Spilling the Tea on SC Bubble Tea: Part One

Adrita Talukder and Jenny Yu

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Cafe Wow, Momotaro, Tea Time, and Kung Fu Tea: The top four places for bubble tea in State College. But how can you decide where to go? You can’t trust the reviews that are online! That’s where we come in. Here are the official State High Journalism reviews and ranking of the best bubble tea shops in State College.

 

Disclaimer: The following reviews are just personal opinions, and do not reflect the opinions of the general population. For research purposes, only the original milk tea with no modifications was tried at each store.

 

Kung Fu Tea             

Tea quality:

Tanisha: I could taste the tea well which was good because some others add too much milk and you can’t taste the tea as well. I think it was pretty good in general, and you can always customize ice and sweetness for no extra charge, which is pretty standard at most bubble tea places. For the most part, though, it’s just relatively standard, pretty average, nothing over-the-top special, bubble tea.

 

Allie: The tea quality was pretty good and pretty sweet. I’m not that much of a professional bubble tea drinker so I’m kind of good with anything, and this fulfilled my expectations pretty well.

 

Adrita: The sweetness was pretty standard, and for the tea quality, I could taste the tea well which was pretty good.

 

Jenny: I thought it was pretty sweet and pretty good overall. I enjoyed it. I would say it’s definitely a good place to just get your (a little better than) average bubble tea.

 

Boba quality:

Tanisha: The boba was the perfect amount of softness and chewiness.

 

Adrita: Tapioca quality? It stuck to my teeth, which I didn’t enjoy.

 

Jenny: You did have to pay 50 cents extra for the bubbles to add them to the milk, which I didn’t enjoy. The bubbles tasted pretty good overall.

 

Experience:

Tanisha: I do think that Kung Fu tea could up its aesthetic as well as atmosphere because it tends to be darker in here. The music especially wasn’t really my taste (Justin Bieber was played at one point) and customer service was pretty standard — nothing special, but nothing bad.

 

Adrita: It was just not my favorite experience. Personally, I felt that it was too dark and the lighting was not good for me. Overall, I don’t get the hype.

 

Jenny: I don’t know. Contrary to what the others think I think it’s quite nice. I probably wouldn’t be the best if you were trying to study here, but if you just want to talk to someone casually, I think it’s fine.

 

Bargain factor:

Tanisha:  I think it’s a little overpriced for what you’re getting.

 

Allie: It definitely wasn’t a bargain. It leaned more on the expensive side, but, the overall flavor was pretty good.  

 

Adrita: For bargain factor, it was kind of expensive, and really small, so probably not the best bargain factor overall.

 

Overall: Kung Fu Tea is good for casually hanging out with your friends, and because of its wide variety of options, as well as a solid bubble tea quality, it proves to be a good place for those who are trying out bubble tea for the first time or just getting their average bubble tea. However, it leans more on the expensive side, has a dark atmosphere which isn’t great for studying, and is not as great as the hype makes it out to be. Especially when you have to pay for the bubbles of “bubble tea.”

REVIEW: 7/10

 

Tea Time

Tea quality:

Allie: There was a hint of bitterness in the tea, but I think the tea quality was pretty good.

 

Tanisha: It wasn’t that sweet and I personally thought the after taste was a bit weird but pretty good overall.

 

Jenny: It was very tea-tasting, so it’s good if you’re into that, but I like the milkier rich side, so I wasn’t as into this


Adrita: In my opinion, it wasn’t super sweet but I kind of liked that it wasn’t, just as my personal preference. The bubbles did contrast with the sweetness of the tea, which was kinda weird.

Boba quality:

Allie: The tapioca was super small but it was pretty sweet on its own which I really enjoyed.

 

Tanisha: I didn’t enjoy the tapioca. It was really small and not as chewy.

 

Jenny: I really liked the bubbles; they were super sweet which I really enjoyed. I think they were kind of small, but they make up for it with how many bubbles they give you.

 

Adrita: For me, the boba was just so small that whenever I would take a sip I felt assaulted with so many tapioca balls coming into my mouth.

Experience:

Allie: The experience was pretty good; there were different colored lights like white and yellow which didn’t really go well together but aren’t too noticeable to the everyday bubble tea drinker.

 

Tanisha: The atmosphere was definitely not my favorite, with no music playing, bad furniture, and whatnot. I just didn’t like it.

 

Jenny: I didn’t really like the experience, to be fully honest. It just didn’t give me the cafe vibe that I was looking for, with the furniture, decor, etc.

 

Adrita: Experience? Not good. I didn’t like the furniture or the music (or rather, lack thereof). I don’t like it.

 

Bargain factor:

Allie: It was pretty cheap ($3.50) which was definitely good for the price, so I’d say it was a good bargain factor.

 

Tanisha: It was cheaper than all the other ones we’d had so far and size-wise, it was still really similar to the other places, so I’d say that that was good.

 

Jenny:  Bargain factor? It was very much a bargain, but the tea definitely wasn’t the best, while the tapioca was simply amazing.

 

Adrita: Pretty good price, honestly. I appreciated it.

 

Overall:

Contrary to their slogan, it’s not always tea time. Tea Time was lacking in the atmosphere of their shop and the tea was bitter. However, they were able to execute one thing: Their bubbles. At least they got half of their “Bubble Tea” game right.

REVIEW: 6/10

 

Stay tuned for part 2, where we review Momotaro and Cafe Wow and decide where you can find the best bubble tea in State College!

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