In the past, Barcode was our go-to for pearl tea, so we never bothered to pay attention to the new pearl tea shops that popped up. After Barcode closed, the time for complacency was over. Since then, my sister and I have been on a quest to try all the pearl tea shops within reasonable (and not so reasonable) driving distance from our house.
Our search led us to Tea Island. Located inside Marina Supermarket, Tea Island is tucked in the corner of the grocery store by the stacks of bags of rice:
On our first trip, we got the basics. Milk tea with grass jelly and lychee black tea:
Not bad, not bad.
Like most other pearl tea places these days, Tea Island lets you decide how sweet you want your drink and how much ice you want in it. What sets Tea Island apart are the additional options of how milky you want your drink and even more importantly, how strong you want your tea.
Tea strength is key. I love how you can ask for extra strong tea.
My sister and I have since returned to Tea Island a couple more times. We've each figured out our ideal tea composition. While my sister likes her tea with half sugar, I prefer mine at full sweetness. We don't really touch the milkiness, but we're adamant about getting our pearl tea with no ice and of course, extra strong tea.
Most drinks will set you back $2.99. If you decide to add tapioca pearls or jelly, be prepared to add to the total cost. Different toppings cost different amounts, so if that matters to you, keep an eye out.
And bring cash, because that's all they accept.
I really like Tea Island. It's doesn't try to be fancy or gimmicky. It's good pearl tea, plain and simple. Not just that, you can get extra strong tea! Which, again, is key.
46196 Warm Springs Blvd
Fremont, CA 94539