Big straws, melon flavors and chewy tapioca pearls made from cassava root have become part of Silicon Valley’s culture and character. Boba Bar is right in  the thick of things at 310 S. Third St. Tucked way inside Grand Century’s East San Jose shopping plaza is the forest-themed Tea Lyfe, 989 Story Rd. in Suite 818. Meow Tea, located by the San Jose fairgrounds at 2857 Senter Rd., is for cat lovers and prominently features portraits of the owner’s marmalade tabby, Uni. For amazing milk tea head over to nearby Soyful Desserts, 999 Story Rd. in Suite 9048-B. Brace yourself for purple everything— walls, lights, straws and fuzzy seats—at ChaTime, 311 N. Capitol Ave., which also serves a variety of fried foods. Newly opened last year, Vanitea Snow Lounge at 1195 Branhan Ln. boasts an in-house art gallery, and the jasmine milk and panda boba teas at Palo Alto’s Gong Cha, 439 Waverly St., draw loyal patrons to all of its locations, including San Jose spots 1701 Lundy Ave. and 1600 Saratoga Ave.

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