Boba Guys - Bubble Tea | San Francisco, CA

The boba revolution starts now

Three nights a week, Boba Guys sell bubble tea from the bar at Ken Ken Ramen.

It's a sideline gig for Bin Chen and Andrew Chau, who met at Timbuk2, where they both still work. United by a shared love of the beverage, the duo set about creating the perfect boba, using YouTube videos and trial and error as their guides.

They sampled 15 different brands of tapioca balls before choosing the one to use; an attempt to create the balls from scratch was a disaster. Their experiments and failures are the subject of a column they've been writing for Good.

To create the drink, the cooked boba are soaked in a sweet syrup, the exact recipe for which is a secret. The softened boba are then combined with Straus milk and half-and-half, and Indian black tea. A soy-milk version is also available (both $4).

In homage to their current pop-up location in the Mission, they also make a horchata boba ($4), using the cinnamon-laced Mexican rice-based drink as a base.

It was their first multi-culti boba, but it won't be their last: The Guys plan to use their milk-tea base in combination with other great global drinks, from chai to Vietnamese coffee.

Boba Guys, Thursdays through Saturdays at Ken Ken Ramen, 3378 18th St.; 415-967-2622 or