range. Their style of boba is similar to Tpumps, whose trademark involves adding flavored syrups to a base green or black tea.

Boba Guys, located on Laurel Street in San Carlos, finds itself at the higher end of the price range. However, rather than adding syrup to pre-made tea, Boba Guys has a more limited menu of quality teas that are brewed in-house, making the price worth it.

Teaspoon has the variety of less-expensive places but charges the same price as places with better quality.

If you were planning on heading to Teaspoon after school, head to one of the other 12 options for better, less-expensive boba tea.

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