Delicacies off Campus: Stanford boba battle royale

“Delicacies off Campus” opinions meals close to Stanford’s campus. We contemplate what issues to school college students: How shut is the restaurant? How costly is the meals? And, most significantly, how tasty is it? We hope that will help you discover your subsequent favourite spot!

As longtime boba fans, we all know what number of choices there are round Palo Alto/the Bay Space. Thus, we set out on a mission to create our magnum opus — a listing rating each boba store close to Stanford campus. We tried 13 boba locations and have ranked all of them into distinct tiers. Learn under to search out out what our best choice was!

7. Coupa Cafe and Wild Berry Yogurt 

Whereas Coupa Cafe actually beats some other boba cease in comfort of location, its restricted boba choices put it on the backside of our listing. The menu, which affords three completely different choices for boba, makes it clear that espresso is their main product. The Chai Boba, whereas actually satisfactory, tastes extra like sugar than the rest. Nonetheless, the comparatively low-cost costs of among the gadgets on the menu — such because the medium Coupa Boba Tea ($4.90) — makes Coupa a good possibility for satisfying a boba craving between lessons.

Wild Berry Yogurt joins Coupa within the backside slot with a equally barebones boba menu. The Thai iced tea was nothing particular; it tasted prefer it was coming from a reasonably customary combine. The boba pearls themselves had been simply little bits of flavorless gummy within the tea.

Maybe going to a devoted boba store is well worth the journey to make sure high tier high quality and selection in boba choices. 

Coupa Cafe has a number of areas on campus, and Wild Berry Yogurt is 2.1 miles away.

6. Kung Fu Tea and ChaChaGo

Two boba drinks from Kung Fu Tea cafe sit half-finshed next to each other.
The Kung Fu Tea cafe has a traditional picket theme, although a minion poster towers barely out of body. The tea itself was flavorless and disappointing. (Photograph: ISABELLA SARACCO/The Stanford Day by day)

Kung Fu Tea and ChaChaGo have a couple of redeeming qualities, however nonetheless in the end ship subpar boba just like the earlier tier. At Kung Fu Tea, we had been let down by the shortage of taste within the drinks. The Cocoa Cream Wow didn’t style particularly like cocoa or wow, and as an alternative felt like consuming a glass of milk. However, we had been very impressed with Kung Fu Tea’s scrumptious mochi donuts, although we’d not suggest their boba to anybody. 

ChaChaGo is a tent you can usually discover at campus occasions or in White Plaza, generally without cost. That form of comfort is tough to beat. Nevertheless, a drink at ChaChaGo is commonly heavy on the ice, with little or no tea. Their flavors are good, however their tapioca boba lacks texture. A few of their fruit teas are higher, although they are often on the sweeter facet. ChaChaGo is ok, however you get so little of only-alright tea, in the end making it a disappointment. 

Kung Fu Tea is 2.7 miles away from Stanford, whereas ChaChaGo units up its tents on campus. 

5. Tea it Up and Ume Tea

One large and one small boba drink from Ume Tea sit on a couch, each with a cartoon bunny drinking boba decorating the cup.
The drinks from Ume Tea got here in cups with cute cartoon bunnies on the facet. Sadly, the boba itself was missing in taste. (Photograph: ISABELLA SARACCO/The Stanford Day by day)

Good boba wants substance — not simply presentation. Sadly, ordering the boba at Tea it Up might be one thing like consuming the desserts on “Cake Boss”: they give the impression of being spectacular, however haven’t any taste. The drinks we tried — honeydew milk tea and the Lavender Love — had been stunning, however tasted like plain sugar water. The drinks at Ume Tea had been tormented by an identical lack of taste, in addition to troubling textural points with their boba pearls, which tasted nearly gritty. These drinks equally got here with nice presentation — cute cartoons and good colours adorning the cups — however alas, tasted like easy syrup. 

Tea It Up is 3.4 miles away from campus whereas Ume Tea is simply 2.8 miles away.

A pretty purpose Lavender Love boba drink from Tea it Up sits half-finished on a black table.
Tea It Up makes enjoyable trying drinks, just like the depicted Lavender Love boba. Nevertheless, their teas lack taste. (Photograph: KIRSTEN METTLER/The Stanford Day by day)

4. Gong Cha and Teaspoon

A boba place with such a variety in high quality is perhaps fantastic in case you get the identical factor each time, however it’s particularly robust in case you are making an attempt to coordinate a gaggle order or like shaking up your boba selections. Each Gong Cha and Teaspoon can ship high tier boba, however they battle with consistency. Gong Cha has some good choices, although this really will depend on what you select to order. The taro boba was candy and flavorful, making it one of many higher taro teas we sampled for this listing. Their Thai tea, however, tasted watery. It wasn’t candy sufficient, and it didn’t have a powerful tea taste. Their teas additionally didn’t have sufficient boba pearls.

A small purple ube latte and large orange Thai tea drink from Gong Cha sit on a desk.
Whereas the taro boba at Gong Cha is scrumptious, their thai tea is disappointing. Gong Cha is a hit and miss boba spot. (Photograph: KIRSTEN METTLER/The Stanford Day by day)

Teaspoon, too, suffers with inconsistent high quality. The strawberry matcha milk tea was nice, with tasty strawberry chunks. The taro tea and Thai tea, whereas actually not as flavorless as most of the decrease choices on this listing, each tasted watered down. Moreover this, ordering on Doordash doesn’t enable patrons the choice to pick their sugar ranges, which limits one’s management over the flavour. Much more disappointing are the Teaspoon boba pearls, that are too small and would not have sufficient taste on their very own. 

