The Boba Files: Tea Lyfe (San Jose, CA)

9:30:00 AM

The Boba Files #020: No Life Like Tea Lyfe

It’s been a while, but The Boba Files are back in session. I guess the odds were simply not in their favor because it took so many times to finally draw one from my TARDIS cup.

No love from the time space ship.

This week, we’re back in Vietnam Town in Little Saigon to visit Tea Lyfe, one of the latest hipster boba shops that is trying to differentiate itself from all the other boba shops out there.

Hello tree stump seats, cute logos and fantastic packaging.

The boba shop is bright and welcoming with its white walls, high ceilings, glass windows and plenty of open space.

You definitely have to give Tea Lyfe props for whoever designed the cafe. The ambiance is very laid back and welcoming, and the dark wood pieces contrasts nicely against the bright white walls.
Dangling light bulbs
I like how they took the time to arrange the layout. The shop is arranged very simply with tables and chairs on one side (for studying or small groups) and the other side is more of a “lounge” with tree trunk stumps tables, chairs and a wooden bench drilled into the wall. Small plants decorate the area and the drop down exposed light bulbs add to the overall feel of the shop.
They have a small menu, which can be a problem for people who like to have many choices. Interesting flavors include horchata milk tea, osmanthus oolong, and fruit sangria. I’ve tried the assam milk tea with boba before and it’s prepared pretty strongly. So for those who need a caffeine pick-me-up, this is perfect. If you’re trying to get some sleep tonight, steer clear.

Osmanthus Oolong Milk Tea and Assam Black Milk Tea
While their menu is limited, they do have special flavors coming out every now and then.

And if the hipster/Instagram vibe isn’t already strong enough, they let you purchase your drinks in a Tea Lyfe plastic bottle, so that you can "up" your Instagram game.

I could see this being a nice place to study during the afternoon, but it has a tendency to get pretty loud at night due to the high ceiling. It’s worth the visit if you enjoy hanging out at boba places with nice ambiance (especially when so many places are just carbon copies of each other), but the drinks look better in photos than they taste.

Tea Lyfe
989 Story Road
Ste 8018
San Jose, CA 95122

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