Hechaa hits the spot with its specialty drinks

March 14, 2017 — by Caitlin Ju and Eric Sze

Students review a brand new tea shop is opened in Cupertino.

As dedicated lovers of boba, an Asian drink with sweetened tea and usually milk and tapioca pearls, we are always looking for the best places to buy it.

That’s what drew us to Hechaa, a new tea shop located in Cupertino between Ranch 99 and Home Depot. After doing a quick Google Maps search on our phones, Hechaa appeared to be in plain sight: the red dot popped up on De Anza Blvd. However, it proved difficult to locate it on the road, since Hechaa’s entrance is hidden on the side of an inconspicuous tan building and has tight parking spaces.

Once inside, we were immediately greeted with an Instagram-worthy wall of pink and white roses that can perfectly serve as a backdrop for our next posts. The walls of the well-lit rectangular space were lined with succulents, and well-placed flowers dotted the entrance. We easily found a spot to sit with the numerous tables, though couches and bean bags could have added to a more cafe-like atmosphere.

Hechaa’s menu contains dozens of options, ranging from fruit tea drinks and regular pearl milk tea to desserts and snacks, such as popcorn chicken and mochi. To help customers pick, Hechaa has a Top 10 list, and its cheese milk foam teas, self-proclaimed to be the No. 1 Fresh Brewed Tea nationwide, top the list. From the menu, we chose a regular pearl milk tea with 50 percent sweetness, as well as the oolong tea king with cheese milk foam, a combination of mocha powder, milk, Australian cheese and sea salt, and 50 percent sweetness, which took much longer to be made than the regular pearl milk tea.

The cheese milk foam tea was impressive, even though it was on the more expensive side at over $5 and tasted (fortunately) nothing like cheese. The cup was labeled to instruct the drinker to drink the combination of oolong tea and foam at 45 degrees. Despite the baristas sticking a label with the instructions on the lid, we found the drink to be a little bit awkward to drink — the lid was designed to flip upward, but without a handle to do so, we found ourselves trying to dig the lid open with our fingernails.

After a bit of confusion (we had also ordered pearls but could not reach them with our straws), we were able to taste the foam and tea together and decided it was a must-order — without the pearls. The bitterness of the oolong tea combined with the saltiness of the cheese foam and a hint of sugar tied the drink together really well; this one was by far our favorite order.

However, the regular pearl milk tea was only average. That’s because we could barely taste the tea. Instead, our tastebuds were overwhelmed with a heavy cream flavor. The drink did have interesting coffee-esque flavor to it, though, and the pearls were delicately chewy and sweet, which helped to make up for the excessive cream and lack of tea flavoring.

We also noticed that the regular pearl milk tea came in a really nice heavy duty plastic cup with a plastic lid, instead of one of the cup sealers that most pearl tea shops use. On the other hand, the cheese drink was a lot smaller. It wasn’t a big deal to us, but it definitely made the $5 for the cheese drink err on the expensive side.

The desserts, which we did not order, averaged $7, while the regular milk tea was a more reasonable $3.50.

Our conclusion: We would recommend anyone wanting something new to try out Hechaa and order one of its cheese foam drinks. But those only looking for a standard pearl milk tea should head to another boba shop, as it is easy to find one with better-tasting tea for a cheaper price.

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