Restaurants

“Tiger strike” – Tiger’s Milk in San Jose, CA

A new boba shop aims to earn its stripes in the middle of a pandemic.


by Alexander Quebec

You can’t stop a hustler, ever.

Not even a pandemic can slow them down.

Drex Lee, Owner of Tiger Milk

Even before COVID-19, Downtown San Jose didn’t have a lot of options for Boba outside of the SJSU area. MLKY, a popular East Bay spot, opened its DTSJ location a year ago, but closed due to the pandemic, along with other businesses in the area. Downtown would be quiet for some time until a tiger came roaring in.

Drex Lee, the co-founder of this site, is the owner of Stockton’s Superfish and Sweetbot restaurants. After the pandemic severely diminished both business’s income, he headed back to San Jose to regroup.

I remember one day getting an invite to check out Tiger Milk, a new pop up Boba spot on the grounds of SP2 Restaurant and Lounge.

At first, I was a bit taken aback, who in their right mind would open a new business in a time like this?

Some of the drinks available. IG:@riceandtravel

Then I saw who the message was from, then I was like “Oh”.

Against my better judgment, I took him up on his invitation and headed over to downtown to check it out.

The location, the outdoor patio of SP2, is a nice bit of respite among what would normally be a very active weekend crowd of San Jose. If you are familiar with the spot, The pop-up utilizes the outdoor bar area, with a little sandwich board sign to alert pedestrians, Doordash drivers, and curiosity seekers the only acknowledgment of its existence in an otherwise innocuous space.

Drex, with his unflappable enthusiasm, waves me to come closer. I’ve ordered my drink beforehand over their website for a truly contactless and cashless experience. He also gave me a few samples to try, but the ones below are the ones I enjoyed the most.

 

Two of the drinks up close: The Oolong, which I have yet to try, and the Matcha, which I did try and like. IG:@bobaaddict

The Hyper Tiger was one of my favorites, a mixture of boba and coffee. Caffeine and sugar are a powerful duo, able to motivate all but the laziest of individuals to do eight hours worth of work in under four. It kinda reminds me of an iced coffee, but with a slightly burnt caramel flavor mixed with the brown sugary hint given by the tapioca pearls.

The other drink I tried, the Match Tiger, was actually refreshing. I actually enjoy a sweetened matcha flavor for the summer, as it’s bright and refreshing. The creamy boba flavor makes this feel more like a slightly less decadent dessert drink more than anything else.

But don’t just take my word for it. Why don’t you hustle yourself down to Tiger Milk today? They’re open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 7pm in the summer.

Order and pay for your drink here https://www.tigermilkboba.com/, or head on over to SP2 in Downtown San Jose and order in person. And help support a small business by sharing this post today!

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