Ah, Berkeley. A city rich in culture, diversity, and history. With all of its historic landmarks and Instagram-worthy scenery, it’s no wonder housing prices are through the roof! You can hardly believe how lucky you were to find that cheap $3000/month apartment on Apartments.com. Sure, you might have to slum it and share the space with a couple roommates for a few years, but when you finally get your Fortune 500 job and that sweet, sweet tech money starts rolling in, you’ll be able to rent your own place in no time. In the meanwhile, why not enjoy the city and all that it has to offer (i.e. boba)? Here are our recommendations for gentrification on the go!

10. Matcha Green Milk Tea from Boba Ninja 

A cheap, mediocre green tea from this hole-in-the-wall joint is sure to satisfy your late-night craving for the illusion of poverty. Join dozens of other ‘broke college students’ as they rave about the portion sizes of the popcorn chicken they just spent eight bucks on.

9. Peach Kiwi Tea with Aiyu Jelly at ShareTea

ShareTea’s minimalist logo looks like it came straight out of a Silicon Valley tech startup, so you know the people who run this place are bloodsucking business parasites, just like you. Network with peach, kiwi, and aiyu jelly all in one slurp, and make sure to post your drink pics on LinkedIn as well as Instagram!

8. Dirty Boba at Feng Cha Teahouse

The only thing messier than this ‘dirty boba’ is the tangle of economic and political factors that have conspired to deprive Berkeley of affordable housing. You don’t really know much about those factors, but you once saw a ReasonTV video that explained it was all the fault of government efforts to make housing more affordable.

7. Tie Guan Yin Tea from TP TEA (Taiwan Professional Tea)

Professional tea for a future professional. The Tie Guan Yin doesn’t mess around, and neither should you. Let your landlord know you mean business by leaving them a 30% tip the next time rent’s due. 

6. Hong Kong Milk Tea at Asha Tea House

Finally, a teahouse that’s fully authentic to all those long-standing ethnic communities you’ve displaced! Asha Tea House serves tea leaves from China, India, Japan, and Taiwan, but we recommend getting the Hong Kong Milk Tea because your unrefined palate can only taste the sugar anyway.

5. Darjeeling Black Tea at Far Leaves Tea

Slow down. Relax. Savor this simple, elegant, boba-less tea. The flavors are subtle, nearly imperceptible – kind of like that homeless woman you’ve been ignoring every time you walk past the BART on Shattuck. Don’t let her presence break your zen. Remember, if you don’t make eye contact, it’s almost like she isn’t there.

4. Top Dog from Top Dog

Feel the hand of the free market caress your arteries as you lean into a greasy, satisfying sausage link nestled on a freshly-toasted bun. While Top Dog technically doesn’t serve tea, its time-tested recipes and welcoming ambience make it an obvious winner regardless. After all, there’s nothing more comforting than reading the Fox News clippings on the walls and realizing that all those poor people you’ve fucked over probably deserved it.   

3. ZERO& Zero-Calorie Sweetened Lychee Lover at Stanford Shopping Center 

A guilt-free drink that you can enjoy while strolling the clean, sterile, lifeless sidewalks of Stanford University. Palo Alto’s gentrification episode already happened years ago, so you can rest easy knowing that you won’t have to see its victims in the flesh. Relish the fact that with a few more years of pressure from the housing market, this could be Berkeley, too. 

2. Taro Mochi Drink at Tibear

Okay, seriously – when did this become your problem? Can’t you enjoy your boba in peace without constantly being reminded of California’s ever-worsening housing/homelessness crisis? So what if you’re actively contributing to it by being here – you’re not the one who bought up all the real estate in the area and artificially jacked up the prices! Aren’t you progressive enough? You’re supporting a women/ POC-owned business, for fuck’s sake! Just block out all that ‘affordable housing’ noise and drink your tea in silence. 

  1. The Blood of the Houseless

It’s all over your hands, so you might as well slurp it up.

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