These boba places don’t suck

The+strawberry+fruit+tea+from+i-Tea+is+very+sweet%2C+even+at+30+percent+sugar%2C+and+has+a+bitter+aftertaste+due+to+the+tannins+that+tea+produces+when+it+has+been+steeped+for+too+long%2C+or+in+i-Teas+case%2C+when+a+tea+powder+is+used.+The+lychee+jelly+in+it+is+fantastic%2C+stiff+but+still+chewy%2C+and+the+strawberry+flavor+isn%E2%80%99t+overwhelming.

Daphne So

The strawberry fruit tea from i-Tea is very sweet, even at 30 percent sugar, and has a bitter aftertaste due to the tannins that tea produces when it has been steeped for too long, or in i-Tea’s case, when a tea powder is used. The lychee jelly in it is fantastic, stiff but still chewy, and the strawberry flavor isn’t overwhelming.

Daphne So, Staff Writer

Boba. We all know it. There’s something about the chewy, sweet, dense balls of goodness that’s insanely popular. Usually it’s accompanied with a milk-based tea, but if that doesn’t float your boat, most stores offer a fruit tea as well. In San Ramon, there are five boba shops. Here are the top three.

No. 3: Boba Guys

Boba Guys is one of the most popular stores in San Ramon. Located at the City Center, Boba Guys boasts organic tea, fresh milk, and house-made syrups. No powders! Their prices are a little steep, but comparable to other local stores. The store employees are friendly, but the lines can stretch past the storefront to the sidewalk.

I went during one of their prime times, and the wait was close to 20 minutes long, despite my drinks being ready thanks to ordering ahead of time using their site. I ordered the classic black tea at 25 percent sweetness, and the strawberry tea fresca. The black tea wasn’t too sweet and the milk didn’t overpower the tea taste. As for the strawberry tea, it was on the less sweet side, with a light and refreshing taste. The boba was sweet and firm.

Boba Guys also uses sustainable bamboo straws, so for the eco-friendly people looking to get their boba fix, Boba Guys is the place to go.

No. 2: i-Tea

i-Tea is one of the most consistent boba places I’ve been to and is my usual go-to. It’s located at the Gateway Center, next to Dairy Queen. The pricing is similar to other boba places, and the wait time is pretty short, especially if you order ahead by calling. It’s usually 10 minutes for drinks and 20 minutes if you also order snacks. The customer service was good, but nothing extraordinary. i-Tea does have a reward system, with every 10 drinks getting you one free drink.

I ordered the signature milk tea with boba at 30 percent sweetness and the strawberry fruit tea at 30 percent sweetness, which came with boba and lychee jelly. The milk tea had a strong black tea taste and wasn’t too sweet. The boba was probably the smallest of all the boba I had tried and didn’t have an identifiable taste, but it was chewy and had a soft outer ring. The strawberry fruit tea was very sweet, even at 30 percent sugar and had a bitter aftertaste due to the tannins that tea produces when it has been steeped for too long, or in i-Tea’s case, when a tea powder is used. The lychee jelly was fantastic, stiff but still chewy, and the strawberry flavor wasn’t overwhelming.

No. 1: Sharetea

If you’re looking to get generous amounts of boba in your drink, Sharetea is the place to go. Initially I called to order, but the employee on the other end was super helpful and directed me to their site, where I placed my order. The wait was only 10 minutes.

I ordered the classic pearl milk tea at 30 percent sweetness and the strawberry green tea with boba and no added sugar. The milk tea wasn’t too sweet, and they used non-dairy creamer (score one for lactose-intolerance!). Although all the milk tea drinks use non-dairy creamer, they also have a line of drinks that use real milk, which can be found under the “fresh milk” category on their site. The strawberry green tea was sweet with a fresh taste, and had real strawberry bits in it. The drinks were both loaded with boba, filling up almost a third of the cup, much more than any other boba store.

Overall, Sharetea rates 10/10 and I would highly recommend it.