Gong Cha is 2.8 miles from Stanford, and Teaspoon is 4.5 miles. 

Two drinks from Teaspoon, one taro and one Thai, stand on a couch.
The boba pearls at Teaspoon lack taste. Neither the taro nor Thai tea had been notably good. (Photograph: KIRSTEN METTLER/The Stanford Day by day)

3. Boba Bliss, Mr. Solar Tea and Comfortable Lemon 

Boba outlets at this tier are stable selections, just under the actual blowout locales. Boba Bliss is fairly removed from campus -— nearly a full 5 miles — however its teas are wonderful. They really feel hearty with actual depth of taste. Their menu could also be a bit restricted, however their specialty drinks are inventive, and their boba pearls are completely chewy.

Mr. Sun Tea bob drinks are decorated with mustaches and the Mr. Sun logo. One is brown and one is green.
The drinks from Mr. Solar Tea got here with a beneficiant serving of boba pearls. The drinks had been satisfyingly scrumptious. (Photograph: ISABELLA SARACCO/The Stanford Day by day) 

Mr. Solar Tea affords fantastic boba, although the menu itself is complicated to navigate and affords a really restricted variety of non-caffeinated choices, making it a lower than superb alternative for late evening boba runs. That mentioned, the drinks themselves are nice. The boba pearls have good consistency, although they’re unusually small, and are available in a beneficiant amount per drink. The caramel milk tea had a powerful and flavorful caramel taste, although the bitterness of the tea nonetheless got here by way of. Their strawberry milk tea was equally satisfying, with an exquisite fruity style. 

The tea at Comfortable Lemon is scrumptious as nicely. The drinks supplied an awesome ratio of boba pearls to tea, leaving simply sufficient pearls left on the finish. The taro ube tea was each flavorful and candy, and the feel from the taro and ube gave the drink an ideal quantity of grit. Their mango drink was an identical hit, with a pleasant fruity taste and engaging mango chunks. Going to any of those boba outlets is bound to depart you glad together with your order. 

Boba Bliss and Comfortable Lemon are each a few of our farthest areas, at 6.6 miles and seven.8 miles away respectively. Mr. Solar Tea is barely 2.8 miles away. 

The taro ume and mango drinks from Happy Lemon are set up on a table.
The teas from Comfortable Lemon had been very satisfying, with a pleasant steadiness of sweetness and taste. (Photograph: KIRSTEN METTLER/The Stanford Day by day)

2. Boba Guys

The strawberry matcha latte and ube latte drinks from Boba Guys sit on a table outside in Town and Country.
The strawberry matcha and ube latte drinks from Boba Guys look stunning and style wonderful. Boba Guys makes persistently stellar boba, however is a bit on the expensive facet in comparison with opponents. (Photograph: KIRSTEN METTLER/The Stanford Day by day). 

Boba Guys doesn’t ship good boba; it delivers superior boba. The strawberry matcha latte is Boba Guys’ signature drink for a cause. With a satisfying steadiness of candy and savory, the drink is flavorful and dynamic. The standard of elements is obvious, with little bits of strawberry making their means up the straw for a yummy deal with. 

The ube latte is astoundingly scrumptious. The cream mixes completely into the drink, which is abounding with taste and satisfyingly candy. The boba pearls themselves are wonderful, agency sufficient to offer a satisfying chunk. 

It’s not the standard of the tea that places Boba Guys behind our first place alternative. Boba Guys is a tad on the costly facet of issues, and whereas the menu does provide loads of choices, their menu was nonetheless much less intensive than our first place choose. Nevertheless, in case you are prepared to spend the cash, boba guys won’t disappoint you. 

Boba Guys is near Stanford, at simply 2.8 miles away. 

1. T4

The mango and taro teas from T4 sit on a table with labels pointing to each drink identifying them.
The mango and taro teas from T4 had been scrumptious! The low costs, nice hours, and large menu make T4 our primary alternative for boba. (Photograph: ISABELLA SARACCO/The Stanford Day by day)

Throughout our freshman 12 months, 4 years in the past, T4 was the butt of many jokes — in our minds, T4 was by far one of many worst choices for boba round. So think about our shock, after we ordered T4 for the primary time in a number of years, solely to find that our orders had been scrumptious! Going to do T4 for this column, we totally anticipated to be upset. Now, it’s our go to identify. 

The drinks have been persistently satisfying. For instance, although we normally gravitate in direction of milk-based bobas, the mango royal tea at T4 is a fruity winner. Its robust mango taste is additional emphasised by scrumptious fruity popping boba. We had been barely much less impressed by the taro tea — it was a giant one-note in its sweetness — but it surely was nonetheless tasty. The boba pearls, however, had been the proper texture: agency, but simply chewy sufficient.

However the actual triumph of T4 is its costs. Cheaper than many of the different choices on this listing, whereas nonetheless providing scrumptious boba for the value, T4 is the place to go to fulfill your common boba craving. Its expansive menu and late hours of operation (open till 10:30 p.m., later than many different choices round), make T4 our primary boba cease.

T4 is 2.5 miles from campus.

Editor’s Be aware: This text is a overview and contains subjective ideas, opinions and critiques.