I was excited to head up to SLO for an event at Cal Poly. We usually get to go to a lot of interesting university towns, and I had actually already been to SLO on a previous trip down the Pacific Coast Highway. However, I hadn’t ever really experienced the town, beyond grabbing some tri-tip and ice cream. So, with that in mind, I set out to try to get a bit more of the local flavor on this trip.
However, I was disappointed to hear the Cal Poly students reply when I asked if there was any good boba around… “none”. This was obviously a crisis. I mean, we’re in California, the Golden Boba State, and there’s no good boba? So I kept asking around, and most people mentioned that Milk in It was a new place and was better than the other options around.
I thought it was pretty good, actually!
- Location – is the area nice? Where is the shop?
Milk in It is located in a fairly busy shopping complex/strip mall near Cal Poly. I don’t really know much about the layout of SLO, but it seemed pretty close to the action. The center felt fresh and had some good stores in it, and the shop (having just recently opened) was also pretty new.
- Ambiance – how does the shop feel inside? Is it quiet or lively? How crowded is it?
The shop was pretty small inside, and felt a little cramped. It didn’t seem designed for you to stay inside, and the kitchen area was pretty large. I don’t think you’d be able to study here. There was a bench near the cash register for you to sit on and wait.
- Friendliness – are the staff polite and helpful?
The counter girl was friendly and helpful. I was ordering for a few different people, and they were out of one of the drinks we wanted. I asked for her recommendation that was closest to that flavor (passionfruit) and she suggested the peach, which ended up being a success.
- Other information – does the shop have a credit card minimum or other payment considerations?
I didn’t notice a credit card minimum.
I ordered a classic milk tea at normal sweetness and ice level.
- Texture – is the drink thicker or thinner? How does it feel in the mouth?
The drink was a bit thinner, but still had a good consistency. The texture didn’t coat my mouth as much as some recent drinks I had had.
- Flavor – is the drink more milk forward or tea forward? Is there a good balance? Is it a powder-based drink? Any interesting flavor notes?
Admittedly, it’s been a while, but I remember the flavor being present, but not overpowering. In comparison to other drinks I’ve had, I found this one pretty midrange. The flavor was nothing to write home about.
- Boba quality – what size are the boba? Are they well-cooked? How chewy are they? Are they flavored with honey or any other sweeteners? Is the flavor good?
The boba were chewy but ultimately not that interesting. I think they were a bit on the blander side, but still cooked well and definitely competent.
- Drink-to-boba ratio – is there enough boba for the size of the drink?
The ice for this drink was crushed, which isn’t my first choice for boba ice, but the boba itself were definitely enough. I think I had a few left over afterwards.
- Appearance – is the drink nice looking? How is the packaging?
The cup was a standard boba cup with a sticker, and they had a clear plastic top for the drink. It was a bit flimsy, but nice to see a custom branding.
I felt bad for SLO residents once I heard there was no good boba, but I’m happy to report that this place is actually fairly competent and pretty good overall. No, it’s not top-tier, but it’s a lot better than having to drive to LA to get anything resembling good boba.