Boba Time at Ni Hao Tea

May 2, 2022

My friend and I both decided that we would go get something fresh and sweet one sunny Sunday morning. We both decided that we want some boba because we both love the scrumptious taste from the boba beverages. Boba consists of chewy balls that are made from tapioca flowers, flour and brown sugar. Boba drinks usually contain tea, milk, ice, chewy boba balls along with many other delicious ingredients. Everything adds together in a masterpiece of a deliciousness. We both wanted to try ‘Ni Hao Tea’ after hearing many great things about how they truly know how satisfy their customers to the fullest.

Great mix of teas, slushies, smoothies, and atmosphere

We first went up to order our beverages. I ordered a coffee frappe with boba full sweetener and whipped cream. Boba beverages comes in various different style such as milk tea, black tea, fruit tea, fruit smoothies, Frappuccino boba, etc. They can also adjust their sweet level as well. Full sweetener means that they make the beverage to its’ fullest sweetness. Customers can either ask for less sweet or extra sweet in their boba beverages. My friend ordered a passion fruit green tea with extra ice and boba.

As they prepared our orders, we went around, observing the shop itself. There are ceiling hanging lights and a lot of relaxing seats for customers. The atmosphere was chill and we observed several customers working on laptops. Even though the sofas aren’t the main attraction of the shop, they enhance the shop’s relaxed environment. Usually a tea shop really just have some simple wooden chairs and tables but this place elevates the experience for their customers to another level as they can comfortably sit and enjoy their boba beverage.

Our drinks were ready in five minutes. We were very impressed with their quality of the beverage recipes. Their boba recipes included freshly made boba and different types of tea packed with various flavoring. The fast pace they were working at was truly remarkable  as our boba beverages were made very fast but completely has everything we asked for in it! The staff was getting extremely busy with a lot of customers walking in as it was approaching the afternoon ‘snack’ hour which was roughly around 4:00 P.M.

Passing the taste test

My coffee frappe with full sweetener with whipped cream and boba was great —  sweet but not crazy sweet — and I was able to taste their coffee. On top of that, their boba was very chewy and smooth, a perfect texture. I tried my friend’s passion fruit green tea with extra ice and boba. Wow! The boba was well cooked, not too soggy or soft, not too hard, and we could actually taste the tea!

Cultural authenticity

We spoke with one of the staff members named Aubrilyn. We had a wonderful time learning more about the history and the shop beliefs that goes into their ‘artwork’ of making boba drinks. We discovered that the owner of this boba shop, Kim, really emphasized the importance of keeping all the boba beverages as culturally authentic as possible. This impressed me as many non-American food and drink establishments tend to modify their flavors to appeal to American tastebuds. Ni Hao Tea, on other hand, seeks authenticity along with great taste — for me a good reason to keep coming back.


Thy Le is a freshman majoring in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Arizona.