Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tapioca Express Inc. - Alhambra

Did you know this Alhambra Tapioca Express was the original?

Tapioca Express Inc.  - Alhambra 1

It might seem as if Chinese tea shops have always been ubiquitous in Southern California now, but in 1999 when this Tapioca Express opened, I remember the sealed lids were quite a sensation. As was the $1.99 price tag.

It's funny because I remember when Tapioca Express opened up, my friend had a friend who was on a date and my friend called me specifically to ask for directions to here. It's so tiny that I can't imagine wanting to linger there now, much less on a date.

Tapioca Express Inc.  - Alhambra 2

That's it. So few chairs and tables.

Tapioca Express Inc.  - Alhambra 3

This was when lil' sis and the older '88 went to get drinks. I was lazy and gave her my camera to take photos for me.

See? Those sealed lids were quite avant garde in the late 1990s. Now every other place has copied them.

Tapioca Express Inc.  - Alhambra 4

The usual assortment of teas, with and without boba.

Tapioca Express Inc.  - Alhambra 5

What I like best here, that I haven't seen at any of the other Tapioca Express locations, are the green beans. Deep fried until the skins are wrinkly and then dusted in the spice powder they put on the popcorn chicken.

Tapioca Express Inc.  - Alhambra 6

Other tea shops:
Half & Half Tea House - Monterey Park
ID Cha House - San Gabriel
Le Arbre Tea House - Rosemead
Lollicup Tea Zone - Westminster (Little Saigon)
Tea Station - Alhambra

Tapioca Express
228 W. Valley Blvd., #105
Alhambra, CA 91801

1 year ago today, Malaysian Mango Chicken Curry.
2 years ago today, Claro's Italian Market - San Gabriel.

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