Friends of mine know that the first thing I would post about in this farewell series is boba. This partially-intoxicating tapioca drink is my go-to dessert or snack to have with my friends, especially when my sweet tooth kicks in. Ever since Super Cue replaced some generic boba shop after my Freshman year of high school, I have been hooked. The establishment is only a seven minute walk from my house, and I make a short trek whenever I get the craving. This is hands down my favorite milk tea spot in the city. First off, it’s tied to Boba Guys, but I don’t go to there nearly as often because all of their locations are far away from me.
If you peer into my five-star account (a reward system that some restaurants follow), you would be shocked to see how many drinks I’ve purchased and consumed in the past three years. Hint: I hit the 100-point milestone a few months ago. At Super Cue, you receive one point for each drink you purchase and you can redeem a free drink for every ten drinks you purchase.
Although this place hasn’t been around very long, it holds quite some sentimental value to me. I remember all the times my friends and I would grab a drink before heading to the Parkside Library to study for tests, or we’d go on Fridays and wander around the area, or get one after school as a mood booster to prepare for the long night of schoolwork ahead of me.
The Taraval Super Cue location is pretty tiny. There are no chairs, just a tall, narrow table behind the window at the front of the store. However, the Super Cue location on Ocean Street is spacious enough for multiple people to sit and loiter there. Sometimes, I’m glad that the Taraval one is small, because customers go in and out, so there aren’t that many people filling the store after they receive their drinks. The Taraval location was renovated just a year ago, and you cannot believe the terror I felt when I thought they had closed down. Since then, the interior is more modern with dark walls and wooden details.
For the three years I have been going to Super Cue, I typically get the same three drinks, depending on my mood. My choices of drinks vary from very caffeinated, relatively caffeinated, and not too caffeinated. Most of their drinks are too sweet for me, since the honey boba also adds another layer of sugar, so I typically get the 50% or 75% sweet level. One of the main reasons why I love Super Cue so much is their boba to milk tea ratio. I always finish my boba and milk tea at the same time and it pleases me very much. Also, their boba is intoxicatingly tasty because their consistency is chewier than other boba shops.
When I need a pick-me-up to keep me awake, I usually get the dark roast oolong milk tea. The dark roast is rich, and the black tea flavor is delightfully potent. This was my favorite drink to get during my sophomore year, because I liked how it was also one of the sweeter options. It never ceased to give me that extra boost of energy. Thinking back, I had the biggest sweet tooth in the first half of my high school years. However, I started preferring less sugar as sometime in the middle of my junior year because I think my body started deteriorating from all my stress. Just kidding (somewhat)! However, they may have adjusted their recipe when they remodeled a year ago and added a bunch of new drinks in their menu. I haven’t gotten the dark roast since before they remodeled, so I can’t really be a judge for their current taste.
During my junior year, my go-to drink changed to the rose milk tea with boba and 50% or 75% of original sweetness, depending on my mood. The faint floral taste in the rose milk tea added another source of sweetness, so the sugar level tasted overwhelming if I got the full sweetness. The drink tastes like I’m munching on a rose, but that’s exactly how I like it. In this past year, they tweaked the recipe, so it’s less creamy and there is a bigger emphasis on the caffeine, so they probably roast it for longer.
Sometime during senior year, I decided to try their genmaicha milk tea, which changed the course of history. Now, I rarely order anything else. I enjoy how the genmaicha has a crisp, fragrant flavor, distinct from the roasted brown rice. I feel that it’s not as heavily caffeinated, but the flavor of the brown rice still packs a punch. Actually, come to think of it, my favorite drink changes every year. I would always get dark roast oolong during my sophomore year, rose milk tea my junior year, and genmaicha my senior year.
From many years of experience, boba always tastes best with good company. Most times I’ve gone to Super Cue, I went with friends during the weekdays before heading to the library to do homework or study for tests. On the occasional Friday afternoons, we’d get some boba and relax after a long and strenuous week of school. Also, we’d scour for some food, or claim a spot by the swings in the nearby park.
Truth be told, it’s probably disgusting how much money I’ve spent on Super Cue and how much sugar I’ve consumed from them. However, this boba joint has given a sense of comfort whenever I need something to sweeten up my day (and I probably won’t have anything else sweet for the rest of the day, since the drinks are very sugary). I’ll miss having a delicious boba joint within walking distance from me, but I’ll make up all the lost time when I come back from break.