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May 4, 2007 07:38 PM

Anyplace in L.A. to get unsweetened bubble tea?

I'd like to try a bubble tea but not one made with condensed milk (evap would be OK) or honey or sugar or nondairy creamer.

Any places to recommend? Thanks.

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  1. Hi Cinammon,

    That might be a tough order, because most all places cook the boba (tapioca) balls in a thin sugar syrup before they're cooled and added to a boba drink.

    I suppose you can order a plain nonsweetened black or green tea without the boba, but then, that's just tea. And you can get that anywhere.

    I apologize for complicating your question, rather than answering. I suck, I know.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Professor Salt

      Haha. That's OK. If it comes to that, I suppose I could just order black, tapioca on the side, and somehow smuggle in some regular evap milk or whatever.

    2. Zen Zoo (Hollywood or Brentwood) will do this for you. They mix the teas after you order so not a problem. You can also ask for less sugar, only honey or whatever. Just ask.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bite bite

        There's also a Zen Zoo on S. Beverly in Beverly Hills between Charleville & Gregory, but I'm not sure if they offer that. I've never really thought Zen Zoo was special tho.

        1. re: nancyxo

          Zen Zoo isn't special, and it's expensive, but they will do it for you. So will Au 79 in Arcadia and Tea Station (or whatever it's called, it's next to the San Gabriel Blvd.-facing entrance of the San Gabriel Superstore, corner of Valley Blvd.)

      2. I think your best bet would be to find vacuum packed boba at a Chinese market and cook it at home. There are some that are par-boiled, vacuum seal, and all you need to do is boil for 5 minutes. They will look dark and black, unlike the completely dry ones that look a little powdery and more brown.

        Professor Salt is absolutely correct that a lot of places cook the boba in a sugar water, so it will always be sweet.

        1. Green Tea Terrace will make things to order-- you have a choice of (actual) milks, sweeteners (sugar or honey, and I don't think they have agave, but the now-closed T on Fairfax did...), unsweetened-ness, etc.

          That said, the boba you'll be getting was immersed in a syrup before it was dumped into your cup of unsweetened milk tea, so it'll get sweeter.

          2 Replies
          1. re: PseudoNerd

            May try this and just tell self it's all OK. (Thanks, and thanks Pei and everybody else.)

            1. re: Cinnamon

              Try Aloha Boba in Monrovia (on Huntington where Toys R Us is). They have a large selection of teas, which they will brew to order. You can request unsweetened, with or without boba, etc.

          2. try teagarden on bev blvd.. which is moving to elixir space on melrose next month...
            great spot for this and other things