Half & Half Tea House: Strawberry, Pudding, Honey Boba Milk

Eye Candy: 4/5 Stars
Smelloscope: 2/5 Stars
Taste Test: 5/5 Stars
Wallet Breaking: $
Recommend-ability: 4/5 - Mouth Watering Goodness

I live literally two blocks away from Half & Half. Though it wasn't until recently did I go there on a semi-regular basis, mostly because my friend Kenneth is a big fan. I remember having gone there more than a year ago and thought it was totally overrated and overpriced. But I realized that was because I ordered food and the wrong drinks. That is not the reason to go to Half & Half. The one and only reason to go to this tea house is not for their tea at all, but for their milk.

It's a bit ironic for a restaurant to be named a tea house when their best and most popular item isn't even their tea. Perhaps that's why it's also named half & half for their milk products. Sure technically the place is really famous for their boba, but if it's not placed in their milk but in their tea, it's really no more impressive than what one can find at Tea Station.

(Strawberry, Pudding, Honey Boba Milk - $4.35)
Today I ordered my usual, Strawberry, Pudding, Honey Boba Milk. It was still around eighty degrees out at eight-thirty at night. I needed to get out of the house and a cool drink to chill me. The milk is blended with the ice while the strawberry syrup, pudding and honey boba sat on the bottom of the cup. Seeing a white drink always pleases me on a hot summer night, as it almost feels like I'm about to consume some snow. Although the drink really has no smell to it, I gave a smelloscope rating of 2 stars rather than a 1 because feeling the ice old drink on the top half while the bottom was still warm is a fantastically chilling yet comfortably warming experience.

Like all boba drinks, this one came with a boba sized straw to allow for the boba and the pudding to be sucked up with the milk. The first time I had this drink, I made the mistake of mixing everything together before consumption, turning the drink into more of a strawberry flavored iced milk drink. Later I realized that they syrup was meant to be drank in its dense form, and the flavors and the textures of each of the components of the drink are to be experienced separately but still in conjunction with one another. This is NOT a drink to be mixed.

In some sense this is a dessert all on its own accord eaten through a straw rather than with spoons or forks. The alternation between the sugarless iced milk, the ultra sweet syrup, the honey sweetened boba and the mild flavored pudding creates a freakish cluster of taste inside the mouth, all balancing one another. It is never too sweet as a whole to feel heavy, but the tongue was indulged in some super dense sweet sensation in the process. The pudding kept my tongue working to dissolve them, while the boba gave my teeth something to do in the process. There was something for every part of my oral senses in this drink.

Certainly for those who still cannot get over the idea of having things in your drinks will never find this treat enjoyable. But if you are open to such an experience, this is certainly a drink you mustn't pass up and try at least once. I personally prefer the San Gabriel store because I like the tall cups rather than the bowl-like cups in the Monterey Park store. The San Gabriel store also has a dine-in option where you could enjoy your drink and even some food. I however wouldn't give the same review for the food at Half & Half than this drink.

The drink is on the high end in pricing for a boba drink. But if you treat it more as a dessert, it's rather reasonable. Just be certain you work off the enormous amount of energy you would consume with this drink. Also be weary that Half & Half has the notorious reputation to be the new king of slow service in the San Gabriel Valley. That is not an easy "accomplishment" as service at drink places has always been horrifically slow to begin with. My suggestion is to get here earlier in the night before their peak hours of 9pm to 12am every night.

Half & Half Tea House

120 N San Gabriel Blvd, Ste H
San Gabriel, CA 91778

(626) 309-9387
Strawberry, Pudding, Honey Boba Milk - $4.35


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