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Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Brand New Boba Shop in Niles: Tsaocaa!

Danica Calalang
The exterior of Tsaocaa shows their “Grand Opening” banner and windows to see inside the shop.

Tsaocaa, a brand new boba shop, has just arrived in the Niles area. Located right by the H-Mart in Civic Center, Niles West students and staff are a quick drive down the street to the tea shop from the school.

Already having a few other locations around the country, Tsaocaa is a well-established restaurant that serves boba, fried chicken, egg waffles and other treats. If you’re a fan of other popular boba shops like Kung Fu Tea, Palgong Tea, Chill Bubble Tea and Happy Lemon, Tsaocaa will be one of your new favorites.

What I liked about Tsaocaa is that they didn’t have just bubble tea. They serve other Asian food items that aren’t really found anywhere else as well. From different kinds of boba, waffles or chicken, their large menu has a variety of options to choose from so you’re guaranteed to find something you like.

I tried the Mango Puree Milk Swirl. It was a basic milk tea with mango puree and jelly on the bottom. I don’t like overly sweet things, and I think this drink had the perfect amount of sweetness. Similar to Kung Fu Tea, or even Starbucks, my drink was customizable. The cashier gave me a ton of options to choose from. He had me choose between lactose-free or whole milk. I also had the option to keep or leave out the cheese foam that comes standard with it. I’ve never tried cheese foam before so I was a little skeptical, but I was pleased with it. When there’s cheese, most people think of something salty. However, the smooth cheese foam on top of the drink was a sweet cheese and reminded me of a Filipino pastry I used to eat a lot as a kid. The coolest part about their drinks is that the cups are reusable. Depending on what kind of drink you order, they have different cup styles as well. They had two size options for the milk swirls: medium or large. I ordered a medium, but I enjoyed the drink so much that I’ll be ordering a large the next time I visit.

I was also hungry, so I ordered a Matcha Egg Waffle. I was expecting a green Belgian waffle, something out of an American-style breakfast, but to my surprise, it was a waffle with egg shapes and a really crunchy outside. I’m usually not a fan of matcha, but the other waffle flavors didn’t catch my eye. Since I’m not a huge fan of matcha, the subtle matcha flavor was really enjoyable. I felt like a kid, breaking off the little eggs on the waffle. If I were the one to create the menu, I’d make sweet dipping sauces for the waffles, but nonetheless, it was delicious on its own. Unlike a traditional American waffle, the egg waffle felt really light in my stomach, which shocked me because of how big it was. The egg waffles are a perfect shareable to eat with friends and family.

One item that I thought was incredibly unique to Tsaocaa is one of their desserts: Egg Waffle Ice Cream Cones. It’s an egg waffle wrapped into the shape of an ice cream cone, ice cream on top and loaded with a bunch of toppings. I didn’t try this one, but one of my friends ordered it. It’s a little expensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. My friend ordered the Egg Waffle Chocolate Ice Cream Cone with Oreos. This order would be good to share with friends because of its size. It also has some heft to it, so I wouldn’t be able to finish it alone. Although a very pretty-looking dessert, it’s not something I would order every time I come visit.

The space itself is very inviting. It’s bright inside, very open and has a few tables for people to sit at. If you prefer non-contact ordering, they also have two screens at the front entrance where you can place your order. I will be coming back in the near future and trying their other items. I would have given Tsaocaa a 10/10, but strictly because of the slightly expensive prices I give this place an 8/10. Regardless of the expenses, this is a place I’d treat myself to again and I’ll be bringing my friends and family here in the future.

Make sure to visit Tsaocaa at 12 Civic Center Dr, Niles, from 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays – Fridays, and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays!

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