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The Quill

The Quill

Teacher [Milk] Tea: Part 2


Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to what you’ve all been waiting for: Teacher [Milk] Tea: The Sequel! We recognize that there has been extremely high demand after our last article, which, even though it has not yet been published as of writing, has attained much fame amongst boba lovers of all ages. That combined with our own ignited curiosity about our teachers’ slays and nays when it comes to boba led us to compile this long-awaited second edition. Again, you’re welcome. New article, new tea puns. Renounce your Unitea-d States of America citea-zenship as we trade our passports to embark on an adventure to ascertain the veri-tea of our tea-chers’ favorite teas!

The Monday after Ski Week, we had the sudden epiphany of interviewing everyone’s favorite resident AP European History teacher—Mr. Meyerowitz. When we finally cornered Mr. Meyerowitz after an elusive Academic Decathlon meeting, he informed us that he was not a very experienced citizen of the boba world. However, The Quill is a very inclusive society, so we assured him that his answers would be very much appreciated and offer some well-needed diversity to our array of boba experts. And so, he began with an ominous response to whether or not he has ever had boba before: “I have, unfortunately.” Wow. What a shocking start. Mr. Meyerowitz continues this trend of being a nonconformist by proudly proclaiming “I have no idea” when it comes to his favorite milk tea drink. Would he enlighten us about his favorite topping? The answer: “A topping to boba? Isn’t boba a bottoming?” Wise rhetorical questions in character indeed. Mr. Meyerowitz reveals that his favorite milk tea shop is not an actual shop; instead, it’s when “your parents come with infinite boba even though I don’t care about boba for Lunar New Year.” We concur—infinite boba and Lunar New Year together sounds like a recipe for a multitude of happiness. He explains this event is his favorite because “I think the only time I’ve had boba is at the gymnasium for Lunar New Year at BISV.” Well, there’s definitely a first for everything! We’re glad Mr. Meyerowitz tried boba later rather than never. While he may not appreciate milk tea, his favorite drink may very well be a close relative: unsweetened iced tea. Hooray! Long live Mr. Meyerowitz and liber-tea, equali-tea, and fraterni-tea (how French!)! Mr. Meyerowitz persists on his opinionated path by proclaiming “I’m a fan of water, but not branded water like Aquafina. Like filtered water. Brita water from the container in the fridge.” We were not well versed on Brita water, but upon further research, it appears to indeed be a filter that occasionally makes its appearance in fridges. Undeniably, every conversation with Mr. Meyerowitz is bound to be an educational one! Upon consulting other assorted students, he determined that his favorite milk tea shop would have to be Costco: “I’m a big fan of Costco. Specifically the free boba samples.” We’ve never seen Costco have free boba samples, but we decided to trust Mr. Meyerowitz on this one. Costco does have boxed tapioca pearls though, the quality of which may be questionable, but at the end of the day, boba is still boba! Mr. Meyerowitz’s most multitudinous response comes with his answer to his red flags when it comes to boba: “Well, to me all boba tastes like eyeballs. Particularly squid eyeballs. Boba itself is a big red flag. I would never date a boba. Nor would my wife allow me to date a boba. Or bring a boba home. Or feed a boba to children.” Has Mr. Meyerowitz been gatekeeping his true understanding of boba? How else did he know that it tastes like squid eyeballs? How has he ever had the experience of consuming squid eyeballs? Perhaps answers can be found in the next edition of The Quill. Or maybe not. Either way, Mr. Meyerowitz demonstrates his expansive knowledge yet again by asserting that the milk tea from Tea Up, the resident BISV boba food truck, “make[s] lovely bookshelf decorations during class.” One of us may or may not be guilty of contributing to said decorations, but since they’re lovely, we’re really just maximizing the societal and visual welfare of all those around us. You’re welcome! At last, Mr. Meyerowitz concludes this interview with the hopeful statement: “In the future, can you pick a topic I know something about for your Quill article?” Consider it granted. A future interview will certainly be on a subject that Mr. Meyerowitz is an expert in, and we truly appreciate Mr. Meyerowitz’s valiant efforts to answer our extremely nuanced questions to the best of his ability. We consider his grade in AP Boba History to be passing. A round of applause to Mr. Meyerowitz, please!

