With the countless number of tea houses in the San Gabriel Valley, one can sensibly assume that boba milk tea has become an integral part of Asian-American culture. The Alley, one of the many tea houses, advertises their tapioca balls as freshly prepared and made from scratch. What makes them stand out from their competitors is that they also process their own tea leaves in order to retain the distinct flavor of their tea.
When I arrived at The Alley, I was fascinated by the potent aroma of the boba and the modern interior: the decor encompassed natural elements such as wooden floors and an indoor tree. Furthermore, the minimalistic designs and neutral colors imparted a sense of comfort in the small shop.
I took a glance at the menu and noticed that each drink ranged from $4.50 to $7.50. Among all the peculiar drink names, such as The Alley Assam Milk Tea and Iron Goddess Milk Tea, the one that seemed to speak to me the most was the Matcha Brown Sugar Deerioca Milk. Since I have tasted numerous matcha drinks before, I was interested to see how The Alley’s matcha would compare to other boba shops.
The total came up to $6, which is rather overpriced for a 500 millimeter drink. I was rather shocked by the outcome, because the price was higher than that of standard tea houses, which is usually around $4.25.
From the first sip, I instantly knew that this drink was unparalleled to all other matcha drinks I have tried. The matcha offered a delicate, yet not overwhelming sweetness that complemented the richness of the tapioca balls. However, the dominating factor that made the Matcha Brown Sugar Deerioca Milk so unique was the chewy consistency and soft texture of the boba. The pearl-shaped tapioca ball delivered satisfaction with each bite.
Overall, The Alley is an unconventional boba shop that provides hand-made, quality tapioca balls. In spite of the high prices, customers are paying an equitable amount for the extra quality; it is definitely worth the cost for those looking for somewhere new to try.