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The best boba in Eagle Rock

Photo by Rosalind Chang via Unsplash

Where is the best boba in Eagle Rock? A few weeks ago, this question struck me with immeasurable force, and for the general Eagle Rock populace, I felt it was a query worth investigating.

Over the years, boba -- also known as bubble tea -- has risen to fame worldwide. In our own Eagle Rock community, boba or bubble tea shops have become staple hang-out spots and some of the busiest local businesses around. You can always find the closest boba shops bustling with customers, many times those being our very own ERHS Eagles enjoying a nice cup of boba after school with friends!

With the boba craze ever-spreading in our own community, it’s only essential that we figure out where you can find the best boba in Eagle Rock. Never fear, my family of bubble tea connoisseurs and I have already taken on this daunting task so that you don’t have to! Here’s how we did it:

My family and I first created a lengthy and detailed 10-point scale rubric that specifies what makes the best boba spot and drink, this of course consisting of the sit-down elements and atmosphere, customer service and aesthetic, along with the balance of flavors in the drink, the sweetness, the texture of the boba, etc.

Using this, we then set forth around Eagle Rock, trying and rating the most popular drinks and original flavors (milk tea) from each individual boba shop. Here are the results:

Boba Time

Located at 2255 Colorado Blvd.

Photo by Lauren Acevedo

The very first place we went to was a classic: Boba Time. For the purpose of this article, I tried not to be biased towards the franchise. Since the Colorado Blvd. location first opened back in 2014, my family and I have become frequent customers. In fact, Boba Time is the origin of our boba enthusiasm: the place where we tried boba for the very first time! Though our roots lie in this very shop, I was sure to muster as little bias as I possibly could for this article, and so my mostly unbiased review is this: The shop itself is super nice. On a hot and tiring day, the gust of wind from an overhead fan above the door makes it all the more welcoming. With electronic screens that clearly project the menu in distinct categories, as well as different toppings and other customizable elements, it makes it super easy for customers to choose and order menu items. They even have baked goods like macaroons and cakes that you can get, too! Besides boba, their acai bowls and shaved ice are also quite tempting. Boba Time’s aesthetic is modern, bright, and appealing to the eye, although it’s not much of a rest and sit-down place, since there are only two tables available outside and the inside is a bit small too.

When it comes to their products, the bubble tea was delicious. We ordered the most popular menu item, thai milk tea, and the original house milk tea flavor. The two regular-sized drinks totaled to just $9.95, and both were super good. The sweetness of the drinks was well-balanced with the boba so as to not be overwhelming together. The thai milk tea had a good thai tea flavor and the original milk tea was lightly sweet and milky. The boba was equal parts soft and chewy, and is consistently fresh. If you like sweet, milky drinks, definitely go to Boba Time. It’s simply a classic and always reliable to satisfy a craving! Boba Time definitely gets a high overall rating on my scale of 8.5/10.

Ding Tea

Located at 2114 Colorado Blvd.

Photo by Lauren Acevedo

The second place we went to was Ding Tea. A fairly new boba shop, our local Ding Tea first opened just six months ago. Since its opening, my close friends and family have not stopped raving about their new favorite boba supply in the neighborhood. A Boba Time contender? I hesitated: could it really be better? In finally trying it myself, I couldn’t say otherwise. Firstly, walking into the shop, their chic modern designs and spacious atmosphere make the place feel nonchalant and chill. Black, white, and gold colors decorate the room, and overall, it seems like a really good hang-out spot! Like Boba Time, the seating outside is minimal, but if it weren’t for covid, there would be plenty of seating space inside. This particular aspect of the shop became a bit more of a downside though, especially after school, when the place was bustling with students and the sidewalk became quite crowded.

