By Isabel Kikoshima and Amelia Lipcsei
Each issue, we will review a different boba place. For each cafe, we will rate the tea, boba, atmosphere, and customer service. This issue, we rate Happy Lemon, a global bubble tea franchise located in the Westgate shopping center.
Amelia Tea Ranking: 9/10
I walked into Happy Lemon expecting to be disappointed by the flavor of the tea; however, I found myself pleasantly surprised. After trying the Kumquat Lemon Green Tea, which I tremendously enjoyed, I vowed to come back to Happy Lemon again in the future. The mixture of sweet and tart, both refreshing and satisfying, created a unique flavor that left me wanting more. Likewise, made with real kumquats, the tea highlighted the flavorful aspects of the delicious fruit. Even after finishing my last sip, I still felt just as fulfilled as I did when I tried the drink for the first time. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend trying the Kumquat Lemon Green Tea!
Isabel Tea Ranking: 9/10
I rate the Fresh Lemon Green Tea a nine out of ten because the tea has a strong lemon flavor. The drink also had the perfect amount of sweetness that still retained a tart aspect with the fresh lemon juice. Sipping the refreshing tea, I was enlightened by the taste of real lemon juice, which many boba shops do not provide. Unlike many lemon teas, the Fresh Lemon Green Tea has a distinct lemon flavor and is not overpowering with a citrus taste. I would definitely recommend this tea if you love a zesty, yet mouth-watering drink!
Amelia Boba Ranking: 6.5/10
When trying new drinks, I tend to pay most attention to how much I enjoy the boba itself. Unfortunately, Happy Lemon fell short in the boba category. Although their pearls had a nice texture and seemed evenly cooked, they lacked the flavor that I love. In my opinion, pearls should have a sweet aftertaste that pairs well with any tea. Happy Lemon pearls lacked the flavor that makes boba so delicious. Instead of the sugary aftertaste that I desired, I was met with a bland mouthful of nothing. If you’re looking for a place with good quality boba, look elsewhere.
Isabel Boba Ranking: 7/10
While sipping my drink, the tapioca pearls were cooked to perfection. Chewy and soft, the boba has the perfect texture. The taste of the boba, on the other hand, unfortunately fell short. When tasting the best pearls, I look for a sweet, brown sugar flavor. At Happy Lemon, while the boba has an impeccable consistency, they have little to no flavor. Overall, I rate the boba a seven out of ten due to the decent texture and lack of flavor.
Amelia Atmosphere Ranking: 8/10
The hanging lights, the yellow aesthetic, the comfy seating—all of these factors contributed to my high atmosphere ranking. However, above all, I think that the cozy lighting, created by a mixture of fairy lights, ceiling lights, and neon leds, played the biggest role in my overall enjoyment of the environment. As soon as I walked into the room, I felt more at ease. Likewise, the assortment of seating—both high-chairs and table chairs—added to the coziness of the place. Unfortunately, many of the chairs and tables looked like they could use a deep cleaning, which is why, although adorable, I only ranked the atmosphere an 8/10.
Isabel Atmosphere Ranking: 7/10
From the mismatched tile and lights to the worn down signs, the atmosphere at Happy Lemon lacks the cafe ambiance of other boba shops. While sitting in the colorful cushioned chairs, the decor, including the LED and Christmas lights, feels out of place. In addition, there are three different tiles—yellow, gray, and white—that seem disconnected and do not compliment each other. However, the overall yellow and lemon theme provides an uplifting atmosphere where I would enjoy going with my friends. I rate the atmosphere at Happy Lemon a seven out of ten due to the conflicting decorations, yet joyful visual appeal.
Amelia Customer Service Ranking: 6.5/10
I gave the customer service ranking a 6.5/10 because although I didn’t have a memorably bad experience, I also didn’t have an overall good experience. With the music playing in the background, hearing the staff proved incredibly difficult. Likewise, I felt like the cashier wanted to do everything but help me; when I asked her a question, I was given a half-hearted answer. I empathize with people who have to work long-shifts. However, I don’t think that anyone should ever feel judged or ignored when ordering at a food place. Thus, since the staff seemed to want to do anything but be there, I give the customer service a 6.5/10.
Isabel Customer Service Ranking: 6/10
Happy Lemon hit most of the marks in tea, boba, and atmosphere, but the customer service on the other hand, fell short. I rate the customer service a 6/10 because I couldn’t hear the staff due to the plexiglass screen and music. After I asked the staff at the cash register to repeat what she said, I was unfortunately met with a rude response. Similarly, the cashier did not seem interested in my order or questions While the staff at Happy Lemon makes adequate drinks, their customer service overall felt impolite and thus deserves a 6/10.