Trying different boba in Boston; summary and reflection

BY Fiona Zhou and Clementine Zei   MAR. 17, 2021
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Boba. Almost everyone has heard of it. Many have drank it. But not everyone knows the origin story of the drink.

Boba culture was first developed in the late 1980s in Taipei, Taiwan, when milk tea was gaining popularity. Soon, tapioca balls were added to the drinks as the concoction continued to evolve throughout the years. This fun and delicious drink later spread throughout the world, giving boba lovers access to all different types of boba — ranging from plain milk tea to unique flavors including jellies, puddings and dairy caps. Hopeful to research more on the trend and test the drinks out for ourselves, we, TNJC staffers Fiona and Clementine, decided to go to Boston on Sunday morning to buy and taste boba.

We drove and walked around Boston’s Chinatowns to test out three different boba selling shops. Each of us focused on a specific product, with Clementine trying plant-based drinks and Fiona trying milk tea and foam. Below, we are going to rate each drink based on appearance, customer service and taste. Every category is scored out of 10, and the overall score is out of 30. At the end, we will announce our winner.

Our first stop was Kung Fu Tea, a boba tea company with over 200+ locations across the United States — read more on their story here. Clementine ordered Almond Milk Tea with black tapioca pearls, while Fiona ordered Cocoa Cream Wow Milk Cap with black tapioca pearls and mango jelly. Here are our final reviews for Kung Fu Tea:

Name Appearance Taste Customer Service Total Grand Total
Fiona 7.5/10 9/10 10/10 26.5/30 53.5/60
Clementine 8/10 9/10 10/10 27/30 53.5/60

Next, we went to TeaDo, a smaller business with about seven locations across the nation. Their website is linked here. Fiona ordered Taro Milk Tea with cheese foam and black tapioca pearls, and Clementine ordered Sesame Milk Tea with black tapioca pearls. Here are our final reviews for TeaDo:

Name Appearance Taste Customer Service Total Grand Total
Fiona 10/10 10/10 10/10 30/30 58/60
Clementine 8/10 10/10 10/10 28/30 58/60

We also rated the onigiri we bought at TeaDo. Clementine had Seaweed Salad Onigiri, and Fiona had Shrimp Tempura Onigiri.

Name Appearance Taste Customer Service Total Grand Total
Fiona 10/10 10/10 9/10 29/30 58/60
Clementine 10/10 10/10 9/10 29/30 58/60

Finally, we went to Gong Cha, a boba company that sparked its popularity in Singapore in 2013. Fiona got Dirty Brown Sugar Milk Tea with black tapioca pearls, and Clementine got Hibiscus Green Tea with black tapioca pearls. Our ratings are listed down below:

Name Appearance Taste Customer Service Total Grand Total
Fiona 9/10 9/10 19/10 28/30 57/60
Clementine 10/10 9/10 10/10 29/30 57/60

After comparing the reviews we left for each, we have decided that the winner for our boba tryout is…

TEADO!

With a score of 58/60, we have TeaDo winning first place. Gong Cha takes a close second with 57/60, while Kung Fu Tea grasps third with a total score of 53.5/60.

Overall, Gong Cha and Kung Fu Tea are more convenient, whereas TeaDo is more local. We enjoyed being able to taste different boba drinks, especially during the pandemic when many aren’t able to. All of the boba places took solid precautions to ensure the safety and happiness of the customers. In addition, all of the boba places we tried each had their own unique niches that give them the appeal to keep coming back for more. TeaDo was a more local business with unique drinks and foods, and Gong-Cha and Kung Fu were more widespread and better for classic orders. This day of tasting boba drink after boba drink was a dream come true to any boba lover, and we have positive things to say about every drink we tried.


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