The Boba Files: Teasociety (San Jose, CA)

7:30:00 AM

File #014: Where the Great Gather For a Discussion Over Tea

… not really. Mostly for card games, loud conversations and snacks.

Located in the East Side of San Jose, it’s not uncommon to find Teasociety packed late at night with big gatherings of people playing cards or chatting loudly. Teasociety sits in the intersection of Capitol Expressway and Silver Creek, putting it in the prime location with Pho #1 and just a street away from Silver Creek High School. You cross Capitol Expressway and there’s a plethora of other shops and restaurants on the other side.

Teasociety is one of the many growing number of boba shops popping up along Capitol Expressway. Just on the top of my head, I can name a handful of other milk tea shops down that road, but Teasociety wins hands down in terms of cute and hipster-friendly branding.

What do I mean by that? Voila~

You throw a mustache, plus some witty phrasing in there and insta-poof, it’s enough to get people to visit your shop.

I mean, that’s certainly one of the reasons why I wanted to visit in the first place. I was intrigued by the photos I saw online of the “Stay Cool, Drink Tea” cup. Even though I knew it was a marketing ploy and it wasn’t as though I was going to keep the cup, it was enough to lure me in for a visit.

My first visit was about a year back when I went there with a guy for a first date. Nothing quite memorable about the date, but I did remember what I ordered: oolong crema milk tea. Now, that date must’ve been something because I didn’t even remember that I tried their sea salt before until I dug this photo up in my documents a few days back.

Just last week, I was having a conversation with a woman who was talking to her boyfriend or husband about the sea salt drink and I distinctly remember mentioning that I never tried their sea salt before.

Whoops~ That’s a lie. My bad.

But honestly, since I don’t remember much about the drink, it’s probably nothing to write home about. For sea salt tea, I still go back to 85 Degrees Bakery.

Anyways, moving on… Teasociety is a small shop, that’s crammed with tables and seats along the circumference of the shop, as well as a few smaller tables in the center. The left side is comprised of booth seating and the right side are mostly couches with coffee tables. They have flat screen TVs propped up on either side of the shop, usually streaming music videos or some sort of television shows.

Up front is the counter where you can order and pick up your drinks. They have LED screens displaying their menu with a vast selection of teas, coffee and snacks.

When I went last week, it seems like they had updated the taste of their teas as well as included new selections of tea. They had a tea named “bazinga,” which is as interesting as it gets. There were free samples in the front, and after trying it, I would say it was pretty good. It’s on the sweeter side, so if you order it, I recommend last sweetness and that’s precisely what PC did.

Bazinga & Hojicha
I ordered their hojicha with boba and light sweetness. It was aromatic and nutty, with a nice roasted taste. Their boba was cooked well and they gave a fair amount. There was just enough for me to finish the milk tea without having a large chunk leftover. Some places (I’m looking at you Sharetea) are too generous with their boba and I end up with too much boba and too little tea. If they did change the formula of their teas, I give it a thumbs up!

Strawberry Pomegranate Milk Tea
During my second visit to Teasociety, YL and I ordered the strawberry pomegranate milk tea and it was bland and watered down. I was incredibly disappointed since that was one of the most popular recommendations on Yelp.

Cups come in two sizes, the regular (which is the large in most places) and the chubby cup (the evil evil chubby cups) and range about $4-6 dollars depending on the size and the choice of add-ons, etc.

The screen printed portraits are a nice touch. 
The cups and the nice decor are the high points and the drinks are just alright. The crowd is predominantly young, Asian and loud. There are usually groups sitting outside smoking, so the doors are closed to keep the smell out. Teasociety is opened till 11:30 Monday to Thursday and till midnight Friday to Sunday, which makes it an ideal place to go for late night hangouts in the area.

A lot of people take their drinks to-go though, but if you loiter around long enough, you can find seats. This is a Vietnamese owned boba place, much like many that you might find along the Capitol Expressway, and in my book, it’s alright. I don’t hang out around this area that often, but when I do, I stop by because it’s a) opened late, b) cute decor/cups, c) decent boba.

Ever gone to restaurants or boba shops just because they were opened later than other places? If so, where?

1658 E Capitol Expressway
San Jose CA, 95121

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