The Boba Guys with their latest concoctions. [Photo: Boba Guys]
After lending their tea stylings to the temporarily shuttered Suika, Andrew Chau and Bin Chen, otherwise known as the Boba Guys, are planning to open a tea spot of their own nearby, in the former Chamalyn space at 19th and Valencia. Boba Guys Milk Tea & Snack Bar will feature the pair's signature milk tea drinks (made from real tea and milk, as opposed to powder, which many other shops use), with boba and add-ons like almond jelly and aloe, as well as a variety of milk (including soy and almond milk). Though their base tea is a black Assam blend, they'll also offer custom drinks with other teas, like chamomile-mint, on request. The "snack" part of the equation is slated to include Hong Kong-style condensed milk toast made with local brioche and a milk tea custard from Frozen Kuhsterd.
Chau and Chen were regulars at Chamalyn during their time working at nearby Timbuk2, and when owner May Lynn Chan decided to close the place after eight years in business, they not only snapped up the space, but most of the shop's assets as well. Though Chau says they're planning to continue Chan's reputation for top-notch customer service, the look of the space is going to become more minimalistic (he cited Japanese chain Muji, which recently opened its first West Coast location in SOMA, as an inspiration). He's also considering adding a retail component, with Boba Guys' custom blend for sale alongside teas from the likes of Five Mountains. "Tea is the next coffee, and we want to lead the tea revolution and make tea accessible," says Chau. Forecast for opening: March.
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