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Photos by Asia Morris.

Dozens of CSULB students and locals waited for an hour or more in an impressive line at Zero Express, a brand new boba tea hotspot, for its Friday grand opening celebration. Located just outside the university’s backside, the shop is nestled snugly in the shopping center on the corner of East Atherton Street and Palo Verde Avenue, which contains a 7-Eleven and Pizzamania.

David Galvan, a third-year music major at CSULB, waited for just over an hour to take advantage of the boba hub’s grand opening deals. He was the first grand opening customer, ordering the first of 100 free drinks to be given out to the first 100 customers on Friday.

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“I like boba a lot and it’s just really close to school, especially since the music department is right there,” said Galvan. “I can just walk here when I’m taking a break from practicing the piano or I’m done with classes and I want to get a drink.”

Galvan ordered the Matchata (horchata with matcha green tea), Sea Salt Green Tea and Coffee Horchata. A member of his line-waiting crew ordered the Mangonada, that could easily be deemed the diva of all Zero Express concoctions with it’s fiery orange color and tamarind candy stick protruding out the top.

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So far Yelpers have given the spot mostly rave reviews for its inventive drinks (one Yelper noted the Ube Milk Tea as something to try, as well as the Sea Salt Jasmine Tea). According to the shop’s Instagram, their teas and coffees are brewed in small batches on a daily basis and no artificial colors, flavors, powders or syrups are used. Thankfully, those vibrant colors are the result of using “simple and real ingredients.”

Each drink ranges from $3.00 to $4.50, and if you pay an extra buck and a half you can have it served in Zero Express’ signature glass milk bottle, a take-home keepsake not to be brought back and reused due to a few health code issues, according to a shop employee. If you’re a student or a local, it’s advised that you walk or ride a bike, as parking can be extremely difficult.

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The first 100 hundred customers through this Saturday and Sunday will receive their order free, while you can buy-one-get-one-free any day all day until next Sunday, December 13. Zero Express’ grand opening hours are Friday through Sunday, 12:00PM to midnight. For more information, visit the shop’s Instagram @zeroexpress.

Zero Express is located at 1785 Palo Verde Avenue, Suite F.

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Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].