Forget the champagne, these tiny balls, each as big as a champagne grape, set off some pretty flavorful firework on the tongue.
We’ve driven by this Orange Leaf many a time but always when we’re heading for some green waffle at Century Bakery. For some reason reasonable only to the designer’s aesthetics, there is a fence encompassing the vicinity of Orange Leaf and Lemon Grass, separating the two from the Grand Century Mall, even though they’re practically in the same block. Needless to say, the fence inconveniences anyone who parks in Grand Century lot and wants to go to Orange Leaf, or vice versa, because you gotta walk all around and out to the street and back in again on the other side of the fence. Nobody has attempted to climb. A lot more, like myself I’d imagine, have said the heck with it and gone to only one or the other. For us the 50/50 odds has disproportionately favored Grand Century in the past. Then one day Mudpie pouts and says “I want waffles and yogurt”.
The setup at Orange Leaf is what you would expect at any frozen yogurt corner: clean dispenser stalls, small tables, light chairs, you make one leisure trip from the cups, passing the yogurt reservoirs, winding by the topping trays, stop at the scale to weigh your sweet snowy load and pay 30 cents for every ounce, then you take a cheap-colored plastic spoon and thank the cashier who has patiently (and likely out of boredom) observed you from the start. The yogurt selection has what I always go for: chocolate, coconut, and taro. (My number one, unwavered rule for fro-yo: no taro, no Mai. No exception.)
The toppings are for the most part the same as everywhere else: fresh fruits, cheesecake bite, brownie bite, coconut flake, cereal, gummy bear, chocolate chip, etc. But at the forefront something new catches my eyes: tiny, shiny, bouncy-looking perfect balls in yellow and white. Mudpie comes up as I scoop spoonfuls into my cup, “what are those?”
Fruity “popping boba” as they call them. They are so slightly smaller than the tapioca pearls (“boba” 波霸) in bubble tea, and certainly not made of tapioca. Not more than a couple of droplets are contained, with some leeway, inside a thin but chewy pouch. Like popping bubble wrap? How about popping one with your tongue and feeling a mini explosion of orange juice sweep over the fleshy terrain? It is pure joy that goes with any yogurt flavor. Color aside they look like ikura, but they taste better, hands down.
Where to find them: Orange Leaf (near Grand Century mall)
1143 Story Rd. Suite 190,
San Jose, CA 95122