New spot hits Riverside boba scene

Angelli Ong, front, a Riverside City College student and barista, squeezes lemons as Daniel Lee, back, store manager, works behind her at Kung Fu Tea in Riverside on Sept. 29. (Erik Galicia | Viewpoints)
By Stephanie Arenas

What started off as a small business in the heart of Queens, New York has transformed into a large brand with over 200 locations.

Kung Fu Tea is the hip new spot for people of  all ages to get an assortment of teas, espressos and milk-based boba drinks.

Riverside has had a severe lack of boba places in certain areas. Most importantly, the Riverside Plaza.

That was until this year, when Kung Fu Tea finally opened a store in Riverside.

They opened in May, but I decided to wait it out a bit to allow the business to find its groove. Now that it’s September, I figured it was the perfect time to give them a shot.

When I entered the store for the first time, I was blown away by the hot air that was building up inside.

I thought that since Kung Fu Tea mainly specialized in cold drinks, the store would be better ventilated. But this was not the case.

While there were two portable air conditioners plugged into the walls, that did not stop the store from feeling so stuffy inside.

I did not let that stop me, however, and continued on.

Fortunately, the store seemed to be following social distancing orders. All the employees were wearing masks, sanitized their stations and had hand sanitizer within reach for customers.

Most importantly, they enforced the six feet apart requirement for customers.

Kung Fu Tea is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Central and De Anza avenues. (Julian Navarro | Viewpoints)

Then came the next step of the experience — What to order?

They have a wide assortment of items from milk teas to punch to yogurts and so much more. It was a tough decision.

I eventually ended up settling for a large honey oolong milk tea with boba. A nice employee named La offered me a free sample of their mango jelly while I waited for my drink.

“People always come in here and order the boba,” La said. “I give them free samples sometimes to let them try other things.”

The mango jelly was sweet and fruity. It is basically what you expect a mango flavored Jell-O to taste like.

My drink was finally ready, it took no more than five minutes. I picked it up and headed outside to the dining area.

I was blown away by the variety of flavors when I took my first sip. It started out sweet from the honey, then became a bit earthy because of the oolong tea. Finally, it ran down smoothly because of the milk.

The boba had a nice chewy consistency. Most places have boba that are hard or disintegrate in your mouth. Kung Fu Tea’s was perfect.

Overall, I was satisfied with my experience. Kung Fu Tea followed social distancing orders, had nice customer service and most importantly — had amazing drinks!

This will now be my go to spot for boba drinks.

Kung Fu Tea is located at 3678 Central Ave. Suite B and is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

One response to “New spot hits Riverside boba scene

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