It’s no secret that I’m a milk tea addict, so let’s just jump right into this.
My Top 3
1. Sharetea (Berkeley Campus – Southside)
The original Sharetea shop was founded in 1992 in Taipei. It has since become a global franchise corporation with locations all over the world.
Pros: Sharetea has a very extensive menu that includes milk teas, fruit teas, creamas, and more. They have several topping options to choose from, and you can also customize the sweetness level of your drink. The boba (tapioca/pearls/bubble) here is consistently good as well. In addition, you can now order pickup or delivery online!
Cons: The line can get pretty long, but it moves quickly! It’s also located right next to campus, which means that parking is usually difficult.
Favorite drinks: Okinawa Pearl Milk Tea, High Mountain Milk Tea, Mango Green Milk Tea
Rewards system: FiveStars
2. Mr. Green Bubble (Oakland – Piedmont)
Mr. Green Bubble is a cute boba shop and internet cafe located in North Oakland. They recently opened a second location in Union City.
Pros: Mr. Green Bubble has a huge menu, and their boba is made with the perfect amount of chew. They also offer bento boxes and snacks, including takoyaki on the weekend. The popcorn chicken here is amazing–probably my favorite ever. The shop also has a range of board games available for play, which makes it an awesome hangout spot.
Cons: Drinks are good, but the quality is inconsistent.
Favorite drinks: I can’t decide, although I haven’t tried anything from Mr. Green Bubble that I haven’t liked.
Rewards system: Belly
3. Asha (Berkeley Campus – Westside)
Asha is the perfect place for tea lovers. While they do offer milk tea, this shop mainly focuses on offering quality teas. Asha has a very calm environment and is an awesome study cafe. They are set to open a second location in San Francisco this summer.
Pros: Asha has a large assortment of teas, including seasonal fruit teas. Their tapioca is a good consistency.
Cons: Asha is located on University and Shattuck, so parking is always hard to find. If you’re specifically craving milk tea, the selection is quite limited. Also, they no longer let you order tapioca for the HK Coffee Milk Tea (because it’s not traditional).
Favorite drinks: Hojicha Latte, Matcha Latte, Hong Kong Milk Tea, Hong Kong Coffee Milk Tea, Honeydew Green Tea
Rewards system: None. They have discontinued their stamp cards.
Purple Kow has a decent selection of milk teas, fresh milk drinks, and more. However, the quality of their tapioca is very inconsistent and their drinks are extremely sweet. Unless you have a serious sweet tooth, I highly recommend adjusting the sugar level to 50%. Their chubby cups are also very inconvenient for transport.
2. Sweetheart Cafe (Berkeley Campus – Southside)
Sweetheart Cafe doesn’t offer high quality drinks, but it’s worth the mention because their drinks are super cheap. When I was in school, I was actually a regular here (Sharetea and Purple Kow weren’t open yet). Come here for the standard, basic drinks, hot milk teas, or snow. I highly recommend their Roasted Milk Tea, but note that any other flavored milk teas might be powdery.
I’m currently out of town with limited WiFi access, so this post is being published late.