Words and photos by Clark Adomaitis
Looking to change up your lunch routine from the usual deli or pizza stop? Starting this semester, you can now cool off and wash down those sandwiches and/or pizza with some Tidal Tea.
The new corner store opened this past summer 1520 Amsterdam Avenue, on the corner of West135th Street. The spot neighbors Pepo’s Pizza and is across the street from the North Academic Center (NAC) at The City College of New York (CCNY). They specialize in Asian-inspired premium brewed teas, such as bubble/boba milk teas and more.
Co-founder Kelvin Lo, whose favorite tea is lychee with jelly, has been making the most of their first month serving the Harlem and CCNY community. “It’s something for us to get involved in that we’re excited about, it’s been a really good experience,” Lo told The Campus.
Lo is proud of Tidal Tea’s involvement with CCNY’s students’ lives, Lo states, “A majority of our staff is CCNY students. We’ve been working with some clubs. We’re doing a fundraiser with the Filipino club, to give a percentage of the sale back to support them.”
Few other stores serve bubble tea in Harlem, but Lo notes that a nearby sushi restaurant does serve the beverage. Despite this competition, Tidal Tea is proud of its ability to focus and specialize. “We actually use loose leaf teas,” proclaims Lo. He highlights their green teas infused with fruit and fruit jams, such as the mango green tea. Additionally, in their taro milk drink, they include real taro root instead of just taro flavor. “Our taro milk tea has fresh taro smeared on the side of the cup, and that’s very different from other places” Lo explained.
Whether you prefer more ice, less ice, less sugar, no sugar, milk tea, tea with boba, tea with jelly, slush, or premium roasted oolong tea, Tidal Tea provides you with all of these options and more right across the street from the NAC.