New T4 store disappoints

December 7, 2017 — by Francesca Chu and Alexandra Li

When we heard that another tea store, T4, had been added to the countless options scattered throughout the Bay Area, we were not surprised. They had recently opened a new store in Cupertino, so we decided to try it out.

As we walked in, we noticed an overarching teal theme. Everything looked well put together. The background music and overall spaciousness of the room created a fairly welcoming environment.

Being very indecisive, we spent about 15 minutes trying to decide what to order before deciding on one basic and one unique drink as well as a food item to test out the extensive menu.

We first settled on our go-to drink: passion fruit green tea. Having ordered the same drink at other tea places, we figured it would give us something to compare it to.

Others had informed us that the majority of cashiers at T4 struggle with English, so we hoped we wouldn’t have to put our Chinese skills to the test. Luckily, our cashier was fluent in English.

Then, just for fun, we ordered an avocado milkshake for $4.50. Apparently, it was one of the store’s top most popular 10 drinks, so we figured we could trust the reviews of other customers. We briefly glanced over the food menu and were slightly overwhelmed by options such as lobster balls. Instead, we ended up settling on their popular coffee-flavored egg puffs for $5.75.

While waiting for our order, we glanced around and found a counter full of games, like Jenga and Connect 4, directly across from the cash register. Nevertheless, most of the customers were instead silently studying or doing work. T4 has wide tables and a quiet environment — a perfect location for someone to focus.

We had barely sat down when our first drink was ready. We picked up the passion fruit green tea only to realize that we had forgotten to order boba, but we just laughed it off and gave it a try anyway.

The first thing we noticed was how sweet the tea was. Getting 30 percent sweet turned out to be a good decision, because we couldn’t even imagine how sweet 100 percent sugar would have been.

Compared to other places, the passion fruit green tea was pretty average. It was very sweet, but not so much that it ruined the drink, but it was on the pricy side at $3.75.

Because we’ve both ordered the exact same flavor from TeaTop before, we couldn’t help comparing the two. As a whole, T4’s passion fruit green tea was less flavored and tasted more strongly of tea than TeaTop’s version. However, this may be due to the pearls and lychee jelly that usually comes with the tea at TeaTop.

Having no idea what to expect for our avocado drink, we tasted practically nothing on our first sip. After rigorously mixing the drink, at one point the flavor seemed to have a good balance of avocado and sweetness. But as we drank more, the taste of avocados became stronger until it tasted essentially like blended avocados.

The egg puffs were soon ready, and we picked them up hoping to get rid of the less-than-pleasant avocado taste in our mouths. Surprisingly, the coffee-flavored egg puffs were crunchy and well flavored, and they ended up being the highlight of our visit.

Our experience at T4 was less than satisfactory and certainly not worth the hype. Perhaps we simply hadn’t ordered the right drinks, but in our opinion, it was not worth the drive or money.

 

5.4 out of 10