Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Daily Email Edition

Get MN Daily NEWS delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday!


Battle of the boba

With an increasingly large number of boba tea locations on the University’s campus, it was only fitting to seek out which one is the best.
Image by Mary Ellen Ritter

Boba tea has overtaken the streets of the University of Minnesota.

Although the University has a wide variety of beverages to offer, the abundance of boba options is unmatched.

Because of this, I found it necessary to stop by three boba tea spots on campus to review them and find out which one is superior — so that you don’t have to, of course.

The contenders include three different boba tea locations: Chatime, Tiger Sugar and Kung Fu Tea. The reviews are based on the following criteria judged on a 1-10 scale: the boba pearls in each drink, the tea, the interior design and the customer service that I experienced at each spot.

Boba pearl rating:

Boba pearls are made from cassava roots. These pearls should typically be cooked for about 30 minutes to give them a tender and chewy texture, according to recipe developer Hungry Huy. When a boba pearl is not thoroughly cooked it is evident, because the middle of the pearl is noticeably harder than the outside of the pearl.

Chatime: 5/10; tender on the outside, but a noticeable crunch on the inside.
Tiger Sugar: 8/10; the pearls were tender throughout, however the size was inconsistent.
Kung Fu Tea: 9/10; the pearls were tender throughout and had a consistent size.

Tea sweetness rating:

Boba tea locations often offer a range of sugar for their customers. For each drink, I used what was labeled as the “normal” amount of sugar, a judgment that is decided by each location. At each location, I ordered a different tea, based on what the workers recommended. At Chatime I received the Thai milk tea, at Tiger Sugar, their signature brown sugar bubble tea with cream mousse and at Kung Fu Tea, the honey milk tea.

Chatime: 9/10; although their tea was sweetened perfectly, it tasted slightly watered down.
Tiger Sugar: 10/10: their signature drink had the ideal blend of milk and sugar, making it extremely difficult to put down.
Kung Fu Tea: 5/10: the recommended amount of sugar was overdone and the milk was watered down.

Customer service rating:

The interactions customers have with employees are extremely important to the success of a restaurant. Walking into each restaurant, I acted like I was completely new to the concept of boba tea. Workers at each restaurant had to guide me through the menu, toppings and various sugar levels. Here are my experiences after asking each worker the same following question: “As someone who is new to boba tea, what would you recommend?”

Chatime: 10/10; as soon as the employee noticed that I was new to boba tea, she enthusiastically guided me through the menu, asking what kind of tea I was looking for and explaining the various toppings.
Tiger Sugar: 8/10; the worker was great at explaining the various concepts to me and gave me great suggestions, although she did appear slightly impatient.
Kung Fu Tea: 4/10; although I was eventually given a suggestion, the worker gave little explanation for various concepts and appeared agitated when I asked questions.

Final Scores:
Chatime: 24/30
Tiger Sugar: 26/30
Kung Fu Tea: 18/30

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Accessibility Toolbar

Comments (0)

All The Minnesota Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *