Of all the pearl tea places we've tested out since Barcode closed, Chatime seems to be T's favorite:
We tend to only go after dark. The parking lot isn't the most well lit, which adds to the sketchy as hell feel of the plaza, but Chatime itself is very...purple:
We've been back quite a few times now and the people behind the counter have always been super friendly. In fact, there's one girl that we see most often who is super chipper and cute and we all love her.
I'm not the most adventurous when it comes to pearl tea. My usual drink of choice is a plain old pearl milk tea. Once in a while, I go a little crazy and get a lychee black tea or a smoothie, but only when the mood strikes.
I've tried the lychee black tea at Chatime, but was burned by the experience. The tea was incredibly bitter, unpalatably so. Since then, I've stuck with the tried and true pearl milk tea ($3.50 for a medium sized cup):
T loves the grass jelly at Chatime, which is why she's such a fan of the place. Me? I'm kind of meh about it. The tea is a bit on the sweet side, so I usually ask for 70% sugar. The tea is also a bit on the watery side, but not too bad. The pearls are so-so as well. (Though I recently tried their taro milk tea and that was pretty brilliant. Made with real taro. None of that bright purple stuff.)
All in all, not my favorite pearl tea in the world, but I go back because of T and because of that nice girl behind the counter. But now that Gong Cha has opened walking distance from my house and a Sharetea is opening in the near future, we'll probably be going to Chatime less and less.
It's been good, Chatime, but better alternatives are coming soon!
311 N Capitol Ave
San Jose, CA 95133