Insider Knowledge from a Sunright Employee

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I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but sometimes I really don’t want to go to work. My feet beg for mercy three hours into my weekend shifts, having to run from the cup sealing station to the front door like a track star running sprints. God is constantly testing me by sending me customers who have not yet received texts that say their order is ready, as well as customers who ignore my handwritten notes taped on the ordering kiosk explaining exactly what to do. My favorite customers are the ones who take the time to tell me they have waited thirty minutes for their drinks. I wish I could tell them they are not special, and that I have no control over the mile-long line of customers. Nevertheless, I persist. 

Why? Because I’m hooked. Sunright Tea Studio’s boba is just too good一so is that employee discount. I have been working at Sunright Tea Studio’s first NorCal location since two weeks after its soft opening in February, so I’ve had the opportunity to try a few different drinks. When I say Sunright never misses, I mean they never. Miss. Every Sunright drink is made from fresh, high quality ingredients一if you order the Strawberry Jasmine Tea, you’re getting fresh blended strawberries; the strawberry seeds that provide a slight crunch is evidence of that. Steaming vats of boba are brought out every hour or so, providing the comforting taste of warm brown sugar in every cup. 

As someone whose entire personality revolves around Sunright, I feel that I am qualified to share what I believe are the best and worst drinks. To provide some background on my personal taste, I love bitter tea and rarely add sugar to my drinks. The sugar from boba and Sunright’s House Milk are enough for me, and I love drinks that have orange juice or matcha. Here is a list of every Sunright drink I’ve tried, as well as what I would rate them on a scale of 1-10. 

Taro Milk Tea, 100% sweet, no ice 一  2/10

What I said before about Sunright never missing? The Taro Milk Tea is the exception. I would never reach for a taro drink, but I had the opportunity to try it because someone had put the wrong amount of sugar. The Taro Milk Tea has a ceylon milk tea base (the same used for the signature Sunright Boba Milk Tea) and fresh taro is swirled around the cup. It tastes like medicine. This might have been due to the 100% sweetness level, but I wouldn’t want to try it again with a different level of sweetness. 

Sunright Brown Sugar Boba Milk, 0% sweet, normal ice 一  5/10

The Sunright Brown Sugar Boba Milk just… boba and milk. If I were to order this again, I’d replace fresh milk (cow’s milk) with oat milk, and get 50% sugar. The fresh milk is filling in an I-feel-queasy type of way, so I can never finish the whole cup. What prevents this drink from being absolutely mediocre is the boba. Sunright’s boba is unmatched. Boba from other tea shops often lack sweetness or texture, but Sunright’s boba is just the right size, has a strong brown sugar taste throughout, and is the perfect ratio of soft and chewy. I stop drinking once I eat all of the boba because there is no point in just drinking sugary milk. If you want a brown sugar boba milk that makes Sunright pale in comparison, try Raretea’s Caramelized Brown Sugar Boba Fresh Milk. 

Strawberry Jasmine Tea, 0% sweet, no ice, boba 一  7.5/10

I lean more towards orange when it comes to fruit drinks, so I didn’t try the Strawberry Jasmine Tea until my coworker handed me an extra cup. This is one of the more popular drinks at Sunright, and for good reason. Each sip is characterized by a strong strawberry sweetness and slight sourness, accompanied by bits of blended strawberry and crunchy seeds. The boba ties it all together giving the sweetness a depth that would not be present without it. 

Four Seasons Cheese, 0% sweet, less ice 一  8/10

I am a huge fan of Sunright’s Four Seasons Oolong Tea一“Four Seasons again?!” and “Drink something other than Four Seasons!” are phrases I often hear as I’m about to leave work. I love it when my tea tastes like a gallon of tea leaves steeped in one cup of water, but many of my coworkers think I am eccentric for drinking what they think is just bitter leaf water. My parents are both fans of Four Seasons Cheese, which is Four Seasons with cheese foam on top. Feeling the pressure from my coworkers to try something different and because I am constantly making Four Seasons Cheeses for my parents, I decided to give it a try. I can see how other people would like the cheese foam, but I prefer sea salt foam. Sunright’s cheese foam is thick and sweet, and it felt too fattening after two sips. Though it wasn’t horrible, I prefer 85℃ Bakery Cafe’s sea salt foam. 

Matcha Frostie, 25% sweet, House Milk, boba (WITHOUT red bean) 一  8.5/10

The Matcha Frostie without red bean is a favorite among Sunright staff (no one under 30 orders anything with red bean, so I would advise to stay away from it). The combination of Sunright’s rich and sweet House Milk with high quality matcha creates a heavenly concoction of smooth flavors. The creme brulee swirled around the cup adds a creaminess to the smoothie, and the extra matcha powder mixed with the creme brulee provides a kick without making the drink bitter. Boba is necessary to contrast the iciness, and I often add half a pump of brown sugar syrup for a warm depth. 

