If you’re around Riverside and are craving a fast and tasty boba drink, the city surprisingly has a wide variety of boba shops. Whether you desire tea, coffee or slush, all of these boba shops will satisfy your every need. Additionally, going to boba shops are a great way for students to meet new people, hang out with friends or even study for your upcoming test.

Closest to campus is 7 Leaves Cafe, a wooded minimalistic shop located in the University Village. And although this location is tucked away and faces the busy streets, it is only three minutes away from campus by car and about a 10-15 minute walk. The only downside to visiting this 7 Leaves Cafe’s location is that customers must have their parking ticket validated in order to exit the parking lot. 

Inside, the shop looked very modern with bar seating along the windows. It was very quiet, making for the perfect study spot 一 especially for those who prefer to study alone. That being said, it’s small size may not be ideal for large groups of students looking for a place to work.

Fourth-year creative writing major David Moreno had the opportunity to try the iced matcha soy latte without boba. He stated that the ice to drink ratio was perfect and that the serving size was decent. Although Moreno thought the matcha was a bit on the sweeter side, the overall flavor was “earthy and delicious.” However, third-year political science major  Amaray Alvarez had a different experience with the taro milk tea and believed that her drink tasted quite powdery. 

Up next is Sharetea, which is also at the University Village right across the parking lot from 7 Leaves Cafe. When you first enter, you automatically see the Sharetea logo on the left side of the wall and in the far left corner, the wall is decorated with big flowers going up to the edge of the roof. You automatically hear a wide variety of music, such as pop, K-pop and R&B when you first walk in. Even better, as opposed to 7 Leaves Cafe, Sharetea offers a bigger seating area which is more suitable for larger study groups. 

Third-year political science and administrative studies major Madison Rheins ordered the winter melon iced tea with boba. She recommends getting half sugar since the tea itself was on the sweeter side. And although she expressed that the flavor of the tea was tasty, Sharetea’s boba was not a fit for Rheins’ liking as she believed that the boba was “too chewy” and would opt for getting a jelly topping next time.

Ding Tea, which is found down the street from the University Village, had a pretty large selection of teas and milk teas. Although the store is unable to allow indoor seating, Ding Tea had a very warm vibe with its artsy design and welcoming staff. The store name was painted in cursive on top of the wall, and the leaves and flowers were also painted around the logo. They also had mirrors hanging on the walls for customers to take pictures with their friends and families. 

I had the opportunity to try the passion fruit green tea with boba in a large cup, and it was delicious! The boba itself was not too hard nor too soft, and the tea was super refreshing. I asked for half sweet and half ice as I was expecting it to be a little on the sweeter side. However, I was surprised by how perfect the ice and sweetness ratio was. The passion fruit syrup was not overpowering since I was able to get a good mix of the green tea and syrup. 

Unfortunately, Ding Tea is not the best place to study or hang out for long hours as the store is still unavailable for indoor dining. If customers want to chat with their friends or families, they would have to either sit in their car or stand outside of the store.

UCR has plenty of boba shops outside of campus for students who enjoy looking for new boba shops to try! Although there has yet to be a boba shop on campus, students have a wide variety to choose from that are super close to school.