Elif Tea Cafe has been opened since early October 2018. Upon hearing about this cafe, I decided to check them out online. The concept of noodle/rice bowl with boba tea sounds pretty good to me. Unfortunately, when I spoke with the owner, Marco, over the phone, they are not serving the bowls yet. The good news is that they are working with the health department in getting their certificate so they will have it available later on. Despite that, I decided to drop in on a Wednesday morning to see what’s good for lunch since they do have other items on the menu.
At 11am on a Wednesday morning, the cafe was pretty quiet and slow. There were a couple of customers waiting on their orders, but no crazy lines. The cafe is decorated with a lot of anime and cartoon characters. If you’re into animation as much as Marco, I’m pretty sure you’ll like it. There is a Playstation available, so while you’re waiting on your order, you can play a game or two. But of course, that is if it’s not already occupied. There are a few books available as well if you’re into it. Marco and his wife are super friendly and accommodating. Just keep in mind this is a “mom and pop” run cafe so might wait a little bit for someone to take your order.
Important to note, the menu is pretty simple. Elif Tea Cafe offers ice tea, milk tea, ice smoothie, and sandwiches. They have taro, kiwi, dragon fruit, cantaloupe, green apple, and red bean to name a few. There are three options for sandwiches: chicken, beef, and egg/veggie. I asked Marco what’s popular from their menu and he said it was their milk teas. What’s great about their tea products is that they are organic and the syrup that is used in their drinks are made in-house. The syrup is made with sugar cane, brown sugar, and honey. While there, Marco shared with me his syrup and the commercial syrup that most boba tea shop uses. I can definitely taste the sugar cane in his. If you want to compare the two, feel free to ask Marco when you visit.
Elife Tea Cafe should be offering rice bowls and noodles in the future. I would like to return to try them.
For my trip, I decided to grab the chicken sandwich and taro milk tea. I was somewhat confused when I received my order. I was expecting a piece of chicken between two pieces of bread. Instead, I received something that look similar to a bologna sandwich. I had to ask Marco again if he got my order correct. He assured me it is chicken. The meat is ground, unlike the typical chicken sandwich you get from McDonald’s or any fast food restaurants. This sandwich is rather unique in its way since I’ve never had a chicken sandwich made ground chicken.
As for the milk tea, I quite enjoyed it. It’s nothing crazy or extravagant. It tasted like it’s supposed to with a hint of taro and sugar cane. I’ve had bad experiences where the powder taste becomes so prominent that the drink itself is not good. This was not the case here. The boba was high quality.
About Elif Tea Cafe
Marco is the owner of Elif Tea Cafe. He and his wife both live in Elk Grove. After 15 years working in the same profession for someone else, he decided to open his own boba tea shop. He named the cafe after his daughter Elif. However, his decision to open the cafe didn’t come easy.
Marco spent 2 years in Taiwan studying the art of making the drinks. Furthermore, he had to learn how to cook the sugar down in order to get the right taste. Also, not only did he had to learn how to make the syrup, he also learn how to make the powder.
Marco takes pride in his drinks, offering organic ingredients. Drop by Elif Tea Cafe when you have some time and try them for yourself. I’ll definitely be back for more boba, to try more of the sandwiches and to check out the rice bowls and noodles when they become available.
9171 Elk Grove Florin Rd #3
Elk Grove, CA 95624