Pro tip: If you want to remove the red bean from your Matcha Frostie, order at the kiosk in front of the store and choose the option for no red bean. If you order online, there is no option to remove the red bean. 

Another pro tip: Do not order the Matcha Frostie with 0% sugar. You will be served crunchy ice, not a smoothie.

Mochi Matcha Frostie, 25% sweet, boba (WITHOUT red bean) 一  8/10

The Mochi Matcha Frostie is one of Sunright’s newest drinks. I love mochi and matcha, so I knew I’d love this drink. After having the Matcha Frostie so many times, though, I got tired of it, so I wasn’t as wowed by the Mochi Matcha Frostie than I could have been. However, if you haven’t had as many Matcha Frosties as me, you will love this drink. The recipe for the Mochi Matcha Frostie differs slightly from the original to accommodate for the lack of matcha powder swirled around the cup, and the mochi gives the contrasting texture that the creme brulee provides. Despite my personal overindulgence in Matcha Frosties, I would highly recommend the Mochi Matcha Frostie and Matcha Frostie. 

Matcha Oolong Milk Tea, 0% sweet, extra ice, House Milk, boba 一  9.5/10

Matcha Milk Tea, 0% sweet, extra ice, House Milk, boba 一  10/10

I’m lumping these two drinks (the Matcha Oolong and the Matcha Milk Tea) together because they taste nearly identical. Both are velvety and pair well with boba, the only difference being that the Matcha Milk Tea is creamier. Matcha water is layered on top of House Milk to highlight the distinction between the two ingredients, creating a captivating visual of green versus white. Brown sugar syrup is smeared on the sides to add another color to the mix, marking the trail the boba took to the bottom of the cup. It is important to shake this drink (after staring in awe and snapping some pictures, of course) for a taste of matcha, milk, and brown sugar in every sip. This goes for the Matcha Oolong Milk Tea as well. The House Milk and Matcha overpower the Roasted Oolong Tea, though, only serving to subtract from the richness of the House Milk. 

Sunright Fruit Tea, 0% sweet, extra ice 一  10/10

The first Sunright drink I ever had was the Sunright Fruit Tea. I bought it from the Sunright Tea Studio in Costa Mesa about three years ago, hidden deep within a quiet, upscale plaza. The drink tastes like what Sunright looks like: “sunny and right,” just as it says on every cup’s seal. The Sunright Fruit tea is summer in a cup, lined by slices of orange and lemon; the mix of Four Seasons, orange juice, and passionfruit syrup is a refreshing treat on any day, but especially sweaty ones. I closed my eyes in utter joy when I made my own Sunright Fruit Tea for the first time this past February. This is a drink I always come back to when I need a serotonin boost, and it is my go-to recommendation for anyone who has never tried Sunright. The Sunright Fruit Tea will be your gateway drink, just as it had been for me. 

Sunright’s compelling power is frightening. I cannot go a single week without having Sunright at least twice, and I’ve noticed that customers exist like me as well. Perhaps you will become one of us after you try the Matcha Frostie, Strawberry Jasmine Tea, or Sunright Fruit Tea, or any other drink on Sunright Tea Studio’s expansive menu that calls your name. Soon, you’ll be wondering where all of that pocket change went and where you can get some more. Don’t forget to tip!


I will now answer questions that, frankly, I am annoyed at answering. Do not ask me these questions if you visit me at Sunright.

Q: How should I order?

A: Order online at Sunright Tea Studio’s website, on the Fantuan delivery app, or at the kiosk in front of the store. Insider tip for Mitty students only: on weekdays and early on weekends when lines aren’t long, it might be better to order on the kiosk. Kiosk orders are made first. Ordering online is better during rush hours, where you can stay at home for 45 minutes and take the 15 minute drive to Sunright. We DO NOT accept phone orders.


Q: What is in the House Milk? 

A: Non-dairy creamer. Do not ask me anything else because I. Do. Not. Know.


Q: What is the difference between Honey Boba and Boba?

A: Boba is brown sugar boba, while Honey Boba is translucent yellow and tastes like honey. Honey Boba is a lot chewier. I prefer the Brown Sugar Boba over Honey Boba. 


Q: Why didn’t I get a text confirmation that I ordered? 

A: You don’t get a confirmation text. You get a text when the order is ready. Do not ask me if your order is ready if you have not gotten a text. If you ignored my notes on the kiosk to print a receipt and/or enter your phone number, do NOT ask me to run around and look for your order. Just remember to do either of those things in the first place. I always call out the order numbers for kiosk orders and bring out the drinks, so just look at the drinks I’m carrying and see if they’re yours.


Q: It’s past the time estimate for my drinks to be ready in the email I received. Why aren’t my drinks ready?

A: If you haven’t already noticed, we often have a VERY long line. Our lines are the longest on weekends from 2-5. If you are asking this question, you most likely ordered around this time. Take a look around—that is why your drinks are not ready. There are four people making drinks inside and only me to distribute them to all four hundred of you, so please be patient. Asking me to check on your drink will only make the line longer.