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The Boba Life Chose Us

Over the summer, SFP (Student Faculty Programs) Ambassadors get a budget to put on events within the house for summer students and Caltech students. This week, a boba night was arranged where our ambassadors bought all participants boba from Half and Half Tea House. I would expect the entire house to show up since ONE DOES NOT SAY NO TO BOBA, but at least the turn out rate was a good 50% .

Before coming to SoCal, I’ve always called the drink bubble tea. The "bubbles" part of the name is unrelated to the tapioca pearls. Instead, it describes the bubbles that form when the drink is shaken. I’m not sure whether "boba" has any significance, except that it’s only named so in SoCal. I found some other fun facts about the drink:

One reason that boba is so widely loved is that it’s a vehicle for customization. It’s basically a milkshake with toppings, Asian style. Those more attached to Asian flavors go for add-ins like red bean and grass jelly, and flavors like taro and black sesame. You can never go wrong with the original flavor. Amateur boba drinkers go for fruity flavors like strawberry or mango and ask for jello or pudding as toppings. Either way, there is a combination that works for everyone.

There are several boba places close to Caltech: T-Pumps and T-Spots. T-Pumps have the most customizable drinks and offer a Tuesday special where you can get the large size for the price of the regular. There is no reason for anyone to drink that large of a drink, but I suppose everything is bigger and better in ‘Murica. T-Spots has meal deals where you can get a drink for free with a traditional Taiwanese meal. The drink’s around as good in my opinion. If you don’t mind walking or biking, Home Brewed Bar and Cafe 86 in Old Pasadena have much gourmet and Instagram worthy options. If you have a car, make a drive out to Half and Half or Factory Tea Bar.

Sunny Cui ’20

Option: Electrical Engineering

House Affiliation: Lloyd

Graduation Year: 2020

Sunny is from Vancouver, BC where it rains over 200 days a year. At Caltech, she serves on the excomm of the Caltech Y and Society of Women Engineers, and plays piano with the chamber music program. When she is not doing sets and lab work, she enjoys hiking, shopping, cooking, drawing, and scouring the internet for items to add to her never-ending bucket list.