If there is anything that Isla Vista is not short in supply of, it is pizza joints, liquor stores and sandwich shops. However, there is one type of eatery that is beginning to outnumber I.V.’s most typical restaurants: boba shops. As of right now, we have Hana Kitchen, Fire and Ice and even Spudnuts selling the chewy goodness that is bubble tea.
Recently, a new boba shop opened up on the end of Pardall next to Wok on the Wild Side, just a few steps from Gio’s. Known as “Wake Cup Coffee,” this shop sells a variety of milk teas, coffee and all things boba-adjacent. As a lover of all of these things, I decided to give the shop a shot; maybe I could finally get something that tasted authentic without having to escape the confines of I.V. by venturing downtown.
When I got to Wake Cup, the cashiers greeted me kindly and asked me what I would like to get. Given my limited experience with milk tea, I decided to opt for the more common choice, boba Thai iced tea. The price was decent at only three dollars compared to other restaurants. I waited for about thirty seconds before the cashier handed me my drink and sent me on my way. I stabbed the plastic-covered top of the cup and was ready to take a trip to Thai tea heaven.
My first sip was a bit daunting. It had been a while since I had had Thai tea, so reality did not quite match up with what I had remembered in my head. I remembered it being lightly sweet with a mild tea flavor, somewhat giving me the nostalgia of a rainy day. However, this tea was very sweet and felt like it came from a mix rather than being homemade.
Within a few sips, my taste buds adjusted and I began to really enjoy the drink. I sucked up some of the chewy boba and assessed whether or not the overall experience was pleasant. I rolled the boba around in my mouth a little bit and gave them a nice chew; they were chewy and not too soft — a sign of good boba, at least in my opinion.
So I would highly recommend anyone who has an affinity for Thai tea or boba give Wake Cup a shot. It has a cool atmosphere and decently priced unique drinks that won’t break the bank.