It seems very rare to have customers at RareTea

January 17, 2020 — by Leo Cao and Jeffrey Xu

Far into the often unexplored side of Prospect Road lies a set of bootleg Main Street and Cupertino Village plazas — home to many subpar Asian eats and disappointingly watered down bobas. RareTea, which opened last October on East Homestead, was no exception.

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, which was much less decorated than the brand new parking garages at Cupertino Main Street and Cupertino Village, and spotted the McDonalds and closed Tea Era, we knew something was up. The small shack of a plaza was lined with obscure Asian restaurants such as Taste Good Beijing Cuisine and Taiwan Porridge Kingdom as well as bar and bowling alley Homestead Bowl.

Given the lack of people and more abandoned setting, it came as little surprise that there was no line when we finally found the location. During our 30-minute stay, no other customers entered the store. Sitting there, we hypothesized that RareTea is named after how rare it is for the store to have customers.

After taking our sweet time at the front of the nonexistent line, we ordered a Passion Fruit Yakult, Black Milk Tea with boba and Jasmine Milk Tea with boba. 

The Passion Fruit Yakult was $4.25, and the Black Milk and Jasmine Milk Teas were both $4.50. These bobas were definitely more on the pricey side in comparison to places like QQQTea, which sell boba for under $3. We hoped that the higher price would indicate a better quality drink, but we were very disappointed.

While the passion fruit seeds in the Yakult added a nice crunchy texture, the drink itself had no hint of its namesake delicious popular Asian yogurt drink. Rather, it just tasted like heavily watered down fruit juice.

The boba in the milk tea was lukewarm, ruining the vibe of the ice-cold refreshing drink that we were looking forward to. 

We finished about half of each drink before realizing the taste simply wasn’t worth the calorie intake.

However, two redeeming aspects of our Raretea experience included the friendly employees and the location. Perhaps it was because we were the only customers there, but the employees were welcoming nonetheless.

Additionally, with Homestead Bowl just a few steps away, you could have knock back tea and pins with your friends. 

While the taste was clearly not there, the friendly charisma of the employees and the favorable location near bowling lanes makes RareTea a generous 3 out of 5 Falcons.