Camellia Road Tea Bar opens this weekend in Kearny Mesa with a deliberately concise menu. Its owners hail from the San Gabriel Valley area, which is loaded with Taiwanese tea shop chains whose overly sweet boba milk teas are often made with a powdered mix of non-dairy creamer. By focusing on just a handful of tea-based beverages, owners Darwin Wu and Ricky Lau say they’re aiming to make better quality versions of popular Asian drinks.
At the new modern tea shop, the boba milk teas are built with a fresh tea concentrate made from loose leaf tea ranging from jasmine to oolong, genmaicha and Earl Grey. The drink is mixed to order in a cocktail shaker with your choice of half and half, whole milk or lactose-free milk and lightly sweetened with housemade simple syrup. Open from 10:30 a.m. to midnight, the tea bar’s other offerings include matcha milk tea with optional housemade strawberry syrup, cold brew tea and tea frescas, which combine the cold brew tea with fresh fruit and fruit syrup. By the end of the month, Camellia Road Tea Bar will be adding a selection of desserts, including Hong Kong-style egg tarts, Belgian pearl sugar waffles and creme brulee.