Zero&: zero calorie sugar, zero service


Jia Takayoshi

The new boba store Zero& at Stoneridge Mall features Strawberry Marble and Hayes Blue drinks.

Jia Takayoshi and Carina Liu

A new boba store, Zero&, opened up at Stoneridge Mall in May 2022, soon gaining traction because of the pleasing aesthetics and intricate flavors of their drinks.


The store itself is difficult to locate because it sits directly behind Artly’s Coffee Shop and a winding staircase. It took us around 30 minutes to actually find it, even though we knew the area it was in, because of everything obstructing our view. In addition, the store itself is very small and doesn’t include a dine-in area, and even though there were no tables or chairs (though there was a small bench), it was overall pretty cramped. There weren’t many people who were there (possibly because we went at a time when Stoneridge wasn’t as busy), so the size of the area wasn’t unbearable. Even with a cramped space, the leafy environment and decor still managed to be very visually pleasing and inviting. 

It took us around 30 minutes to actually find it because of everything obstructing our view.


The customer service at Zero& could definitely use some work. When we arrived, no one was maintaining the front; not a single person could be seen, and there wasn’t any way to get the staff’s attention (who we heard in the back talking loudly). We had no choice but to discard our question and only use the kiosks available. Another factor to take into consideration is that cash is not accepted for payment; only card or Apple Pay are accepted. There are only two kiosks in the store as well. Since many high schooler students might not have a credit/debit card or Apple Pay, even just ordering and paying here would be difficult. However, if you can get past that hurdle, the rest is smooth sailing. In fact, it took only four minutes to receive our drinks, which is a relatively short time compared to other more well-known boba stores like Boba Bliss or Boba Guys.


The menu contained a good variety of items, ranging from fruit teas, milk teas, hanabi cakes and small pastries (including savory varieties). Although the prices were a bit on the expensive side, they were mostly in line with other popular boba places such as Boba Bliss, so it’s definitely not overpriced. However, that only applies to the drinks; pastries, such as the hanabi cakes, were very expensive as they were ten dollars and pretty small. What we really appreciated about the menu was that we were able to see the number of times each item was purchased, which allowed us to determine what products were most popular. In addition, after selecting an item, they also give recommendations for toppings and add-ons, which is helpful to first-timers who aren’t familiar with the store and would like to know what to order. However, we also noticed that many products were out of stock. While this might just be a timing problem, possibly due to arriving too late in the day, it still bothered us when their most popular products that we wanted to try were out of stock.


For the drinks, we settled on getting the Hayes Blue ($5.95) and the Strawberry Marble ($6.95). The appearance of both drinks were very aesthetically pleasing. The Hayes Blue had coconut juice, coconut milk and butterfly pea tea. There was a recommended option for coconut pudding, which we added as well. When we got the drink, it came with a blue straw and a plastic cloud decoration. It had a light coconut flavor which tasted like fresh coconut water.

The pudding was light and delicate, not too overpowering in conjunction with the drink. It was also not too thick, making it easy to drink up with the straw. On the other hand, the Strawberry Marble drink had a half pound of fresh strawberry, milk and sea salt cheese foam. It had a fresh strawberry flavor, rather than an artificial strawberry flavor, which made it much more enjoyable. Instead of being overly sweet, it had a more tart and sour essence. The cheese cream, although it may be off-putting to some, was a nice contrast and pairing to the strawberry drink. The seeds from the fresh strawberries also added variety to the texture of the drink. The boba texture was a little chewier than preferred, but it was still a good drink overall. The only aspect we were concerned about was the lack of choice in sizing for any of the drinks, especially because the Hayes Blue was very small compared to the size of the Strawberry Marble.


Overall, Zero& has good quality products, which is evident by its popularity and use of fresh ingredients, but can work on its customer service and ambience. However, it is relatively affordable from the drink aspect, given that you have the correct methods of payment, and is definitely worth a try.