The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Sip, Savor, Score: Boba Ratings

Pictured from left to right are the boba drinks from Kung Fu Tea, Tiger Sugar, Boba Pop, and Gong-Cha.
Photo by Ha-yeon Jeon
Pictured from left to right are the boba drinks from Kung Fu Tea, Tiger Sugar, Boba Pop, and Gong-Cha.

Boba. Bubble Tea. Pearl Milk Tea. These are all names for the delicious drink characterized by tea with tapioca pearls, offered at countless locations within Montgomery County. At WCHS, many students love boba, prompting us to go out and review some of the most popular places. We drank lots of boba and rated them on aesthetics, tapioca, sweetness, flavor and price, so you can head straight to the best spot!

Kung Fu Tea 

Name of drink: Classic Milk Tea with Bubbles 

Crafted from the harmonious blend of Earl Grey tea, cane sugar and milk powder, Kung Fu Tea’s classic milk tea is a tasty combination of rich, aromatic and milky flavors. The drink’s creaminess comes from the milk powder and the frothed milk on the top, adding another layer of dimension. As someone who is not the biggest fan of tea, this drink is perfect for those who prefer milder, less overpowering tastes. The tea flavor steers clear of excessive bitterness, instead offering subtle earthy undertones, making it more enjoyable. The firm yet chewy tapioca pearls are also a fantastic complement to the drink. However, as I drank more, the drink’s sweetness became overwhelming. For those seeking a more moderate sweetness, I would suggest opting for the “Less Sweet” option at 70% sweetness instead of the standard 100%. Overall, Kung Fu Tea offers a gratifying basic cup of boba, ideal for anyone who wants a creamy and mild tea.

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Tiger Sugar

Name of the drink: Number 1 – Black Sugar Boba, Pearl Milk and Cream Mousse 

The Number 1 signature drink from Tiger Sugar is made with brown sugar syrup, pearl milk, cream mousse, and two sizes of tapioca pearls, resulting in a deliciously nuanced drink. What sets Tiger Sugar apart from other boba places is the absence of tea in the beverage. Instead, it features a milk base flavored with dark, sweet—but not overly sweet—brown sugar syrup. While this might be a drawback for those who prefer tea, the caramelized and pleasantly bitter flavors are still delicious and just as good as tea, if not better. Another distinctive aspect of Tiger Sugar is the inclusion of two sizes of tapioca pearls in the drink. This provides a pleasing textural contrast and ensures an abundance of bubbles in each sip, making it a superb choice for anyone who relishes the tapioca element of boba. Moreover, aside from the delectable flavors, Tiger Sugar’s drink is aesthetically pleasing, coming unmixed with brown sugar syrup along the sides of the cup and cream mousse on top. Overall, Tiger Sugar is an excellent boba spot if you’re seeking an unconventional yet delectable toffee-like flavored drink.

BobaPop

Name of the drink: Brown Sugar Black Milk Tea with Bubbles

Launched locally by two Gaithersburg residents, this growing chain is easily recognizable by its unique French Bulldog logo and famously aesthetic drinks. Best known for its Brown Sugar Black Milk Tea, with a characteristic deeply sweet toffee flavor brewed from brown sugar syrup, black tea, and milk, it just faintly checks the box of being delicious enough to forgive its exorbitant size/cost ratio; after all, this chain is somewhat infamous for its smaller-sized drinks. The chewy bubbles fuel a debate over whether they are excessively so, but for those who love tapioca and believe it is best savored slowly, these are the perfect hit. The different components of this classic drink, from its sweetness to its texture, blend in an admirable fusion to make it worth emptying a bank account for. 

Gongcha

Name of the drink: Black Milk Tea with Bubbles

Referencing the act of offering the best tea to the Emperor, the name “Gongcha” reflects the quality boba drinks that have made this franchise a fixture in 20 countries. Although advertising the Milk Foam line as their signature drink, their classic Black Milk Tea with Bubbles remains one of their all-time popular hits. Boasting a considerably larger size than its competitors for the same price and a flavor paradigmatic of what a stereotypical boba drink should taste like, this is a safe option for those seeking the familiar taste steeped in memories. Although not exceptional in its aesthetic design and weighed down by its overly stiff tapioca, Gongcha is a benignly pleasant stop on a boba-lover’s journey.

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About the Contributors
Ha-Yeon Jeon, Print Editor-in-Chief
Ha-Yeon Jeon is a senior at WCHS and the Editor-in-Chief for the 2023-2024 school year. When not writing for the Observer, she loves reading trashy romance novels, visiting museums, and going on sunset walks. More than anything, she loves Trader Joe’s!
Caroline Harless, News Editor
Caroline Harless is a senior and the News Editor for the Observer. In her free time, she likes to bake, hang out with friends and watch Netflix. This is her fourth year taking journalism.  

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