Once a week, the staff of Spoon University at Berkeley will bring you a favorite something of ours. It might be a favorite recipe, favorite food, favorite chef, favorite utensil or maybe even a favorite condiment. This week’s Staff Pick is all about boba.

Boba is often described as chewy, black balls, but no one is actually sure what it is. A quick search on Google tells us that boba or bubble tea was invented in Taiwan and is made of tapioca, which is a starch extracted from a starchy root called “manioc,” more commonly known as “cassava.” Whatever that is, boba is definitely a delicious concoction that I crave pretty much every day.

Thankfully, Berkeley hosts a number of boba places from Chinese bakeries to fancy tea houses. My favorite boba places are Sweetheart Cafe and U Cafe, but Asha Tea House and Purple Kow have the widest variety of teas. Other places to get boba include Sheng Kee, Tea Leaf, Tea Press (previously named Moccacino) and Quickly.

My go-to drink is Jasmine Green Milk Tea with boba, but my favorite, when done right, is Yogurt Green Tea with boba. Sadly, I have yet to find a Yogurt Green Tea here that compares to the heaven that is available at Ten Ren’s Tea Station back home in the Los Angeles area. So far, I’ve been sticking to my Jasmine Green Milk Tea and occasionally, dabbling into uncharted territory like Asha’s Blood Orange Oolong Tea.


Photo by Jocelyn Hsu