By Sonya Park Smith | Staff Writer
Shaka Shaka Tea Express | 4 locations on Oahu, the closest to KapCC at 2600 South King St. | Instagram: @shakashakatea
A self-proclaimed all-natural tea shop, artificial flavors or powders are not used in their products. Instead of using manufactured sugar, brown sugar is used since it is more nutritious. One of their signature drinks is the pineapple drink which is made straight from the fruit. Some smoothies are only sold when the fruit is best in season. A few of those fruits are lychee, soursop, and persimmon. Drinks can cost up to $7.50. The sweetness levels offered at Shaka Shaka Tea Express can be customized.
Mr. Tea Cafe | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. and 909 Kapi’olani Blvd. | Instagram: @mrteacafe
Customers get to choose their sweetness levels at Mr. Tea Cafe. Toppings offered are boba, aloe vera, jellies, chia seeds, ice cream, pudding, and azuki beans, which cost $0.50, and haupia and ice cream which costs $0.75. Ice cream sounds like an abnormal topping to put in a drink, which shows the creativity that Mr. Tea Cafe presents. There are two locations for Mr. Tea Cafe on Oʻahu: on Kapiʻolani Boulevard and inside Ala Moana Shopping Center. Aside from selling drinks, it sells macarons which are $2.50 for one and $6.50 for three. Inside Mr. Tea Cafe, there are board games, card games, manga, and more.
Cha Tea | 1617 Kapi’olani Blvd. | Instagram: @chateahawaii
This cafe goes beyond just selling beverages. Cha Tea sells distinctive products such as mochi ice cream ($10.59 for a 6 pack and $19.69 for a 12 pack), a cheesecake slice ($4.79), and fresh tofu pudding shave ice ($4.59). The lovable name the mochi ice cream is given is “The Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream,” and the name of the cheesecake is “NY Cheese Cake.” To associate tofu pudding and shave ice together sounds distinguishing . This business has nearly a perfect rating on Google.
Taste Tea | 6 locations on Oʻahu, including 2424 Kalākaua and 3221 Waiʻalae Ave. | Instagram: @tasteteainc
Other than selling drinks, snow ice is sold at Taste Tea, but exclusively at the Kaimukī location on Waiʻalae. The snow ice flavors include some fruit flavors, taro, matcha, chocolate,milk tea, durian, and li hing mui. Each snow ice costs $5.50. Taste Tea travels on wheels in food trucks, instead of exclusively being at store locations.
Hāna Tea | 1111 Dillingham Blvd. and 1160 Kaula St. | Instagram: @hanatea808
Some of the toppings that Hāna Tea offers are cheese foam, dalgona cheese foam, dalgona crunch, and creamy cake. The other toppings offered that are more common are boba and jellies. Having cheese as a drink topping sounds unusual. The prices of the toppings range from $0.50 to $1. The fruit smoothies also have distinctive combinations such as mango/strawberry, chocolate/banana, and avocado/banana. The sparking water presented at Hāna Tea, which not a lot of tea cafes have, include the flavors of fruit party ($4.95), and strawberry, pineapple, lemon, and blueberry for $4.50.
Coffee or Tea? | 5 locations on Oʻahu, including 1960 Kapiʻolani Blvd. and 333 Seaside Ave. | Instagram: @coffeeorteahawaii
One outstanding animal-themed product on the menu is the Tiger Boba Ice Cream Cup ($6). This special item consists of brown sugar, boba, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. The physical colors of the Tiger Boba Ice Cream has the actual colors of a tiger. All the locations have a gigantic cut-out of a boba drink to make the store look appealing.