About to give credit where it's due.
In the five years I’ve lived in the Bay Area and the three years in which we’ve been running this blog, I’ve raved about a lot of boba shops, written a lot of recipes inspired by my favorite drinks at those shops, and paid tribute to those joints on “top boba shops of the year” lists. There’s one huge player in this space that influenced bubble tea from mainstream status to…I don’t know…super stardom status? They have a national and international influence that’s undeniable. Let’s just say that.
Boba Guys. There is virtually no boba fan, visiting San Francisco, that wouldn’t want to visit this bubble tea powerhouse. But I have to be honest, I never voluntarily or enthusiastically take visitors here. If you follow this blog enough, you’ll know that I often emphasize the importance of balance beyond good ingredients, and I just find that Boba Guys often misses the balance mark for me. I had given it three chances over the years, trying the Hong Kong milk tea, horchata, and black milk tea, and honestly, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Until I visited Boba Bliss, a far East Bay joint, where I had my first strawberry matcha latte. I had seen this drink on Instagram for many years and always thought it weird. How can strawberry and matcha possibly come together? But oh man…it was good.
So for the fourth time I tried Boba Guys, where the OG Strawberry Matcha Latte was born. The SML (yes, it deserves its own acronym just as the PSL and BBT/PMT do) was gooooood. BG adopts the horchata as their signature drink, but I think it’s this red-green Christmas lookin’ concoction that’s their real trademark.
Tastes like a matcha latte with complex undercurrents of strawberry fields. I made this at home, and hope you can enjoy this for Mother’s Day during this new season of strawberries.
A note on matcha brands & grades:
For full disclosure, I haven’t tried any matcha powders available in the US that I liked before I went off to Japan to purchase it from the source.
If there is a Tsujiri or Matcha Cafe Maiko in your North American city, purchase their matcha! Matcha Cafe Maiko ships a ceremonial grade on Amazon.
If you ever make it to Tokyo’s Tsukiji market, visit Matcha Maruni Stand and snag a few bags! They seem to also be able to ship to the states via their website.Otherwise, a search through Amazon convinces me that Naoki would have been a great option judging by their varieties of ceremonial matcha from Uji, the capitol matcha city of Japan. For any consumption other than pure tea, like lattes, smoothies, or pastries, it’s recommended to use culinary grade. For lattes, my choice would be Naoki’s Creative Culinary Blend.
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