Cuisine with Aileen: Riveting Redlands Boba

Editor’s Column

Aileen Janee is the REV CEO for Ethic News.


National boba day was recently celebrated April 30, 2023, and in honor of such a day, I have compiled all of the boba stores in Redlands.

  1. Hoji

What started as a small stall during the Redlands Farmers Market has now grown into a building by a local gelato spot: Happy Camper Creamery. Taking a guess, the name of the tea shop came from roasted japanese matcha green tea: Hojicha.

The interior of the shop is very small with enough space for a few chairs and their kitchen. Alongside selling boba, Hoji also sells ceramics.

Hoji has handmade boba with Kokuto, Okinawan black sugar.

During my first visit my sister and I bought the Salted Thai with boba and Rose Hojicha with boba, and I bought the Hojicha with sea cream and boba for $5.50. The sweetness level of the drinks can be adjusted, and even though all of these drinks had 100% sweetness they were not too sweet. For those who don’t know, sea cream is simply a whipped cream with salt added.

When I first got my drink, I could not see the boba balls in the cup, but after a few sips, I realized that they simply made clear boba. Their boba is handmade and they call it Kokuto boba; although it didn’t have much flavor, it did have a great chew.

In my opinion, the sea cream was not salty enough and the Kokuto boba did not have much flavor, which is reasonable because the boba isn’t necessarily advertised as sweetened. On the upside the rose Hojicha had a nice floral flavor and the Hojicha with sea cream had an excellent smoky flavor. I had not previously tried Hojicha tea with boba before, but I’m glad to have my first experience with Hoji.

Hoji does not have a website, but they do have an instagram page and yelp. They are open Sundays and Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12 PM to 8 PM.

721 Nevada St #406, Redlands, CA 92373

  1. Chaca Tea Bar

Chaca Tea Bar is a Redlands original boba shop and loved by many Redlands residents. Chaca Tea Bar is located near an Albertson’s and Indian food place called Naan Cafe. If one buys something from Naan Cafe, they can show their receipt to Chaca to get a 5% discount. Inside, Chaca has plenty of tables fit for working or hanging out inside of the shop; there is also a restroom available for customers.

Every Monday, the shop has a $1 drink that is a flavored green tea; the pricing does not include toppings, so one drink with boba would cost $1.50 for a 16 ounce drink. Chaca Tea Bar has their drinks in multiple sizes: 16 ounces which is regular and the only size for hot drinks, 24 ounces which is large and 32 ounces which is extra large.

I went to Chaca on a Monday so I ordered two Monday’s Specials, which was a honeydew green tea, for a total of $3.25.

The tea had just the right amount of sweetness, and the boba had a sweet honey flavor and I could still feel its warmth through the cup. For only $1.50 each, it was a most excellent cup of boba tea.

Chaca Tea Bar does not have a website, but they do have an instagram page and are on yelp. Their hours are 11 AM to 9:30 PM on Sundays to Saturdays.

700 E Redlands Blvd R-1, Redlands, CA 92373 

  1. Sharetea

Located in the heart of Mountain Grove and next to the Meek House, Share Tea is a great spot if you are craving a sweet or tea drink. Share Tea is a branch, so it has multiple locations all across the world. 

There are a few tables inside which are ideal for studying and a few tables outside which are ideal for chilling. The store also has a restroom for customers.

I bought the brewed green tea for $4.55 with boba, which added 75 cents. The sweetness and ice levels can be adjusted, so I got 100% sweetness and regular ice level.

After texting the code at the bottom of your receipt to the number 73752, you can earn points to get a free drink.

The tea and boba are great if you are simply looking for a quick drink. All in all, Sharetea is your average boba shop for a cup of good tea and boba. Their hours are 11 AM to 9:30 PM from Sundays to Thursdays but are 11 AM to 10 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

27471 San Bernardino Ave Suite 100, Redlands, CA 92374

  1. Teaport

Teaport is also a boba shop that opened in the past year. The name of the store is a play on the word airport. According to their website, their only other location besides Redlands is in San Dimas.

There are a few tables inside the store where one can study or chill while waiting for their order, and the shop has a restroom for customers to use.

I have tried multiple drinks from Teaport: White Tiger, White Jasmine, Brown Tiger, and a jasmine tea. All of their drinks are 24 ounces.

In my opinion, their tea is too sweet, but their boba has a good flavor and chew; although, the organic, iced jasmine green tea had just the right amount of sweetness.

Teaport has a website, but their prices are not accurate to what the drinks are charged in-store. Teaport’s hours are from 11 AM to 7 PM from Mondays to Saturdays but are 11 AM to 6 PM on Sundays.

410 Orange St, Redlands, CA 92374

  1. Kung Fu Tea

Located next to Stater Brothers’ and Domino’s and just a walk away from the 10, Kung Fu Tea recently opened in Redlands. Kung Fu Tea is also a chain boba shop so you can find their shop in the US, Canada, Cambodia, Taiwan and Japan.

Inside of the boba shop, there are plenty of tables and a restroom available for customers to use.

When I went to Kung Fu Tea, I got a medium Kung Fu milk green tea with boba, 50% sweetness, and less ice. The boba had a great chew and sweet flavor, and having the 50% sweetness enabled me to have a subtle sweet flavor while still being able to taste the tea which was creamy and flavorful. 

Kung Fu Tea has an instagram page specifically for Redlands and a website. Their hours are Sunday through Saturday from 11 AM to 9 PM.

107 E Colton Ave Suite 200, Redlands, CA 92374

  1. Viva La Boba

In order to advertise their coming, Viva La Boba already has a banner on top of the closed Banned skate shop. The banner includes Viva La Boba’s instagram. Viva La Boba has another location in San Bernardino which mixes Mexican and Taiwanese flavors for their drinks. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News Photo)

Viva La Boba is a shop that is beginning construction in the closed down skateshop across the street from Trader Joe’s and Teaport.

They have fresh, milk and hot teas, coffees, slushies, smoothies, specialty lattes, specialty drinks and hot chocolates. As for toppings, Viva La Boba offers a variety including boba, sea foam slated cream, tajin and chamoy.

Viva La Boba’s other location is in San Bernardino, and they do have an instagram page and website. Their San Bernardino location’s hours are Monday through Sunday, 11 AM to 10 PM.

455 W 4th St, San Bernardino, CA 9240

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