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 are rating CEREMONY, a women-owned bubble tea cafe nestled in West gate Corner and located across the street from Prospect High School.
Isabel’s Tea Ranking: 8/10
I ordered the Masala Chai and was pleasantly surprised at the rich flavor of the tea. As a chai connoisseur, I appreciate a perfectly balanced chai with a variety of notes from different spices. Since not many boba tea shops offer chai as a tea option, CEREMONY certainly deserves some credit for their expansive menu. Not only did the chai tea leave a delectable taste in my mouth, but also had the ideal ratio of sweetness in my opinion. While the tea had an overall pleasant taste, the texture of tea lacked the same appeal. Since CEREMONY uses half and half in their milk teas, the tea had residues from the cream unmixed in the tea. Overall, I would rate the tea an 8/10 because the cafe nailed the chai tea taste spot on, but I didn’t enjoy the texture of the tea as much.
Amelia’s Tea Ranking: 6/10
I ordered the Recovery Tea, which is a peppermint milk tea with honey pearls and aloe vera. Although I enjoyed the refreshing flavor of the tea, I was disappointed by the weird consistency of the drink. Looking closely at the tea, I noticed that the tea and the milk base they used seemed to be almost separated. Different particles of milk and tea were very obviously noticeable, which honestly made drinking the tea unappealing. I also was a little bit disappointed by the very strong peppermint flavor. When I order a milk tea, I look forward to the creamy and smooth flavor of the drink. In this case, the peppermint flavor completely overpowered the drink, making the tea flavor more harsh than I would have liked.
Isabel’s Boba Ranking: 10/10
Sweet, brown-sugary, and chewy, the boba at CEREMONY hits all of my marks for the perfect pearls. The boba had a flawless texture—not too chewy, yet not too soft—that made me crave more after every sip. In addition, the boba tasted fresh due to its brown sugar hints and warmth after cooking. At CEREMONY, I rate the boba a 10/10 because of the delicious taste and exemplary texture of the pearls.
Amelia’s Boba Ranking: 9/10
The boba was truly delicious. I always look forward to having the boba at CEREMONY. With a sweet brown sugar flavor and an incredible chewy texture, the pearls always leave me wanting more. I especially enjoyed the fact that even though I ordered a cold drink, I could tell that the boba was fresh due to the bottom of my cup being a much warmer temperature than the rest. Getting a drink with fresh and warm boba is always an amazing experience, which is why I rate the boba a 9/10.
Isabel’s Atmosphere Ranking: (9/10)
Inside CEREMONY, a variety of plants and greenery fill the space. The white walls and furniture provide a clean and open atmosphere. While the bubble tea shop has some tables, there is not much room to complete homework or work on group projects. Thus, I rate the atmosphere a 9/10 because although limited table space makes completing work challenging, the aesthetic decorations and vibe in the cafe make customers feel comfortable.
Amelia’s Atmosphere Ranking: 9/10
I love the inside of CEREMONY. With beautiful plants, a homey vibe, and a cohesive and clean color palette, the inside of the place always makes me feel comfortable. I was honestly super impressed by the decorations and the open floorplan of the store. My only complaint would be the lack of tables. The environment is so cute, so I wish that there was more seating for people to be able to truly enjoy the well thought out decor.
Isabel’s Customer Service Ranking: 10/10
Everytime I walk into CEREMONY, I am greeted by a smiley and passionate staff. The owner of the tea cafe handcrafts each drink to perfection by asking customers their preferred sweetness, ice, milk, and flavor. Watching the staff at the boba shop create another drink, I appreciate their attention to detail and care for the requests of their customers. I rate the customer service at CEREMONY a 10/10 because the staff always treats their customers with politeness and concoct new flavors upon request.
Amelia’s Customer Service Ranking: 10/10
CEREMONY staff always welcome me with bright smiles and thoughtful recommendations. I love interacting with the workers because they are always willing to share their favorite drinks. The owner also gives amazing advice about her favorite toppings, sweetness levels, and drinks. The staff really spend a lot of time making the tea and helping customers, which is why I give the customer service ranking a perfect 10/10.