While visiting Ms. Randa’s office hours to ask about our grades on a statistics exam, we decided it would be a suitable time to interview her opinion on boba. Ms. Randa didn’t seem to consider herself a milk tea expert either, but she had some insightful opinions to share with us. For starters, Ms. Randa actually doesn’t enjoy boba (the topping), preferring plain milk tea and Thai tea instead. As for toppings, she loves the cheese foam, a popular topping that may sound like a weird choice to those inexperienced in the realm of boba. Though she initially also doubted this topping, she became an avid supporter after finding it to be more of a “cream cheese” rather than something like cheddar. Specifically, she mentions a particular shop where she first discovered her love for cheese foam: “There’s a boba shop near my house, and they put cream cheese on Thai tea and it’s so good…” This shop, Tan-Cha, is her favorite milk tea store for that very reason. Ms. Randa recommends our readers visit Tan-cha and try the cream cheese Thai tea—“only if you like the sweet stuff though. If you don’t like sweet stuff then you won’t like it.” Well, you heard it! For anyone with a sweet tooth and a craving for quality milk tea, this cream cheese Thai tea at Tan-Cha is the perfect option for you. Ms. Randa also recommends Teaspoon, a popular milk tea store and one of our favorites as well. On the topic of milk tea shops, Ms. Randa describes her biggest red flag for shops, uncleanliness: “I think that’s it… that’s the only thing that will stop me from trying something.” We have to say that this is absolutely a valid concern and something we agree with. For reasons of health and safety concerns, we strongly advise everyone to visit stores practicing good hygiene, especially since you will be consuming the products they sell. As for Tea Up, Ms. Randa asserts: “Yeah, it’s ok. [Is that it?] Yeah.” Simple, concise, and straight to the point. Perhaps if Tea Up had the delicious cream cheese topping, it would land a higher rating for Ms. Randa. As a final closing statement, Ms. Randa sums up her take on milk tea: “As you said, it is an acquired taste so have people try the tea without boba before they try it with boba, since boba is weirder. So if they like the tea, like oolong or Thai, they get opened up to the concept of different types of tea, then introduce boba.” Following this method, you can surely get anyone to enjoy the great joys of drinking milk tea. And with that, our interview with Ms. Randa comes to a timely finish. But Ms. Randa had more for us. While searching for our next interview victim, she gave us a final piece of advice: “Ask Mr. Ferguson, he likes food.”

