Q. What is boba tea (a.k.a. bubble tea or pearl milk tea)?
A.  Boba tea originated from Taiwan back in the early 1980’s as a tea-based drink mixed with fruit flavors, syrup, and/or milk, to which tapioca balls and/or jellies are often added for extra flavor or texture.  This tea has evolved from being a traditional plain looking drink to today’s trendy, flavorful, variety beverage.  Don’t worry though if you still like your tea plain and simple, because we also offer fresh brews made to order, and/or loose leaves that can be steeped on the spot.

Q.  What are bobas (a.k.a. tapioca balls, tapioca pearls, or bubbles)?
A.  Bobas, also known as black pearls or tapioca balls, is derived from the starch of the cassava root.  The root contains mostly carbohydrates, but is also rich in vitamin C, carotenes, calcium, and potassium.  When cooked perfectly, the Boba becomes a sweet chewy ball with a fresh gummy-bear like texture (but softer) about 1/4 of an inch in diameter.  These bobas are added as an option to the bottom of ice cold beverages for a fun sipping experience.

As you sip your drink, these “mysterious soft marbles” travel up the specially wide straw. The texture, taste and chewy sensation will make you want more!

Q. What are popping bobas?
A.  Popping bobas, a.k.a. popping pearls, are little pearly spheres filled with fruit juice that bursts with every bite!  With their exterior made out of seaweed extract (a thin jelly like texture, and NO, they do NOT taste anything like seaweed =)) and filled with fruit juice, popping bobas are the new craze!  These are added as an option to the bottom of ice cold beverages for a fun sipping twist.

Q. What are crystal bobas?
A.  Crystal bobas, a.k.a. agar bobas, are made from agar-agar.  Agar-agar is a natural vegetable gelatin that is high in Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc and Copper. It is also a great source of Fiber.  A great choice for the health conscious! 🙂

Q. What are tea lattes (a.k.a. milk teas)?
A. Tea lattes are a mix of brewed tea, non-dairy creamer or milk, and sugar.  Sort of like a coffee latte, but with tea as the base. Different flavors of tea lattes are achieved with the use of loose tea blends or addition of flavored syrups.

Q. Where do your teas come from?
A.  Our teas have been individually sampled by us, and carefully selected from trusted suppliers.  The origin of our teas cover various regions of the world to bring to our customers only the best tasting, quality tea leaves.  Please see our Loose Teas link for additional information.

Q. How are your teas prepared?
A.  Our teas are brewed daily using real loose leaf teas. We use organic black tea, organic Oolong, and organic green tea as the base for the majority of our drink menu.

Q. Can I customize my drink?
A.  Yes!  Although we have taken the guesswork out of blending the perfect beverage with our existing menu, you are always welcome to request a custom-made drink using our available menu options.  We gotta warn you though that you will be doing so at your own risk! 🙂  Feel free to tell us to make your drink more or less sweet, or, for example, if you see chocolate macadamia tea on the menu, but don’t see this flavor option for an Italian soda, let us know and we will prepare this soda flavor especially for you.

Q. What are Teafreshers?
A.  Teafreshers are an icey cold mix of fruit flavored tea and real fruit juice that come with various add-ons such as fresh fruit bits, chia seeds, jellies, bobas, popping bobas, etc.  The selection of add-ons vary with the drink flavor, and have been paired by us based on their complementary flavor and taste.

Q. What are Italian Sodas?
A.  We combine sparkling natural mineral water with flavored syrup, and optional cream to create this delicious fun drink.

Q. What does Ayurvedic Blends mean?
A.  Ayurvedic medicine — also known as Ayurveda — is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit.  Our Wellness Blends are derived from this approach, and can be found on the Artisan Tea menu, under Wellness Blends.

Q. What is Palm Sugar?
A.  We are proud to be the first teahouse to use Palm Sugar as our standard sweetener!  As part of our healthy lifestyle approach, we offer and use natural Palm sugar in our drinks everywhere possible, unless the drink requires a flavored syrup specially formulated by our supplier.  To make sure your drink is sweetened with palm syrup only, we recommend selecting one of our loose tea flavors from the Artisan Tea menu, and request Palm Syrup as your sweetener.  No worries if you prefer regular sugar. Just let our barista know!

Note:  Palm sugar and coconut sugar are often used interchangeably, even though they are two different types of sugars.  Both are natural sweeteners that come from trees: coconut sugar comes from the buds of coconut palm tree flowers, while palm sugar is made from the sap of sugar palm tree (also called date palm). Both are collected as sap, and, like North American maple syrup, the sap is then boiled in enormous vats to create either a sugar paste (sold in jars or tins) or rock-like chunks of sugar also known as ‘jaggery’ (note that jaggery can be made from cane sugar as well – it just means the solid, rock-form of sugar).

The greatest health benefits of using these unrefined sugars is their low glycemic index (around 35), which means they don’t have the blood-sugar spiking effect (‘sugar high’) that regular refined sugar causes. They are similar to agave syrup in this way, except better in the sense that they don’t contain high amounts of fructose.  The added benefit of palm sugar is the additional nutrients and minerals it contains, such as calcium and iron.  In India, palm sugar (in the rock-sugar jaggery form) is actually used in traditional medicine, since it contains many minerals and has been found to heal throat and lung infections.