The Boba Files: Tea Era (Cupertino, CA)

8:30:00 AM

File #005: Bo Peep Bo Peep Bo Peep Bo~

Hold on.. wrong Tea Era. That was T-ara-- not Tea Era. No, today we’re going to be talking about the milk tea shop-- not the Kpop band. That’s in a completely different blog altogether.

Tea Era is a well known milk tea place in Downtown Mountain View. They’re especially well-known for their roasted barley milk tea. A few months ago, they opened up a second location in Cupertino on Homestead Road. This particular location is smacked dabbed in the middle of a number of schools, so guess where a lot of the kids go to hang out after school?

Yup, you know it!

Tea Era.

If you want to skip the teeny-bopper crowd that floods the area after school, I advise you to avoid visiting around 2-3 PM. As for the college students, you can't avoid them. Just roll with it~

The first time I visited this particular shop, I ordered the Roasted Barley Milk Tea since that’s their namesake. The Roasted Barley has a robust roasted flavor, but not so much that it comes off bitter. It’s creamy, refreshing and frothy, thanks to this “shaker” machine they have on the counter. I’m not sure what the actual technical term is, but they put the milk tea in a cocktail shaker and place it in the machine that vigorously shakes it before they pour it into the plastic cup and seal it.

For my second visit, I got their Roasted Oolong Milk Tea with boba. To me, the Roasted Oolong had a deeper roasted flavor than the barley. The barley was refreshing, even with the milk, but the oolong was very rich. And also much sweeter-- but that could just be because of the boba I added the second time around.

Observe. Long list of Add-ons. I admit, I was a little confused as to where the add-ons were located at first because it was in the center of the board.
Speaking of boba and add-ons in general, Tea Era has a very extensive list for their add-ons. They have taro balls, which I have never tried, but I am definitely intrigued. Not to mention, more types of jellies than you ever thought you needed in your drink.

Their menu, in general is very extensive. It’s pretty hard not to find something you wouldn’t want to try on their menu. Whether or not it tastes good is another question. I haven’t heard any raving reviews about their food or snacks, but I have seen people ordering it for take out, so it can’t be bad. A friend of mine made the mistake of ordering one of her drinks at 0% sweetness and it came out tasting like water. So despite my sometimes health-conscious boba-free mentality, I still take my drinks at the 50% sweetness level.

And yes! Tea Era lets you adjust your sweetness levels! +1

Overall, it’s a pleasant place to go for a boba run, if you happen to be in the area. Yes, the lines CAN get long during certain times, but the wait isn't unbearable. I haven’t had a bad experience with their milk tea (perhaps I should be more adventurous next time…) and their boba is cooked to a perfect consistency (soft, but chewy and without a hard center).

TIP: Ask for a stamp card if you’re a frequent visitor. Or if you’re just like me and have one for every boba shop I visit. 10 stamps = Free Drink! SCORE! The stamp card only applies to the Cupertino location though. Which I found odd… Any specific reason why? Is Cupertino not cool enough to hang with the Mountain View folks?

And perhaps the icing on the cake would be if they played T-ara in Tea Era. 

You know, I’m just saying-- in case any Tea Era employees are reading this post. Not a lot of people will make the connection, but some of us will (insert me waving my hands wildly).

Boba points if you get the reference too~

How are the taro balls? Who is crazy and has tried all the jellies? What else is good on the menu? And if you know the technical term for the “shaker machine,” I would love to know it.

20916 Homestead Rd
Ste F
Cupertino, CA 95014

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  1. The Mountain View location actually isn't a big deal for all people rave about it. Parking is difficult near there and the store is fairly old, small and very narrow. Little sitting room and nothing too special about the drinks either. I like the Cupertino location much more. :)

    1. I have very vague memories about the Mountain View location besides the parking conundrum. It's been a long time since I went to that location, but I'll take your word for it! Haha.