A new boba spot, 723 Tea Station, has recently joined Berkeley’s large pearl milk tea community. 723 Tea Station is located inside Sather Lane at 2431 B Durant Ave. The creative name comes from the owners’ wishes to open at 7 a.m. each morning — in order to provide breakfast and a place to study — and close at 11 p.m. (23:00 military time) each evening.
The family business is run by Sandi, Hansen and their children, who emigrated from Taiwan in 2008 with the hope of starting a restaurant line like they had in Taiwan. The family would go on to establish a restaurant and food-distribution center in Newark, California. And now, they’ve brought a tea shop to Berkeley that offers 100-percent-natural ingredients in all the drinks.
There are no artificial flavors or sweeteners in the milk or fruit-tea drinks at 723 Tea Station. The milk teas are made purely from an assortment of tea leaves — such as assam tea leaves from India and jasmine tea leaves from China — and whole milk. They do not make their milk teas from special powders and sweetened condensed milk like other pearl milk tea places do.
When we first took a sip from our green milk tea, it tasted incredibly refreshing, with a sweetened-milk taste we had never experienced in any other milk teas.
The wide variety of fruit-tea drinks ranges from calamansi green teas to mango black teas, all at a very affordable price. 723 Tea Station guarantees they serve 100-percent-fruit juice. We decided to try the passion fruit green tea, which consisted of 98 percent passion fruit juice and 2 percent lemon juice. It wasn’t too sugary and the fruit flavor was potent. However, we recommend that you ask for 50-percent sugar if you want a lighter taste. All in all, the pearls were chewy, not too sweet and complemented the drink very well.
Along with that, we decided to try the crispy chicken bento box and the fried cuttlefish balls. The crispy chicken bento box was delicious and fried without being too oily. It came out in fewer than 10 minutes, so it’s a great order for someone on a tight schedule. The cuttlefish balls are a great snack to take on the go, especially with a little salt, pepper and red chili pepper powder. There were many other food items and snacks on the menu, such as takoyaki, seaweed pancakes and the gyudon (beef with onion) bento box.
723 Tea Station offers free Wi-Fi and plenty of bar and table seats for students to sit and eat, do homework or talk with their friends. Sandi and Hansen also provide a bulletin board welcoming students, faculty and club members to put up flyers for fundraisers or showcase specific works of achievement.
Because 723 Tea Station is still in its soft opening phase, it will be adding more items — such as a ginger pork bento box — to its menu in the future.
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