Battle of the Bobas

In Castro Valley, there are currently four boba shops in operation, serving a variety of tapioca pearl and non-pearl drinks. With this many places serving drinks to Castro Valley residents, one important question arises: which boba shop has the best drinks?

In order to determine who sells the best boba drinks in Castro Valley, I decided that a blind taste test was in order. To conduct this experiment, I had to first select an unbiased and non CVHS volunteer who happens to enjoy boba drinks. After finding the perfect student, I needed to select the drink for the experiment. With my decision made, I went to all four boba locations in town (Sweet Spot, T4, ITea, and Quickly) and purchased a common and popular drink: Thai Iced Tea with tapioca pearls, along with standard sugar and ice levels. At the tasting location, the drinks were put into a brown paper bag and sealed so that only the straws were visible. With paper and pen next to each hidden drink, the taste tester was asked to come in and the tasting commenced.

 After the taster tasted all the drinks and jotted down notes, it was time to see which drink was the best. The taste tester noted that the ITea drink was “very flavorful, the pearls had a nice sweetness to them, and a drink he would have again.” On the other hand, the Quickly drink “seemed watered down and tasted a bit on the bitter side.” Followed by that drink, the taste tester noted that the Sweet Spot drink was “a bit on the milky side, with tapioca pearls that were too chewy.” Last but not least, was the T4 drink, which the taste tester enjoyed the most because “it had the perfect balance of sweetness and flavor to the tea and the right amount and consistency of tapioca pearls.”

After I reviewed the comments, I asked my unbiased taste tester to take his final sips and asked him to rank the four boba places in order from “best” to “just ok”. After several minutes of sipping and careful thinking, T4 took first place honors. However, competition for drinks in Castro Valley will be fierce as another boba shop plans to open near the Habit burger restaurant. It will be worthwhile to repeat the experiment in a few months to see if T4 can keep its top spot. Until then, sweet sipping!

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