Despite that, the drinks made up for it. The most popular drink there is the “Monster Boba” which is a brown sugar milk tea. It was really good; the drink was super silky and caramel sweet. The milk tea had a more distinct tea flavor than Boba Time’s, which was balanced well with its sweetness. Together, two regular drinks were just $8.25! On top of that, you could tell that the boba is freshly made for every cup: it was super soft, but not too soft to the point of losing it’s perfect, chewy factor. I would even say their boba is some of the best I’ve ever had, if not for the fact that if you don’t drink it right away, the boba can get a little hard in the drink after a while. Nevertheless, Ding Tea is a good place to get a quick bubble tea fix, and if you’re ever in the mood for a fruity drink or solid milk tea, you should definitely try it out! I’m sure to be back for another round, especially to try their “golden boba,” whatever that might be. Ding Tea is a must try, and gets a high overall rating of 9/10.

Tea N’ Me

Located at 2256 Colorado Blvd. #108

Photo by Lauren Acevedo

Finally, the third location we went to was Tea N’ Me. Just across the street from Boba Time, Tea N’ Me first opened in 2018. Back then, as the Boba Time regulars we were, we stomped across the street to see what the new place was all about, and well... let’s just say we left their shop disappointed and never cared to revisit up until now. In writing this article, I am forced to try Tea N’ Me for a second time, and so my second first impression is this: The inside is actually quite cute. The most homely out of the three, Tea N’ Me has comfortable couches paired with tiny coffee tables to fit groups of friends for a good time. They even have a selection of games at the corner of the room like Jenga, Cards Against Humanity, Dominoes, and many more that you can borrow! An Eagle Rock personal mural depicting its city hall and the boba shop side by side welcomes you most literally with the words “Welcome to Tea N’ Me” on a painted banner, and the tiny-roomed atmosphere with its painted walls and bright colors is reminiscent of one’s childhood bedroom, cozy and relaxing.

Tea N’ Me’s atmosphere and sit-down elements are great, but sadly, the drinks are the contrary. For the low price of $8.50 for two regular drinks, their serving size is slightly larger than Boba Time’s and Ding Tea’s serving sizes. Their boba itself is standard. Actually, it’s softer than any I’ve had before, but is at a loss in the chewy factor and borders on being mushy. This leads me to believe that Tea N’ Me is probably inconsistent with how they cook their boba -- undercooked, perfect, or overcooked depending on the day. The most popular drink according to the worker there was the “Pot Plant Milk Tea.” Made of brown sugar milk tea with a singular leaf placed centrally on top of a cookie crumble layer, the drink looked quite intriguing. Its taste did not live up to its appearance though; it was like drinking a watered-down Oreo McFlurry, and it left a starchy taste in my mouth. The milk tea was fine, but it definitely wasn’t anything special. One thing (and possibly the only thing) I did like about Tea N’ Me was the amount of ice they put in their drinks! In the blazing sun, the cold sip of their milk tea made it taste way better. Even so, neither the amount of ice, nor the amazing atmosphere of the place could make up for their mediocre drinks. After 4 years, my opinion on Tea N’ Me still hasn’t changed, and hey, maybe I just happened to come on the wrong days, but from what I’ve experienced, the suitable rating for this place lies at a low 5.6/10. (Sorry, Tea N’ Me regulars.)

And the victor is...

Rating our beloved local boba shops was not an easy task, and after three laborious reviews, many boba drinks later, and lots of contemplation, our central question still stands: Where is the best boba in Eagle Rock? Well, you’ll be glad to know that we’ve finally come to a conclusion: While Boba Time is simply a classic, the best boba in Eagle Rock is definitely Ding Tea, and let’s be honest, Tea N’ Me was never competing either. With a high rating of 9/10, the new Ding Tea is by far the best-- their fresh boba and perfectly curated drinks make an exemplary bubble tea that is sure to satisfy your cravings! At a close second is Boba Time, and trailing behind at third is Tea N’ Me. Despite the rankings, each of the three local boba shops are all amazing places with unique aspects of their own. If you haven’t already done so, or ever have the time, be sure to check them out. Where is your favorite boba in Eagle Rock? Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments!

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