Cuisine Scene: Boba
Given that there seems to be a boba tea shop on every other corner, you may be surprised to learn that the popular drink, identifiable by its sweetness and pearl-shaped tapioca balls, was invented less than 40 years ago in Taiwan. It has since spread all over the globe with Long Beach doing its part; there are almost as many boba shops in town as coffee houses. Almost. Allow us to suggest a few terrific spots in town likely to fit you to a delicious tea.
CHA FOR TEA
When this Bay Area institution first migrated south, the lines were considerable. Boba Guys (6460 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Suite 120) are known for their commitment to natural, small batch ingredients, crafting an all natural brown sugar-based sweetener which allows customers to indulge their sweet tooth while remaining fructose free. Located in the 2ND & PCH retail center, Boba Guys continuously boil tapioca balls so they remain soft and chewy.
This popular downtown spot uses nothing artificial–creamer powder, food coloring, etc. Loose Leaf (315 Promenade North) teas are made fresh using an innovative tea press that is similar to an Espresso Machine, allowing them to consistently brew each cup of iced tea. Strawberry and Green Tea Matcha Latte, as well as Thai and Hong Kong Milk Tea are very popular.
KNEAD DONUTS & TEA
Another Traffic Circle destination, Hiccups (1946 N. Lakewood Blvd.) has a wide range of interesting offerings that range from such solid choices as Taro Milk Tea to a Coffee Float featuring Vietnamese iced coffee and sea salt cream topped with coco. Hiccups also has a Horchata Milk Tea that comes finished with whipped cream, sprinkled cinnamon and a drizzle of caramel.
BOBA TEA HOUSE
This family-owned, West Long Beach shop serves a wide-range of classic milk teas–from taro to jasmine to almond to strawberry–all of which are affordably priced. To go with those drinks, Boba Tea House (1336 W Willow St) features a full menu of popular food items. Many longtime customers believe a Chicken Bahn Mi sandwich accompanied by a Milk Tea Boba is an absolute must.