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3491 19th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
USA

415-967-2622

We grew up drinking milk tea and to this day are still obsessed about it. We started Boba Guys as a way to share the milk tea we remember from our childhood (only this time with fresh ingredients; none of the powdered stuff).

We use only the finest ingredients: Straus Family Creamery organic milk accompanied with homebrewed heirloom organic tea from Five Mountains. Our syrup and almond jelly is homemade and we use Grade A balls. (We just like saying that. )

Boba Guys Blog

The Story of The Tea Fresca

Bin Chen

All summer we’ve been serving up iced drinks (our ice machines can barely keep up)! With the hotter months here (not that San Francisco really knows what hot means), iced drinks are in demand and our tea frescas are the perfect solution. Currently, our house made fruit purees flavors are strawberry and mango. Try our refreshing strawberry jasmine tea-fresca: equal parts strawberry puree and iced jasmine tea. Or try our newest (and definitely prettiest) creation, the layered mango matcha tea fresca: rich mango puree, topped with organic premium grade matcha! 

For now, let us tell you a little about how we came up with our line of tea frescas:

We’re a company that’s always getting our hands messy and experimenting: sourcing new teas and ingredients, testing new drink concepts and mixing new flavors. Our experiments often become our biggest menu hits like the horchata boba: the highest quality of sweet rice milk, cinnamon, vanilla, sugar and a splash of rich organic whole milk. All of which gives a nod to the numerous taquerias in the Mission and with a heaping scoop of boba, it still sticks to our Asian roots. You can order it “dirty,” with a shot of espresso or cold brew and it gives a nod to the artisanal coffee world of San Francisco too. We wanted to do the same thing with our next experimental claim to fame that we’ve recently been rolling out: tea frescas. 

Tea-frescas are our own new Mission meets boba shop fusion. One part Mexican agua fresca or ‘fresh water’, those sweet, fruity and floral blends that taquerias sell in heaping batches. The other part, the oh so familiar syrup based fruit tea that many boba shops are known for. Both being refreshing and delicious in their own ways, we wondered what a drink would look like if we concocted a tea version of the two. 

The idea was to create a next level quality product, sans powder or fruit syrups and instead use fresh, seasonally sourced, housemade fruit purees. Then, mix the puree with our classic tea blends you already know and love over ice. Thus creating our hybrid, the tea-fresca: a fresh fruit tea.  

With the Indian summer here, what kind of new fruity flavors would you like to cool off with?

We're Back!

Bin Chen

Hey boba guys, gals, fans, addicts, obsessers, 

We know it’s been awhile (okay, more than awhile) but we’ve been more than busy lately. In the past year we’ve been growing fast, moving fast and making many new things (drinks, stores, and even a tea company)! But we’re happy to announce we’re dusting off the cobwebs and are re-entering the blogosphere.  Social media has been such a huge part of our journey as a company and having a blog where we can update, connect and share with you all things Boba Guys is important to us. We've moved off of Tumblr and are located right on our very own site bobaguys.com! For now, sort through our old posts and make sure to keep an eye out for new posts soon (very soon)! 

We're back (street) back, alright! 

Bin Chen

We know our specialty is in boba, but last week we entered in @kearnystreetworkshop’s Dumpling Wars! We made a Lapsang Souchong-infused soup dumpling with special sauce… all from scratch! 

Bin Chen

Tea People launched today: http://teapeople.us

We started Tea People because we wanted to share our favorite teas with our friends the only way we knew how, by keeping it simple. Tea People is not just another website to buy tea from, but an honest exploration of everything that tea has to offer. The tea world is way more fascinating than most people give it credit for, just not very approachable. We plan to change that. 

Get 10% off your first order by using the code LAUNCH10 at checkout.

UPDATE: BERKELEY POP-UP

Bin Chen

Boba Guys and Gals,
Our pop-up in Berkeley is closed indefinitely. We’ve been trying over the last month to update our listing on Yelp but it hasn’t changed, so we want to announce this on our Facebook page. (Sorry to those who find this irrelevant!)

As many of you know, we are about radical transparency, so here’s the situation. It’s mainly due to staffing. Eek! We LOVED being in Berkeley as it’s where Andrew spent his undergrad and grad. The lines, chats, and passionate fans made it all worth it. However, as we tried to ramp up again, we felt like we couldn’t execute Berkeley without compromising on quality. And for us, we pride ourselves on being one of the highest quality boba shops in the world for both our product and customer service.

So here’s the plan: we’re hiring like crazy, but we need someone who can manage the post out there in Berkeley. We also need someone who can help lead the team there. All of our current team leads are staffed on other sites/projects. And because our processes are so unique, we can’t hire just any person who managed cafes or other boba shops… we’ve tried and it doesn’t work for us. We make almost everything in-house and work with hard-to-access ingredients like Straus organic milk or Califia Farms almond milk… the processes and relationships are hard for newbies to pick up immediately.

Bottom line: our alcoholic boba in Berkeley is on hold indefinitely. We’re looking for good people represent us in Berkeley, so if you have any leads, let us know! Our email is info [at] bobaguys.com.

We’ll also put this announcement on our blog and website. We’ll continue pinging Yelp to get our listing updated. Sorry in advance for any confusion.

Thanks again and ‪#‎FightThePowder‬!

