3.19.2013

TPumps

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The boba tea craze is still alive and kicking, at least on Irving St.  TPumps's second location (the first is in San Mateo) has cause quite a commotion in this Asian-centric area that is already home to a handful of other boba spots (Teaway Express, Quickly, iCrave). 

Some differences at TPumps is the customization of your teas.  Almost like a Starbucks take on a milk tea, they ask you a dizzying array of questions, but don't worry the average 30 minute wait in line will give you some time to think over the options.  How to order a tea at TPumps: 1).  What size - Tpumps size (regular) or Pumpbo size (large); 2).  What tea - milk tea, flavor tea, smooth, or hot tea; 3).  Pick a flavor from the menu.  3a).  You can combo the teas - ex: strawberry tea and mango tea.  4).  How sweet - less sweet, regular, sweet.  5).  What type of boba - popping boba (strawberry, mango, lychee, passion), regular boba, red bean, or taro.  5a).  You can combo these as well - ex: add both lychee popping boba and mango popping boba. Then proceed to wait anywhere from 5 min to what seems like infinitely forever for your drink.

I had heard the lines can get pretty ridiculous here as well as their San Mateo location.  I thought I had gotten lucky when I saw there was only 15 people in line, but it still took me over 30 minutes from start to drink in hand.  They do brew the teas fresh in small coffee pots so that probably adds to the wait time.  The average age group seems to be jr high to high school so it must be the new "it" place. 

A combination of coconut milk tea and mango milk tea (Tpumps size), less sweet, popping boba (lychee flavor).  This is the first I've ever heard of popping boba.  I thought it would be similar to Gushers fruit candy, but its actually closer to ikura (salmon roe).  After the boba pops, you are left with the outside layer in your mouth that sits for a bit before it melts away.  I was over it pretty quick.  The drink was smooth and lightly sweet.  It had more mango flavor than the coconut.  I barely tasted the coconut at all.

Tpumps size - Lychee and honeydew smooth with passion popping boba, regular sweetness.  This was way too sweet for me.  I could barely take a couple sips.  Not really sure if I would come back right now, maybe when the line goes down.  A minimum 30 minute wait for boba tea is a little much even for a food person like myself.

       
Address:                    Tpumps
                                   1916 Irving St.
                                   San Francisco, CA
 
Type:                          coffee & tea/Asian

Popular chomps:       taro milk tea
                                   lychee milk tea
                                   popping boba
                                   almond milk tea

Chomp worthy:          nothing   

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