Gong Cha is a massive Taiwanese milk-tea chain with more than 300 locations throughout Asia (Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, Macau, Thailand), Australia and now, at 429 Waverley St. in Palo Alto. It's a small, bare-bones space between University Avenue and Lytton Avenue. Customers order at a counter and can enjoy to-go or at the limited seating options inside the shop.
Gong Cha serves up brewed teas and a range of milk teas from oolong to Earl Grey to coffee to brown sugar. Toppings include milk foam, tapioca pearls, coconut jelly, basil seed, herbal jelly and pudding. There's also "milk foam" teas (the "mustache series") that are topped with a layer of foam. Like most milk-tea spots, customers can adjust the amount of ice and sugar levels to their preferences. All teas are brewed fresh every four hours, according to the Gong Cha website.
Check out the full menu here.
According to Yelpers, the Palo Alto cafe has started with limited quantities of tea and soft-opening hours of 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Print out this coupon to get a free topping or "upsize" through March 6.)
The Palo Alto outpost is run by the owners of Gong Cha USA, Larry and Michelle Chen. They also oversee locations in Fremont and San Jose.
Gong Cha was founded in Kaoshiung, Taiwan, in 2006, according to the company website. The term "gong cha" references an act of offering "supreme quality teas" as a tribute to the emperor in ancient China.
"With the same philosophy in mind, Gong Cha thrives to provide the excellent quality tea and beverages to its customers," the website reads.
Gong Cha joins another Taiwanese-based milk-tea chain downtown T4, which opened at 165 University Ave. in November 2014.