10 Boba Places to try in SJ

Jenna Do

San Jose, CALIF. — Boba Places I Recommend you try in San Jose as of February 2023.


Tisane is very popular. It is open from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Since it is closed late, a lot of younger people come and hangout. It’s also conveniently next to In-N-Out and Chipotle. They have a 4.4 star rating on Yelp. Many people say it’s their go-to or first option boba place. The drinks are very sweet, but you can adjust it. They also decorate every holiday very festively. Whenever I go I get my drinks in under 5 minutes. They have a diverse menu and twenty-six different drinks to choose from! They prepare their drinks in the morning which is why they open in the afternoon in order to help speed up the process. Tisane has unique fruit infusions, like honeydew milk tea, lychee dragon fruit, and red guava and passion fruit with mango. It is affordable and not overpriced as well. Their top drinks are RPM, Blush, Totaro, Two to Mango, Golden, Melon Rouge, Tiger King, Roast is History, Green Panda, and Black Panther. 


Pekoe has split cups, which makes them unique. If you can’t decide what to get you can just get both drinks. It opens until midnight. You get your drink, almost right when you are done ordering. You can try out samples before choosing your drink if you are indecisive. Their most popular drinks are Pekoe Special, Kawaii, Pretty in Pink, Yellow Mango, Foxy Brown and Manly Melons. Pekoe Special is their classic house black dark gray milk tea infused with lavender and honey boba. Their second most popular drink is fruit tea; Kawaii includes jasmine green tea infused with red guava, mango, and passion fruit. The drink includes mango stars, as well. They also have round ice cubes if you care about the good ice after you are done drinking. Pekoe has a 4.0 rating on Yelp.

7 Leaves Cafe:

7 Leaves may be a place for older people or people with a more developed palate because it has stronger tea. It is very caffeinated and only limited drinks aren’t. A lot of college students go there to study.. 7 Leaves sell macaroons as well. They have a 4.5 rating on Yelp. Not only do they sell boba and macaroons, they have authentic Vietnamese coffee and normal coffee. The workers are willing to help with anything you need including recommendations. That’s why I get the Green Thai Tea with honey boba and less sugar everytime I go. A few popular drinks most people get are the House Coffee, Mung Bean Milk Tea, Thai Tea, or the Strawberry Hibiscus tea. If you like a stronger tea flavor and something to keep you up and energized, I recommend going here.

Izumi Matcha:

Izumi specializes in matcha lattes, but has other drinks such as their Okinawa Hojicha Latte, their Hibiscus Yuzu Tea with Basil Seeds, and Red Dragon Refresher. They also have their third most liked on Doordash, the Kuro Sesame Hojicha Latte. When ordering I suggest adding extra sweetness to enhance the matcha flavor. Their star rating on Yelp is a 4.3 and on Doordash it is a 4.9. They have Taiyaki snacks plus you can choose a filling to put inside. People usually go with Nutella. They make it fresh for you.  Taiyaki snacks are a mochi-like pastry made out of waffle or pancake batter, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is in the shape of a tai, that is why it is called taiyaki. They also have ice cream with the choice of adding Taiyaki fish on top. Their top 3 most popular drinks are their Honey Matcha Lattes, Strawberry Matcha Latte, and Creme Brulee Matcha Hurricane. If you go for the first time you should get the basic Honey Matcha Latte. I personally like their Cream Cheese Matcha Lattes with extra sweetness. Izumi sells their matcha powder and kits in store if you are interested in purchasing.


Tastea has a gallon jug that is great for parties or if you just want a lot of bubble tea. They give you a side of the toppings you want and the essentials like their cups and straws. Something unique about this place is their green honey boba. They offer the sizes twenty oz or thirty-two oz. You can get fries or popcorn chicken. It is called “Buttload’a Fries” and “Karate Chicken” on the menu. They also have crispy shrimp but it is not available at all locations. They have fruit teas, simple teas, coffee, milk teas, slushies, and smoothies. On Yelp they have a 4.3 star rating. I am not the type of person to order slushies or smoothies at a boba place but here is an exception. They open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. They host a lot of events which gives people an opportunity to get deals. An example is on their one year anniversary, they gave out a free shirt to each person followed up with a BOGO deal.

Tea Lyfe Drinks:

Tea Lyfe is a place where people go to study, it’s very quiet. It is aesthetic. They have plants and log chairs to sit on. They offer a mix of Vietnamese and Mexican culture in their snacks and drinks. Not only do they have tea, boba, horchata, Vietnamese coffee, milk tea, and matcha. They have different flavor waffles. The flavors are Churro, Chocolate, Matcha, and on Wednesdays their staff has a weekly rotation of making a new organic house made creation called the “Wednesday Waffle Special”. I like their Strawberry Oat Matcha. Their store hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. but on Fridays and Saturdays they close at 9 p.m. Tea Lyfe Drinks has a 4.5 star rating on Yelp. They try to make everything homemade or in store made. They have clever names like their Chai Latte is called “Dep Chai”. 

Soyful Desserts:

Soyful has a 4.4 star rating on Yelp. They have dessert combinations. Their Soy Pudding Combination is served with brown sugar and coconut milk, pandan jelly, boba, red bean, sago, basil seeds, grass jelly, and Japanese pudding. Japanese pudding is basically egg pudding. That combination is topped with shaved ice. Many people order that or their Creamy House Milk tea. They also have another version but with rose. It is the Rose Creamy Milk tea. It includes rose petals as well. In many of the reviews it says the workers are friendly. Their store hours are 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. but in Saturdays they close at 8 P.M and on Sundays they close at 9 p.m. They are known for their amazing Japanese Milk Tea.

Happy Lemon:

Happy Lemon is super popular for their A1 which is their Jasmine Green Tea with Salted Cheese. They have a black tea version if you like that better. They are known for their salted cheese foam that they added on option where you can buy a container of just the foam. I like their Mango Matcha smoothie with mango boba. The first time I went to Happy Lemon, I ordered the Green Tea with Salted Cheese. They also sell bubble waffles in different flavors like Matcha, Chocolate, Oreo, Red Bean, Boba. The dipping sauce options for the waffles include, Puff Cream, Taro Puff Cream, and Salted Cheese. Something I recommend trying at least once is their Salted Cheese Ice Cream. Happy Lemon’s menu has Milk Tea, Classic Brewed Tea, Lemon Slushies, Yakult, Fruit Smoothies, Bubble Waffles, and Squeezed Lemon. 

Boba Pup:

Boba Pup has reusable cups, so it is more on the expensive side. The last time I went my drink came out to $8.70 but I also put toppings. The cups are mason jars and have playful corgis on them. Inside of Boba Pup is clean and well decorated. They have a kiosk where you self order. If you want to pay with cash, you can ring the bell and an employee will help you. This place is Pinterest- like but small. I like the Lychee Dragon Fruit Green Tea. I think that’s a good infusion for fruit tea. You can adjust the sweetness and ice to your liking. The store opens from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. everyday. It has a 3.5 rating on Yelp. It isn’t that popular. The drinks are a bit overpriced but it’s still good.

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