Against all odds, I’m a big fan of bubble tea. I usually don’t like squishy things, and I absolutely detest weird gunk floating around in my drinks… and that just about exactly describes what bubble tea is. For a slightly more specific definition, I decided to plagiarize Wikipedia:
Bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea or boba milk tea, is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in tea shops in Taichung, Taiwan, during the 1980s. Most bubble tea recipes contain a tea base mixed with fruit or milk. Ice-blended versions are usually mixed with fruit or syrup, resulting in a slushy consistency. Most bubble teas come with small chewy tapioca balls (粉圓, fěnyuán), commonly called “pearls” (珍珠, zhēnzhū) or “boba” (波霸, bōbà).
Why exactly I like this stuff so much I have no clue, but it seems I’m not alone in the world. When I discovered that Oh Boba!, an independent non-chain bubble tea shop, was opening right down the street, I was pretty excited.
This shop is located more-or-less right across the street from Santa Clara University, and for that reason alone I am confident that they’ll do just fine as a business. Oh Boba! is not a very large establishment but the interior is neat and clean, if not a bit spartan, and the staff is always friendly and attentive. The outside of the building, unfortunately, is quite hideous; please do not let that fact deter from you visiting. The vast ugliness of the structure is of course the fault of the property’s landlord, in whose general direction I scoff repeatedly. This building has literally the worst stucco I have ever seen. It looks like a cement truck exploded inside a roller disco.
” It looks like a cement truck exploded inside a roller disco “
Once inside, thank goodness, you will see a huge menu of drinks (as is the way of most bubble tea shops) and a handful of food items as well. You can choose from hot or cold beverages, slushes, snow (like a slush, only with milk), and a variety of teas. They also make a wickedly strong Vietnamese iced coffee which contains enough sugar and caffeine to make you run laps around the ceiling. It’s divine. I also highly recommend trying a strawberry banana slush, and the chocolate snow is very good as well. Oh, and don’t forget the regular old milk tea, that’s awesome too. Come to think of it, just try everything.
Prices are just shy of five bucks a drink, which is pretty standard for this sort of thing. The high quality of the beverages more than makes up for the sting in your wallet, and you can also get a buy-ten-get-one-free card going while you’re there.
I rate Oh Boba! a stellar 262 Strange and Delicious Chewy Things In My Drink out of a possible 298, making it very much worth anybody’s while to give this place a try.
1000 Lafayette Street
Santa Clara, CA 95050