Welcome to The Messy Life. Let’s take a bubble tea trip.
Reviewing Novel Tea: A Bubble Tea Destination
Two weeks ago, I went to my friend’s place for the weekend. Now, I love bubble tea, and a few friends told us about this shop near her apartment that was supposed to great. Not only was it nearby, but also everyone and I mean EVERYONE, shared good reviews. So of course we decided to go.
The name alone was enough to grab my attention: Novel Tea? It’s the perfect play on words.
Let me guide you through the experience:
First, I arrived at hers, fully hyped and ready for the best tea I’ve ever had.
We ended up lounging for a while, so I’ll skip to our experience at the store.
Entering, the first thing I notice is a grass wall with the cleanest font in Bebas Neue. And I’m like, okay this place has good aesthetic value. That’s a start.
The vibe was beautiful all in all. From the stools, to the wooden countertops, to the floor-to-ceiling windows.
There was no line, so we walked up to the counter and ordered our drinks. They have limited options, but one of them is my go-to, Taro, so no complaints there. I will say, it is pretty expensive relative to other places I’ve been. A large costs about $5, and they charge extra for tapioca.
I suppose the aura makes up for the price. I mean look at this place.
Check that succulent-filled shadow box. Consider me shaken and stirred.
Also, ordering was painless, and there was actually a promotion going on, so we got BOGO 50% off.
We actually paid with a $2 bill and they accepted it. The cashier was pretty amused.
There is a bit of a wait for your order, but that gave me time to obnoxiously photograph the store, so I didn’t mind too much. “Do it for the blog,” I thought. I don’t think I received too much judgement.
Alright, it’s time for the big reveal.
Q: How was the tea? Drumroll please.
A: It fell flatter than my hair after hat day.
To be honest, everything was on point: the straw selection, the branded stickers on the cups, the color of tea, the amount of boba. I mean, to the last detail, I was prepared for greatness.
Then, I took a sip. I was floored. To this day, I don’t know exactly what made it so awful.
My friend and I think most places use the same mix, which leads me to blame the milk. It could be that they use an alternative milk substitute or that we got a bad batch, but whatever it was reminded me of baby formula. I still regret ordering a large.
Now, I don’t hate Novel Tea, and I can’t let one bad experience ruin my perception. Maybe I ended up being more disappointed, because it was so highly reviewed.
Someday, I’ll go back to try one of their juice teas, because their bubbles were really good, but never again will I order their milk tea.
Nonetheless, don’t let me deter you, because I know plenty of other people who love them. I just don’t recommend, and if this helps at all, my friend feels the same.
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Update: In hindsight, for reasons I won’t divulge in detail, I think the milk was bad. Let’s just say that after my tea, I was less than okay.
Considering this, I actually would try again (I love good boba).