Over the past three months since my mom’s stroke, she’s been in a transitional care facility in Glendora. She’s going home soon — yay! — which means I won’t be patronizing restaurants in the area much longer. This is no big tragedy, as most of them aren’t great. But there’s one I will definitely go out of my way to hit, and that’s Tea Bar, an easy-to-miss boba tea shop in a strip mall near Azusa Pacific University.
What makes Tea Bar stand out in this college town filled with boba? Well, the first time I walked in, I ordered the rose grapefruit green tea because I love the flavors of rose and red grapefruit. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Tea Bar uses freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
This makes all the difference between a run-of-the-mill iced tea and a superb one. Seriously, every time I’m about to visit my mom, I start thinking about getting a rose grapefruit green tea. Does this make me an addict? Probably.
But I try not to feel guilty about this treat because fresh grapefruit juice is filled with vitamin C, and green tea has antioxidants. I always ask for no sugar. (At Tea Bar, like most boba shops, you can specify the sweetness level of any drink.) The grapefruit juice gives this iced tea a tartness that some people may find too intense, but I personally love it. I always say the American diet needs less sweet, more sour.
By the way, the non-dairy milk options aren’t great at Tea Bar; they only have soy milk. But after tasting the rose grapefruit green tea, I was so in love that I really couldn’t care less about trying their milk teas.
You can also add boba to all their drinks, of course. Tea Bar’s boba pearls are made in-house, which makes them good but also means they tend to run out often. No problem — the tea is so fantastic that adding boba to it is like drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
TEA BAR, 954 E. Alosta Ave, Azusa, CA 91702
(Coming soon to Downtown Los Angeles)