From beloved chewy boba to creamy and frothy "cheezo" topping the fun is in the sipping of at these locally-owned Taiwanese tea shops.


Don’t just say cheese, drink it at CHAKAA. Each cup of tea is hand-brewed in what founder and CEO Marvin C. Wang calls a “teaspresso,” an appliance akin to an espresso machine for tea. For the cheese tea newbie, try the white peach or cold-brewed jasmine tea with cheezo, a luscious and creamy cheese foam topping.

Cold-brewed jasmine tea with cheezo topping

VaniTea Café

When it comes to wild drinks, guests flock to one of VaniTea Café’s three locations for an expansive menu of drinkable concoctions. But what really attracts the masses is the one-of-a-kind matcha green Thai tea, which doses devotees—many of them students from UCSD— with enough legal stimulant to get through the next three years of finals.

Matcha green Thai tea. Photo credit: Bhadri Kubendran

Tea Station

Those seeking the tried-and-true opt for a simple boba beverage from Tea Station. Team members boil fresh boba daily, adding in honey to prevent the beads from sticking together. Where many of the newer shops carry popping boba, Tea Station specializes in the basics: regular and mini boba in only the chewy variety. The customer favorite is the boba mint tea.

Taro milk tea, honey dew milk tea, and Thai milk tea.

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