I used to hate boba. The first time that I tried these round tapioca balls, they were absolutely rock hard. I was scarred for three years until I finally discovered the difference between the novices and the experts of these Taiwanese treats. To help you all have the best experiences, and avoid such a tragedy of boba-hating, here are the best boba shops in California.

1. Sharetea


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Sharetea was actually the first place that made me like boba. The texture and the tea is absolute perfection. Plus, if you add it to their matcha red bean milk tea, you’re basically ordering heaven in a cup.

2. Boba Guys


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There’s a lot of concern over artificiality when it comes to boba drinks, but there’s nothing to worry about with Boba Guys. They’re taking these drinks to the next level by making their own syrups in house and house-brewing their own teas.

3. Plentea


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While the menu at Plentea is not as plentiful as others, their small selection of offerings includes all of the essentials. So if you’re new to the boba scene, or even if you’re not, you definitely can’t go wrong. Plus, their glass bottles are a great souvenir.

4. TPumps


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If good boba isn’t swaying you already, then the wild flavor concoctions at TPumps definitely will. Each drink can hold up to three flavors, which means that you could customize your order to be a raspberry almond roca, honey rose, or caramel and chocolate cookie dough.

5. Half & Half Tea Express


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The next best things to the insanely large cups at Half & Half would have to be their honey boba. It adds another dimension of sweetness to your drink, so order your beverage less sweetened or just YOLO. No one’s going to tell your dentist.

6. Class 302


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For all boba newcomers and longtime fanatics, this self-serve boba shop is definitely a dream come true. Just pay for your plastic cup, pick out a tea (or several, no one’s judging), go ham with the toppings, and then bring it back for them to seal. The possibilities are endless.

7. Roasting Water


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Don’t be surprised if you find an exceptionally long line, because this is one of Orange County’s most popular spots for refreshments. Their diverse drink menu has something for everyone, but what makes them so special is their reusable glass jars with intricate designs.

8. 7 Leaves Cafe


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While you typically find most shops serving tea with boba, you have to try 7 Leaves’ coffee with boba. They offer your typical brew and even an authentic Vietnamese style brew, but the most noteworthy feature (besides the boba of course) is their whipped sea cream.

9. Purple Kow


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Purple Kow is probably one of the best boba shops to bring a big group of friends… or your homework. Their boba cups are practically the same size as soup bowls, if not bigger, which means plenty of time to chat or write that paper while you’re finishing your drink.

10. OO Tea


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OO Tea is relatively new to the San Diego foodie scene, but they’re originally from Taiwan and claim to have been ranked as the country’s No. 1 milk tea store. Order their mini tapioca balls for double the fun of regular boba.