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Instagram Sensation Tiger Sugar Boba Shop Is Coming to Los Angeles

Taiwan’s premier purveyor of brown sugar boba will make its West Coast debut on October 26 in Rowland Heights

Two hands holding boba tea.
Taiwan’s premier purveyor of brown sugar boba is making its West Coast debut on October 26.
[Official Photo]
Cathy Chaplin is a senior editor at Eater LA, a James Beard Award–nominated journalist, and the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Los Angeles.

Taiwan’s premier purveyor of brown sugar boba Tiger Sugar is making its West Coast debut on October 26 in the neighborhood of Rowland Heights, which is located 25 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles. Tiger Sugar entered the U.S. market this past spring with two wildly popular stores in New York City.

Tiger Sugar is best known for its syrup-streaked, Instagram-ready milk teas. Founder Ming Tsung Yang stumbled upon the unique beverage when he combined brown sugar syrup with tapioca pearls and fresh milk at his dessert shop in Taichung, Taiwan, according to Tiger Sugar representative K. Leung. “The pronunciation of brown sugar in Taiwanese sounds almost similar to Tiger Sugar in Mandarin,” explains Leung. “Also, the brown sugar makes ‘tiger stripes’ in the drink.”

To stand out in a crowded boba market, Tiger Sugar will lean heavily on its tried and true “golden ratio” of proprietary brown sugar syrup, organic milk, and blend of slow-cooked tapioca pearls. “The cooking process of our tapioca takes three hours,” shares Leung. “The larger boba is very chewy and absorbs the aroma and taste of the sugar, while the smaller boba has a smooth texture.” The Rowland Heights menu offers just over a dozen drinks featuring various combinations of brown sugar syrup, milk, cream, and tapioca pearls.

The first Tiger Sugar store opened in 2017 in Taichung, Taiwan. The chain of drinkable desserts currently has 40 locations worldwide in Asia, Canada, and the U.S. The Rowland Heights shop is open Sundays through Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Tiger Sugar. 18330 Colima Road, Rowland Heights, CA 91748.