A Taste Of Taiwan At Tea 18
Introducing Tea 18
A taste of Taiwan has arrived in Elk Grove at a unique tea spot called Tea 18. This specialty tea store brings us the sensational flavors that Taiwan is famous for, such as the Oolong, Black, Green, and White tea varieties in different forms. Tea 18 opened up in May and is booming in the business of fruit teas and milk teas. A blend of mixes are offered that appeal to the taste buds of kids, teens and grownups of all ages. There are many great boba and tea spots that have opened up all over California in the recent years that offer delicious boba and tea, but Tea 18 stands out because of their long menu that offers a variety of tea flavors, both hot and cold.
Located in the shopping cove by Bruceville Road and Whitelock Avenue, this little store has plenty of parking space and great customer service. Crowds are flocking to get their favorite cravings of custom ordered teas in the lists of varieties offered on the menu. Some stay at this cozy store to socialize with each other while others leave happily with trays of large 20-24 ounces or 500-700 ml. of refreshing drinks in hand. Most of the guests were repeat customers of Tea 18 and seemed perfectly content in patiently waiting for their usual drinks in very long lines. Long lines and a big crowd of customers speak volumes for any cafe or restaurant, and Tea 18 seems to be drawing in plenty of attention in Elk Grove.
Clean, orderly and respectful are words to describe the ambiance at Tea 18. Although it was very crowded with teens and tweens upon my visit, the after school bunch seemed enthusiastic and content socializing over tea with friends. The servers were friendly, focused and attentive to each customer’s order despite the stress of having long lines of eagerly waiting tea drinkers.
Tea 18 has a vibrant atmosphere with gorgeous deep blue walls and comfy wooden furniture sparkling with newness. This is a small store that can get crowded very fast depending on the time of day. However, Tea 18 could be a neat little spot to have a morning meeting with business colleagues, a social gathering with friends in the afternoons or an after dinner tea party with family and friends in the evenings.
Teas to Please
The teas at Tea 18 are designed to please. One can expect to have a custom blend of any cold or hot tea mixed with a selection of interesting toppings. Such toppings include Aloe, Lychee, Cheese Foam, Red Bean, Egg Pudding, Taro, Herb Jelly and Boba. A variety of teas are offered from Honey Milk Tea, Okinawa Brown Sugar Milk Tea, Hokkaido Milk Tea and more, all made with non-dairy creamer. The Classic Oolong Milk Tea is a usual favorite for grown ups while children prefer the Strawberry Milk Tea or the Chocolate Milk Tea. I sampled a taste of all three and they were equally delicious. My favorite preference was the Oolong Milk Tea sample which was sweet and rich in flavor, smooth and silky in taste. I was told that this particular cold drink is most popular with grownups who enjoy the health benefits and the flavors of the Oolong tea. There are two Foam Teas offered as a Cheese Foam and a Signature Foam. Cheese Foam is a thick foam similar to whipped cream and is typically made from a mixture of cream cheese, whipped cream and milk. Premium Teas are also offered at Tea 18 from Jasmine Green, Roasted Oolong and Assam Black Tea. There are many Ice Blends to choose from as well, such as Gold Pomalo, Oreo Ice, Thai Ice Tea, and Matcha Red Bean. Flavored teas include Blueberry Black Tea, Lychee Black Tea, White Peach Ooolong, Lavender Black Tea and many more. The Fruit Teas include Plum Green Tea, Wintermelon Tea, Ginger Tea, and Mango Green Tea and the list goes on.
I ordered the Passion Fruit Green Tea with the Aloe Topping which I enjoyed very much. This was a light and refreshing beverage perfect for a cool down in the hot summer heat. The small, soft, juicy bites of aloe made the drink very filling and the passion fruit bits were fresh and delicious. I ordered the 24 ounce and I was only able to drink half of it. These 24 oz. drinks can most definitely be shared by 2 or even 3 people.
Each drink is ordered to the customer’s liking and preference. I ordered the 30% sugar for mild sweetness and regular ice to keep the strength of the green tea light in flavor. The refreshing pieces of passion fruit were the best part of my drink and the tiny, crunchy seeds from the fruit were an additional treat to munch on. I highly recommend this drink if you love passion fruit, green tea and aloe vera.
Snacks with Tea
Deep fried snacks such as sweet potato fries, fried chicken, fried lobster, fried fish balls and fried calamari can be enjoyed with the delicious teas at Tea 18. We ordered the Deep Fried Seafood Snack which included 2 delicious lobster balls, 2 large succulent shrimp, 2 medium sized fish balls, and 4 rings of thin cuts of calamari. The fried foods are all served in small portions, and are meant to be small snacks to munch on along with the tea. Although tasty, I found the fried foods at Tea 18 to be a bit too oily and greasy for my liking, but overall they were worth a try as I love lobster and fish.
Teas are traditionally known to have plenty of health benefits. Green tea is known to be high in antioxidants that fight free radicals which damage DNA, and cause aging, cancer, stroke and heart disease. Oolong tea is linked to having healthier teeth, gums, and bones. Black tea is known for improving mental alertness. White tea can help with weight loss and may help combat skin aging. Tea in itself and alone with no sugar and creamer can be a very healthy beverage. Milk Teas, however, can be extremely high in sugar and in fat content as they contain non dairy creamer with sugar, but they serve as a sinful, delicious dessert.
Tea 18 is the place to go for tea and fruit lovers. I recommend Tea 18 for anyone who wants to experience the unique flavors of teas offered here and for anyone who is new to the boba and tea experience. Tea 18 has another store located in Sacramento on Truxel Road. I do hope you try this spot and please let me know your feedback. Enjoy!
Tea 18 Genuine Tea Store
10051 Bruceville Road
Elk Grove, CA. 95757
Hours: 11:30 am – 9 pm
3880 Truxel Road
Sacramento, CA 95834
Hours: 11:30 am – 9 pm