And so we did. We marched into Mr. Ferguson’s first-floor office during Period 6 lunch to interrogate him on yet another Thursday. When we broached the question of whether or not Mr. Ferguson was an experienced boba connoisseur, he answered with a resounding yes. He divulged that his all-time favorite drink is a dark-roasted oolong milk tea with pearls, preferably with fresh cream. We were surprised by this extremely detailed response, but considering the fact that Mr. Ferguson has loved boba and all its variations since the 2000s, it makes sense. However, he’s recently been on a huge matcha kick! For all the matcha lovers out there, the place with superior matcha in the Bay Area in his opinion would be Izumi Matcha: “It has the highest quality matcha, and their honey matcha latte—matcha and fresh milk and honey and you can opt for a free extra shot of matcha—is basically heaven on earth.” Mr. Ferguson likes to go with the classic boba pearl for his topping but with a caveat: “They have to be done right with the right consistency.” We definitely agree! Crunchy boba is not something either of us would like to experience. For fruit teas, he prefers either crystal boba, lychee jelly, or aloe instead of pearls for toppings. These options all provide the perfect texture to match with a cool, refreshing cup of tea. Other than Izumi Matcha, which Mr. Ferguson describes as “the best matcha in the Bay Area hands down,” Mr. Ferguson also enjoys visiting Yifang Fruit Tea and Tpumps. Yifang Fruit Tea seems to hold a very special place in Mr. Ferguson’s heart, who embraces a memory from a trip to Taiwan: “[The store is] very good but it’s nostalgic from when I went to Taiwan and did a boba tour, well not completely, but I went to five to ten boba stores in a day.” As boba connoisseurs, we wholeheartedly support this kind of lifestyle. We would indeed love to go on a “boba tour” ourselves sometime! From Yifang Fruit Tea, Mr. Ferguson recommends either the Yifang fruit tea signature or their cane sugar juice, which is simply fresh pressed cane sugar, instead of their boba, which he considers to be “kinda soft and not chewy enough.” Tpumps is a more recent favorite from Mr. Ferguson, who raves about the affordability: “Tpumps is amazing because they have a very good price when so many boba places have gotten so expensive.” Indeed, we have also noticed this recent trend of price increases for boba, possibly due to boba’s increasing popularity in the US, hence we were very grateful for this recommendation. Mr. Ferguson’s recommendations for those new to boba would be to keep it simple and just get the house milk tea with pearls and see if you like it. For those who already love boba and are looking for something out of the ordinary to try, Mr. Ferguson would recommend getting a drink with salted cheese. As big fans of salted cheese, this was something we eagerly agreed with—the slight saltiness balancing out the creamy sweetness of the milk tea is to die for. Mr. Ferguson goes full story mode, recounting the first time he had salted cheese in his boba, “[The] first time I had salted cheese was at this hole in the wall place at Happy Hollow, but they were super high quality and their salted cheese…was like having a cheesecake on milk tea…okay maybe not that but it was so creamy and thick.” Just listening to this description is enough to make anyone’s mouth water; forget your bland, dry, and crumbly everyday cheese, and go try this creamy, delicious salted cheese milk tea right now! Mr. Ferguson believes people shouldn’t be afraid to step out of their comfort zone when it comes to trying new things: “If you’re experimenting with different types of tea, don’t be afraid to try to order something you’ve never ordered before…don’t be afraid to branch out to try a different tea with different syrup and different toppings.” We then inquired Mr. Ferguson about his red flags for shops, to which he thought for a moment before saying, “This is gonna sound funny I guess, but if it doesn’t feel Asian enough…and I don’t think it’s being prejudiced or judgmental or racist at all.” He backed this controversial statement with strong supporting claims, stating “boba is an Asian drink, and I want to be in a place that feels authentic.” We’re right with you on this one, Mr. Ferguson—there’s just something about those traditional shops that you can’t find anywhere else, be it the atmosphere or that special taste only they have. Mr. Ferguson also had much to say on Tea Up. He explains, “[deep inhale and exhale] On the record I think they’re fantastic! From Tea Up, I generally don’t get their milk drinks. I will generally get their fruity drinks, because then it’s just tea and sugar, and I like the sugar syrup…and it’s not necessarily like…because I feel like some of their drinks are powdered.” He continues to elaborate, giving us a very candid take, “I got a milk tea from them one time and it was kinda low quality, so like I’m thankful we have a boba truck that comes and I hope that they keep coming because it adds a nice variety to our food truck environment, but I think that you have to go into it with the expectation that it is not the highest quality…They’re not aiming to be the highest quality, they’re aiming to be a more run-of-the-mill not very special boba place.” We express our agreement with this statement, for we can certainly think of places that sell higher-quality boba. But, as a school option, we suppose it’s just what it is. All in all, Mr. Ferguson sums up this long interview with a rather brief final comment: “Try to get out of the box if you’ve only tried Tea Up, get outside your box if you only have one drink, try something new.” 

Well, you’ve finally reached the end! Did you learn much about your teachers and the BISV staff? Are you finally motivated to try new boba drinks or visit new shops? Perhaps, you are curious about the boba opinions of teachers we haven’t interviewed yet. If so, we highly encourage you to ask them! There is much to be explored in the world of boba, and as boba connoisseurs, we are always eager for quality recommendations. This interview was full of great options, ranging from Costco boba to Izumi Matcha to Tan-Cha, each with its own merits. We sincerely hope that our passion for all things boba has reached you through these interviews, and we wish you good luck on your own boba-drinking journey!

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    Boba MeyerowitzApr 11, 2024 at 10:15 pm

    Have you considered Boba Fett? He’s an intergalactic boba mercenary with impressive martial and arms training. He also has a friend–or rival, it’s hard to say–who has a pocket-sized frog child. It’s complicated, but Disney+ does a nice job summing it up.
    Anyway, a perfectly multitudinous (and not at all suspicious) article.