On Palgong Tea’s opening day, May 1, a long line stretched outside the shop and wound around the neighboring buildings. Some customers waited for over an hour to place their order, and some even camped out the night before to try to be one of the first 80 customers, who would be offered a year of free drinks. Even though the line was long, the wait was worth being able to try out the drinks that Palgong Tea, a bubble tea shop originating in South Korea, had to offer.
The oolong milk tea had a subtle, sweet flavor that was not overpowering or drowned out by too much milk. The tapioca pearls were also slightly smaller than ones from other boba shops. Palgong Tea’s tapioca was more enjoyable since it was easier to chew and did not distract from the drink.
The grapefruit green tea, a mixture of green tea and grapefruit syrup, exploded with flavor with each sip. It was surprisingly tart, but the strong flavor made the drink very refreshing.
Bubble tea, also known as boba, is a nonalcoholic drink that is a combination of tapioca pearls and tea with milk and/or sweetener. The tapioca pearls have a chewy, jelly-like consistency, can be unflavored or flavored and can be added to any drink.
The small but cozy feel of the shop draws customers right in, and the modern design makes waiting to pick up an order much less boring. The best part by far is the wall filled with artificial foliage with a light-up “good vibes” sign, perfect for taking pictures with an equally aesthetically pleasing drink.
Looking at Palgong Tea’s menu can be a bit daunting at first, since there are so many drinks and flavors to choose from. Prices range from $2.50 to $3.50 for regular-sized drinks without modifications, and from $3 to $4.50 for large-sized drinks without modification. Drinks on the menu that include tapioca are the milk teas, cream milk teas and cheese foam milk teas, which are a variation of tea topped with cream cheese-flavored milk foam. Drinks that don’t include tapioca are the original teas, coffee, smoothies, fruit teas and ades. Every drink, excluding some items like smoothies, can be served hot or cold. Flavored or unflavored tapioca pearls, milk foam, cream cheese foam, whipped cream and an espresso shot can be added for 80 cents each.
Jeremiah Park, director of operations of Palgong Tea in Glenview, said in a phone interview that he decided for Glenview to be Palgong Tea’s first U.S. location because of its large population of high school students and its Asian community. Just one week after opening day, the shop went through three months’ worth of supplies.
Palgong Tea is located at 1661 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week.
With its wide variety of exciting drinks and Insta-worthy, artistic environment, Palgong Tea is the perfect place to go with friends for a refreshing and affordable treat.