Andrew & Bin

Bin Chen

The day has finally come…the grand opening of Boba Guys Union Square!

Where? 429 Stockton St.
When? Saturday, Sept 27 from 12pm-10pm

If you’ve been following our journey, you might have picked up that we are more than just next-level boba and tea without powders. We know we’re no longer the new kid on the block. However, our mission has always been about building community, bridging cultures and doing the right thing.

So we’ve partnered up with Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly - San Francisco Chapter and we’ll be donating all of our profits from our grand opening just like we did with our Mission store grand opening!

We have far too many people to thank for helping us get this far…from our customers, to our families and friends as well as our kickstarter backers! We hope you’ll stop and help us celebrate!

Emotional Intelligence in Small Businesses

Bin Chen

We used to be a lot better about sharing our internal workings. When we had a column on GOOD, the self-imposed deadlines forced us to share anything and everything about our business practices. As we’re gearing up to open our second official location in Union Square, we wanted to share an email we sent to all our Team Leads (shift leads, catering leads, etc) from a while back. It gives you a glimpse into how we manage our teams and strive for excellence. 

We’ve been getting a lot of emails about entrepreneurship and marketing strategy lately. We want to apologize in advance for our super slow response. We’re about bringing people together and being transparent, so we hope to answer all your questions one day. In the meantime, you might come across this post because we directed you to it. We don’t mean to be so impersonal, but captures our sentiment about leading small teams better than any email I write in haste. 

Cheers!

Andrew

 

_______________________________________

Leads,

Bin and I have been talking with most of you about Emotional Intelligence in our 1:1s. It’s something that’s hard to convey in person, much less in a document. However, for many of us, we need multiple sources of stimuli to converge in order to hit home. I’m just passing this stimuli. =)

Article: What Makes a Leader? 

The first article (attached) is the hot lens in modern management. As Bin and I have said to each one of you, our servant leadership values is just an extension of having strong character and solid EQ (Emotional Intelligence). I read this as an undergrad (20 y.o.) and I went through it again in grad school (27 y.o.). I then came across this a third time as I’ve been meeting CEOs and government leaders (32 y.o.). My point is this thing has been passed around like a hot letter in high school! It’s timeless!

The biggest takeaway is this chart captures the EQ-level that all Shift Leads, Managers, and Committee Leads (e.g. Tea People, R&D) should have one day. As we hire more people, the bar only gets higher, so we want to make sure our current team, you, is prepared for our growth.

Article: Can You Really Improve Your EQ? 

http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/05/can-you-really-improve-your-em/

I know not everyone wants to be a “leader” and manage a team. That being said, I think everyone does want to improve their situation, both professionally and personally. Also, leadership manifests itself in every social situation, from friendships to your family. This is a good way blueprint on improving EQ. I know it sounds self-help, but almost every C-level executive in the Fortune 500 and government leader reads Harvard Business Review, so please read it with an open mind.

Here are the highlights from this article:

  1. Your level of EQ is firm, but not rigid.
  2. Good coaching programs do work.
  3. But you can only improve if you get accurate feedback.
  4. Some techniques (and coaches) are more competent than others. 
  5. Some people are more coachable than others. 

Interview: The Truth about Great Leaders

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2014/03/18/daniel-goleman-the-truth-about-what-makes-a-great-leader/

I was given this article by one of my mentors. It’s a quick read that covers all the holes that are missing in the first two resources. My favorite points:

  • “Studies conducted by companies evaluating their own executives have proven that the top 10% of performers displayed superior competencies in emotional intelligence, rather than in purely cognitive thinking.”

  • “The smart leader can get results in the short-term, the wise leader can net results in both the short and the long-term.”

Sorry to blast you with two self-helpish emails. I send this to our Leads because you guys are the driving force of Boba Guys. With all the great press this week, Bin and I count on you to fulfill the promise we make to the public. We are a team– no one part is better or more important than the other. That’s why we need everyone well-greased and working properly. (Sorry, I just had to watch the latest Cars movie for work.)

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks,

Andrew

[link to this article]

Bin Chen

We’re pleased to introduce our first line of premium Boba Guys enamel camp mugs! They’re perfect for tea (or coffee) out in the woods or in the comfort of your own home. We sourced them from a manufacturer in Europe who still uses WWII era equipment to produce these classic and sturdy cups. Each steel mug is coated in hand-dipped enamel, with a double layer on the handle and rim to keep them going strong.

*Please note these mugs are made by hand, resulting in small bits of character that make them truly unique.

Bin Chen

As most of you know, San Francisco is home to some of the world’s best coffee roasters.

After rounds and rounds of cuppings, we have finally selected our winner! We are proud to announce that we have chosen De La Paz!

We chose DLP not only because of their ‪#‎nextlevelquality‬ but also because they share our philosophy on the potential for blends. Our coffee milk tea is the first item to use the beans, but our partnership already has us working on new and exciting things for the future!

Bin Chen

It might be easy to just think of us as just a cafe (albeit serving the highest quality ingredients in the world for boba) but we’re actually comprised of accomplished entrepreneurs, bakers, product designers photographers and writers! In other words, we have a lot in common with many of our customers!

Because we value transparency so much, we hope to start sharing more behind the scenes work that we do that might not be immediately obvious at first glance. Here’s our “work in progress” menu wireframe designed by our new team member Jesse based on feedback we’ve received from customers