Welcome to Tiger Town Treats — a new Prospect series where I compare delicious snacks ’n sips from local businesses, so you know where to go to satisfy that one craving or reward yourself after that rough p-set!
And we heard you on Tiger Confessions, #34257! Without Junbi, it seems, our comparison of Princeton’s boba was lacking. So as soon as midterms were over, I hopped right on over to the new shop to try their boba for myself, and here are my thoughts:
The newcomer: Junbi
Disclaimer: Because Junbi specializes in matcha, most people agree their “standard” would be a matcha milk tea with boba rather than a standard brown-sugar milk tea, so that’s what I tried.
Price: $5.00 (Junbi currently only offers one size, and it is similar to the large size at other boba chains like Kung Fu Tea.)
Boba Rating: 3/10
The boba pearls were noticeably smaller, harder, and chewier than other boba in town. They were difficult to chew, and there was relatively little boba in the cup given the size of the drink.
Milk Tea Rating: 4/10
As a matcha lover, I was a little disappointed. The milk tea was light and not overly sweet, which was refreshing. But I found the drink itself to be slightly bitter with a definite “matcha powder” taste. It reminded me of the Starbucks Matcha Latte but with slightly less sugar. It was good, but not a culinary statement by any means.
Junbi was similar to Ficus in that it is definitely catering to a particular aesthetic: I’ll be the first to admit that the Junbi drinks populating Princeton students’ Instagram feeds during Spring pause were flashy, fun, and full of color in the best way. In the physical shop, clean white decor and an abundance of succulents added to the sense of a modern, fresh reprieve from Princeton’s typical historical stuffiness.
While my first cup wasn’t overly impressive, I will definitely be heading back to try some of Junbi’s more innovative and dramatic drinks, like the staff favorites of the Cold Dirty Matcha (matcha with a shot of espresso, $5.50) or the Cold Strawberry Matcha with Milk ($6.50).