There’s nothing like slurping down boba tea while perusing instant ramen to really hammer home your questionable dietary choices. In Taman Sri Bintang, Ai Tea & Coffee has cleverly set up where the highest concentration of suburbanites gather: at the supermarket.
Note that the Google Maps pin for this place is wrong. By default, Google places this tea shop way north on Jalan 30/38a. When you street view this supposed location, it’s just the butt end of a condo. The real location is inside the RedTick Supermarket on the corner of Jalan 30/38a and Jalan Seri Bintang. After you pass through the doors, it will be on your right sandwiched between a kopitam, bakery and a juicery.
As expected, the Ai Tea & Coffee menu has a decent selection of coffees and teas of the boba and fruit variety. There is seating available at the back of the kiosk with a view of the street, and also in front of the counter in the supermarket lobby.
A few of their teas and frappes looked really interesting, but I stuck with the benchmark drink: the Brown Sugar Boba Fresh Milk (RM8.80). The presentation is certainly cute with a heart plug sticking out of the top. When I received the drink, it looked promising with a nice brown sugar gradient. I gave the cup a few shakes and then also stirred with the straw before sipping. After I did this, however, the boba milk looked really simple.
The flavour is quite bland. I’m pretty sure this has no tea in it. It just tasted like brown sugar sweetened milk. This was like a better version of the Family Mart fresh milk… what the Family Mart boba milk should have tasted like. The boba pearls were consistent, but a bit too soft.
One complaint about the boba was that it was actually too big to fit through the straw! First world problems. There were many sips where I had to slurp with effort – getting mouthfuls of nothing – because the boba was lodged in the straw. According to my haters, I suck, but apparently not hard enough to unstick a fat boba. These too-big bobas are just a mortifying situation waiting to happen: where you’re forcefully trying to suck the bubble up the straw, only for it to shoot up suddenly and hit your uvula like a boxing speed bag and then you choke right there in the middle of the supermarket’s cereal aisle.
Being able to get a boba tea while picking up your vegetables for the week is super convenient. The taste is just not exciting enough to be priced the same as other “mid-range” milk teas. I have a baking shop nearby that I like to visit, so I’ll probably get something from Ai Tea & Coffee again but only because it’s the only place to get my boba tea fix in the void that is Taman Sri Bintang. If this brand was in a mall competing with Tiger Sugar, Koi or TeaLive… not a chance.
Ai Tea & Coffee
Inside the RedTick Supermarket, No.10 Jalan Seri Bintang, Taman Sri Bintang, 52100, Kuala Lumpur
Daily, 9am – 10pm