Purple Kow

>> Saturday, March 16, 2013

San Francisco seems to be going through a sudden tapioca ball phase. I've noticed a boom of shops popping up all over the place. I am all for this new customized handcrafted approach that started with Tea Way. The unique twist on flavors and premium ingredients has definitely been long overdue.

Purple Kow is in a quite part of San Francisco not far from George Washington High School. In terms of location they picked a fantastic location that generates just enough foot traffic. The interior is brightly lit with a modern feel crafted only by the finest workers of Ikea. It's a tad cramp and the room can feel rather narrow during peak hours.

Speaking of peak hours, this place is notorious for having a ridiculously long wait. I really don't understand why this place hasn't fixed the issue despite being open for quite some time. It's pretty simple, stagger the line by adding another register to take more orders at once. Then set up drink making process in a factory line format. Sigh. The efficiency worker in me cries while watching the folks behind the counter.

"Regular" sized milk tea with pearls (aka boba)

The catch factor about Purple Kow is the size of the cups. The drinks are served in ginormous containers. I went with a regular, but the super is that same size as a soup container. My milk tea had a subtle tea flavor and was heavy handed on the milky side. I tasted my friends' lychee green tea and honey milk tea. The lychee green tea had a much more pronounce tea flavor. It was lighter and much more refreshing. The honey milk tea seems to be one of the popular items people order. It's heavy and reminds me a lot of a milk shake. The creaminess and honey really bring the drink together.

Nifty top has a thinner center plastic area for inserting straws

As for the tapioca balls they have a softer chew and sweeter taste than normal. They're consistent and well made which makes or breaks a boba shop in my mind. Overall, at $4-5 a cup it's not a bad deal if you're extra thirsty. The theater next door and places to eat nearby make Purple Kow worth going to.

3620 Balboa St
(between 38th Ave & 37th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 387-9009
Purple Kow on Urbanspoon


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