A variety of different boba establishments catering to students and neighboring people are located on the north side of campus in between Hill and Bonnie Ave.; each respective store has attracted its own following.
Situated on the Colorado strip, four establishments: Tea Spots, Teaser Jungle, the recently opened AU79, and the campus cafeteria offer handcrafted Boba drinks.
It is a common thing to see a handful of cups with the logos of these establishments on the trashcans around campus, says custodian George Cervantes. â€œI always find [students] walking around with little black gumball looking things inside their drinks, regardless of the time of day,â€ he said. â€œI have never tried it myself, but I am interested in doing so someday.â€
With these different places serving boba, opinions vary on which establishment has the best boba, said biology major and faithful Tea Spots customer, Salvador Rosales.
He adds that what gives boba drinks its edge is the consistency of the treat relative to the rest of the drink; Tea Spots’ boba is always reliable.â€œTea Spots’ boba is hands down the best around campus. Itâ€™s chewy not slimy; thatâ€™s one of the [biggest] factors with boba. The texture has to be just right,â€ he says.
The different method of making boba tends to differentiate from one place to another. According to Rosales, the inclusion of boba in different types of drinks such as milk teas, fruit drinks and regular iced tea, distinguishes the drink in appearance, texture and overall experience.
David Chung, a part time worker at Teaser Jungle says that to make a good batch of boba one must remain true to the roots. â€œI was raised with boba made by Taiwanese hands. Only we know how to properly make boba. I have tried boba done in other ways and there is a clear difference. Here at Teaser Jungle, we make it the right way.â€
Alberto Aguilera, a Teaser Jungle fan says that the store — which has been open for a longer time than Teaspots and Au79 –Â has the best boba due to its freshness and culturally preserved recipe.
â€œItâ€™s a really small and quiet place not many know of. But once youâ€™ve tried it you stay faithful as a customer,â€ Aguilera said.
The chewy gum-like tapioca ball seems to stir different opinions about how it is made and who makes it better, adds Aguilera. â€œOn campus, the boba is similar to the one from AU79. It is descent, but a little to slimy at times. My only issue with it is its price,â€ he said.
It seems that the texture of this tapioca treat is what makes or breaks a boba drink. Whether it is in a smoothie, a milk tea or on a regular iced tea, the popularity of boba continues to attract crowds to different joints.