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The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

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La Voz News

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Chicha San Chen: More than just a boba spot

Awarded three years in a row by the International Taste Institute, Chicha San Chen is well worth the wait. Rating: 4.5/5
Chicha+San+Chen%3A+More+than+just+a+boba+spot
Andreina Carnero Ramirez
Chicha San Chen goers order their drinks. (Andreina Carnero Ramirez)

Chicha San Chen, a new boba tea spot in Cupertino awarded three consecutive years by the International Taste Institute, brews each cup of tea individually, utilizing its patented technology all while providing customers with a unique experience.
Unlike other boba tea shops, Chicha San Chen offers customers a special and unforgettable tea-tasting experience in which they can learn about the tea-making process explained by tea specialists.

A tea specialist explains five different roasted levels during the tea-tasting. (Andreina Carnero Ramirez)

During the tea tasting, customers can choose between five different roasted levels, and depending on the chosen tea, it will provide a different flavor, aroma, and taste. The quantity of tea leaves, water, and temperature of the water are essential aspects to consider for the preparation of the tea since they can affect its taste. After the cashier situates them with a ticket, every 30 minutes, a handful of customers are able to enjoy a free 15 to 20-minute-long tea-tasting session.

The Lion AI machine, invented by the founder of Chicha San Chen. (Andreina Carnero Ramirez)

The Lion AI machine is a notable piece of equipment in Chicha San Chen used for making drinks. The name was inspired and invented by the shop’s founder. The Lion AI machine has over a thousand parameters for the drinks, allowing one to taste the perfect tea.
Chicha San Chen offers customers predetermined tea combinations that are creamy, such as the bubble milk tea, or refreshing, such as the passion fruit green tea. Customers can also customize their drinks by selecting the tea base, flavor, topping, and the level of sugar and ice. The price of the drinks ranges between $6.75 and $7.95.

A tableside view of the drinks at Chicha San Chen. (Ann Penalosa)

Since each cup of tea is brewed individually to make it super fresh, it takes a while to prepare. The wait time during the weekdays can be around 20 minutes and longer during weekends; however, the tea-tasting experience and the flavorful tea make it worthwhile.
Chicha San Chen greets its customers with a welcome drink that varies each day.

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Two customers hold up their drinks. One (left) holds a Mango Osmanthus Oolong Tea with taro balls and the other (right) holds a Lemon Cream Tart. (Ann Penalosa)

This boba tea shop switches the type of drink so customers can try out different combinations. The “welcome drink” is usually made at a “perfect” sugar level, allowing customers to have an idea of how sweet it is, so they can consider it when making their orders.

A customer places their order at the kiosk. (Andreina Carnero Ramirez)

Chicha San Chen plans to expand the menu in the future by adding more tea flavors and enabling online reservations for tea-testing.
Chicha San Chen is convenient for the De Anza community not only because of the services this store provides but also because of how close it is to campus.

Rating: 4.5/5

Payment option(s): Cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay
Hours: 12-8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 12-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Phone: (408) 792-9045
Distance from De Anza: five minutes by car, five minutes by bus (55, 23, 523, 51)

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About the Contributors
Andreina Carnero Ramirez, Staff Reporter
Ann Penalosa, Managing Editor
Ann Penalosa (she/xe/they), 19, is a first year journalism major at De Anza College; xe's excited to be at La Voz and aims to use her platform as a vector for progress, a source of information, and a megaphone for marginalized voices. Xer passion for photojournalism dates back to high school, but in their spare time you can catch xem producing music, reading up on political theory, or chugging a two-liter bottle of diet Mountain Dew. (Well, not anymore...she's boycotting.)

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