Milk + Tea In Little Tokyo Is Changing How You Think Of Boba

This First-Of-Its-Kind Self Serve Boba Spot Gives Power Back To Tea Lovers Everywhere.
Pink Panda at Milk + Tea. Photo: Andre Karimloo

This isn’t your average boba experience.

Milk and Tea in Little Tokyo offers a ‘self-serve’ brand of refreshing teas to thirsty customers from a new storefront which serves the same delicious concoctions fans of its previous incarnation grew to love.

However, the road to opening the flagship store wasn’t without bumps along the way.

The original Milk + Tea food truck. Courtesy: Yelp

In 2015, Milk and Tea started in its original form as a food truck. Its popularity skyrocketed, and from the outside looking in, it seemed like business was doing very well. Unfortunately, after only a few months of operation, mechanical issues began taking a toll on the truck and the bottom line of the company itself. Profits turned to losses as issues with the beloved truck began to mount.

This prompted founders Stacey Kwong and Beyah Del Mundo to start looking for a permanent location. After months of searching, a lease was signed in January, with construction starting soon after.

Exterior of Milk + Tea. Photo: Andre Karimloo

With the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Milk and Tea had a soft opening in July, then moved to a full grand opening in August.

Photo: Andre Karimloo

Already established as a favorite of Little Tokyo, the space is quiet, cozy and ample. Four wooden tables line the wall across from the order counter, while there’s bar-style seating adjacent to the counter, and along the glass wall facing 2nd street.

Photo: Andre Karimloo

House made sweet syrups, loose leaf teas imported from Taiwan, and all natural ingredients highlight the combinations of tea you can choose from. With varying degrees of sweetness available, each order is crafted to the exact specifications of your liking. Each order can be topped with a scoop of vanilla, cookies and cream, or coffee ice cream for only a dollar more.

Customers can choose from selections of milky or fruity, refreshing options. Classic milk tea, the Best Friend (green milk tea), and the Guilt Trip (blended milk with chocolate and caramel swirls) highlight the milky options. While the Little Tokyo (cucumber and watermelon black tea), Pineberry (pineapple and strawberry green tea), and the Unbeelievable (honey green tea) are some of the refreshing options. Three premium blends are available as well; the Top Shelf (milk tea with a scoop of coffee ice cream), Pink Panda (strawberry milk with a scoop of cookies and cream ice cream), and the Feelin’ Salty (salted caramel milk tea with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.)

An array of jellies, boba and fruits are available to customize and really set your tea apart from the crowd. The days of paying 50 cents for each additional topping are long gone, you can add as many as you like for no additional cost.

Milk and Tea is also doing its part to help the environment with every drink sold. The glass containers in which a drink is served can be kept by the customer and brought back every visit for 10% off of their drink. This is a step in the process towards the goal of Milk and Tea becoming a zero-waste company by 2018.

Andre Karimloo

A writer from the Los Angeles area in his 20-somethings. An enjoyer of good conversations, good compositions, and good drinks. Inspired by the the sights, sounds and ideals of a city which embraces cultures of all different mediums.