After the redemption of my belief in pho, my friend tried to one up the night, and fix my issues with boba.
Here are my main problems:
1. The tapioca balls are slimey, over-cooked, or not cooked enough.
2. The tea is over-brewed, and I can taste the tannins awakening.
3. There is waaaaaaaay too much sugar/sweet. I like settleness.
4. Too many tapioca balls!
T Pumps is located, also on Irving, between 20th and 21st. My friend and I really did just walk ‘down the street’.
Luckily, we finished dinner early, according to a hypothetical California dinner time standard, a little before 8 PM on a Saturday, and walked over. The line is normally out the door, and down the block, but it was only to the door. I picked a reliable basic, green tea honey, and my friend got a milk tea boba.
While we were waiting in line, he told about this place, and how there are only 2 locations, here and in San Mateo, where the first store opened. The owner reached instant success, but it hit him too fast. He wasn’t ready to deal with it, and the quali-TEA plummeted. My friend believes that with the 2 stores, the quality has come back to about 60%, and might stay there, and possibly grow, if the popularity continues.
Anyway, here’s the thing, though: There are 2 different sizes at this place, 24 oz & 32 oz. Small and Large, no in-between. I spent about $7.50 for both; that’s pretty damn inexpensive! And, they have an option of making your drink sweet, super sweet, or just ridiculously sweet. I went with normal…
…And we waited about 10 minutes, and in that amount of time, we people watched, and the line grew out the door. My friend wasn’t kidding when he said that this place was legitimate!
Instead of the tops being sealed with a sheet of thin plastic, and the logo of the place, it was like a SOLO cup soda top, except you could use a boba straw to open it. I know this sounds silly, but my straw tip didn’t get ruined by me stabbing open the top; that’s a big deal to me, because I was giving boba a second chance.
I look at my drink, and yes, it was green tea, and there wasn’t too much boba at the bottom. It was just enough, and cooked right. While I was drinking the drink, I got 4-6 boba bubbles in the straw, spaced out in-between sips. And the tea was brewed correctly, not watery tasting, and no taste of tannins. My only issue was that I thought that my drink was border-lining on too sweet, and I chose the lightest level of sweetness possible! Good to know, for the future!
Seems like I like boba again….but grass jelly, and probably lychee, you two have lost me forever!