Spreading their delicacies through cup, straw and chewy tapioca balls, pearl milk tea goliaths Tapioca Express and Verde Tea Cafe monopolize downtown Mountain View. The Talon investigates the ongoing battle between the two shops.
Tapioca Express offers a wide-ranged menu but is best known for its pearl milk teas. Located on 740 Villa St. in downtown Mountain View, Tapioca Express offers customers “boba” drinks and Taiwanese snacks.
Tapioca Express doesn’t hold back with its bright orange walls and royal blue accents, providing customers with a delightfully tacky setting. Although not as spic-and-span as a five-star restaurant, bar tables and regular café seating are readily available, accompanied by rotating chairs, a flatscreen TV and a lighted study area with electrical outlets.While most visitors order the pearl tea drink, the extensive menu offered by Tapioca Express can be intimidating for a first-timer. Depending on acquired taste, customers may or may not enjoy the drink-to-tapioca ball ratio, and should place their order accordingly.
Both criticized and praised for the sweetness of its drinks, Tapioca Express’s pearl milk teas are more milk-based and sweeter than those served at Verde.
Verde Tea Cafe
Just down the street from Tapioca Express, Verde Tea Cafe is located on 852 Villa
St., offering customers a menu almost identical to that of Tapioca Express.
Verde Tea Cafe provides a more sophisticated atmosphere, and is well-equipped with bar seating and booth tables to accommodate larger parties. More of a true café setting, Verde Tea is well-maintained and seems to attract a more diverse crowd.
Verde Tea Cafe boasts a menu with several variations on “boba” drinks as well. Pearl milk teas can be purchased for the cheaper price of $2.75, with the serving cup larger than those served at Tapioca Express.
Although Tapioca Express seems to attract a large youth crowd, Verde Tea’s pearl milk teas don’t fall below the bar set by Tapioca Express. Frothier and creamier, Verde’s pearl milk teas are definitely worth the trip, and some swear that Tapioca Express fails to compare.
While Verde Tea Café is best known for its pearl milk tea drinks, it also serves coffee and Taiwanese snacks. Verde doesn’t disappoint with either its drink or food menu items.
From the ashes of Downtown Mountain View, the victor is Verde Tea Cafe. Tapioca is great for PMT virgins, but true quality tea and tapioca comes from Verde.