Boba Bracket 2K23

The ultimate bubble tea showdown


Photo: Tedd

Carter Headstrom poses in front one of the higher rated stores

Bubble tea is a popular beverage of choice for many members of the University Prep community. In the spirit of March Madness, we decided to make a bracket and decide what the best boba place in the area is. We first sent out a form to all Upper Schoolers to see what the top 8 bubble tea places are. Then we went to each option and gave it a score out of five based on four categories: proximity to UPrep, affordability, vibe and taste, which was double weighted in ratings.


Luu’s is a solid option for students without their driver’s license as it’s located in Wedgewood, only a ten minute walk from UPrep. The vibes were pleasant with a lot of natural light and upbeat music. Their most popular drink is the original milk tea with boba. The smallest size costs $6.17 with tax. The quality of the drink was slightly below par with others at the same price point, which brought down the rating. Overall we give this a 3.5/5.


Happy Lemon

Happy Lemon is a great spot for students who crave boba and want it fast. Since it is in University Village, it is easily accessible for all grades by taking a short bus ride. Their most popular drink is also milk tea with boba, and it was delicious. The only downside is that it can get very crowded and it was pricey at roughly 8 dollars. Overall we gave it a 3.9/5.



Sharetea is a respectable place to get boba. It is located within walking distance of good food places on the Ave, and there is free parking nearby. The drink was average compared to the others we tasted. The vibe was lacking because the store atmosphere felt like the McDonald’s of boba. Putting that aside, the overall score was 3.1/5. 


Timeless Tea

Timeless Tea in Capitol Hill was one of the worst places we visited. For being so isolated, the drink was not worth the stop because it was overly sweet. The shop was squeezed in between a fire station and a traffic filled street. Overall, we rate it a 3.4/5. 


Boba Gem

Boba Gem is another great option in the U-District. We got a Jamaica green tea with cream foam. The shop is tucked behind another restaurant and has limited seating but a cool neon sign that added to the vibe. They only have one size and our drink cost $7.72 with tax, but the cup was fairly large compared to the other stores. The quality of the drink was respectable. The cream foam was a new experience, and it definitely added to the taste. Boba Gem isn’t bad, but there are many better options on the Ave. Overall we give this a 3.5/5.


Young Tea

Based on the taste alone, Young Tea was our favorite. The tea itself was strong and flavorful, while the boba was firm and plentiful. It was slightly pricey, but the drink came in a large portion compared to the other places we visited. The vibe was upbeat, with music playing throughout the store. The only significant downside was parking in the crowded area near Green Lake. Overall, we give it a 4.2/5.


Boba Up

Boba Up in the U-District is an experience. We paid $5.50 for a small cup, and then it was a create your own boba drink after that, similar to most frozen yogurt shops. We got a mango passion fruit tea with strawberry popping boba. The drink and the popping boba were both overly sweet, but with how exciting the concept of a build-your-own boba place is we give it a 4/5.



The crowded tables filled with college students suggest that Oasis is one of the more popular boba places in the U-District. Free board games are dispersed throughout Oasis for people to play. The small royal milk tea was $5.79 with tax and was smaller than desired for the price. The taste was very solid though, definitely one of the best. Overall we give it a 4.1/5.