We try to rate bubble tea shops based on a couple of criteria. Our goal is to review both the shop (interior design, staff friendliness, suitability for studying/meetings/etc) and their drinks (boba quality, sweetness, flavor, etc).
In order to keep the reviews as consistent as possible, we always order the same drink – a basic black milk tea with boba. I’ll adjust sweetness or ice level depending on the store’s recommendations or my own observations. Since I’m lactose intolerant, I’ll always note if the drink contains actual milk or non-dairy creamer (which generally does not contain lactose, but it is dairy, so dairy allergies will still want to stay away).
- Location – is the area nice? Where is the shop?
- Ambiance – how does the shop feel inside? Is it quiet or lively? How crowded is it?
- Friendliness – are the staff polite and helpful?
- Other information – does the shop have a credit card minimum or other payment considerations?
- Texture – is the drink thicker or thinner? How does it feel in the mouth?
- 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?
- 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?
- Drink-to-boba ratio – is there enough boba for the size of the drink?
- Appearance – is the drink nice looking? How is the packaging?
I’ll rate a drink on these categories using words, but then I’ll try to sum up the overall rating of the drink on a scale of 1-10. I’ll also try to place the drink in a category based on a letter rating system.