One of the kids I work with at my little grocery store walks home from North Beach to the TL (tenderloin) every night and if we get out of work before 1 am the Yoogo Gelato shop will still be open so he can stop for bubble tea on his way home. I remember seeing bubble tea years ago when I worked elsewhere in the city but I had never had it. Lately we haven't been finishing our work until about 2 am so RC has had to go without his bubble tea. I told him for weeks that the first night we could get done at 1am I would take him to get tapioca drinks. About 3 weeks ago we managed to finish at 12:30am so we headed out to china town for our bubble tea.
The Yoogo Gelato is on a corner that made a very interesting picture. Four of us sat in a gelato spot drinking bubble tea while drunk reviliers wandered around broadway and columbus. I wish i could have taken a picture of everyone having such an innocent moment with the neon of the strip clubs in the background. This story is even more of a heart-warmer is you knew RC. He has lived in the Tenderloin for most of his life if not all of it. He has limited experiences outside of the city. He is our youngest employee and he is constantly happy. Sweets make him the happiest. A piece of cake will make him estatic. I love it when he works the same night crew as me. His attitude makes the worst nights fun.
Bubble tea like any new experience can be a little overwhelming. The sheer amount of flavors was more of a decision than I could take. So RC recommended the basic milk tea. It turned out to be a black tea with a sweetened milk. Had a very similar taste to Thai iced tea. I don't know how they seal the little cups but there is a foil seal on the top that you have to puncture wih an enormous straw. It takes a very fluid movement or you will be wearing a little bit of your drink.
I doubt I would pick up bubble tea on my own but it was a great night and fun to try something new with someone that obviously loved it.