What is Boba/Bubble Tea?

This is a picture of boba or bubble pearl milk tea.


This is a picture of boba or bubble pearl milk tea.

In 1980, a Taiwanese drink that would soon become a world favorite and popular all around the world was discovered. This is called bubble tea, also known as boba. Around 1980, Liu Han-Chieh was inspired to create a type of cold tea, after seeing the creation of iced coffee that was developed in Europe. Lin Hsui Hui, who was his product development manager, decided to add boba into the cold drink. This had started the beginning of bubble tea! Soon after it was created, boba became one of the most popular and famous drinks in the world. There is even a national bubble tea day, on April 30! After the drink was discovered, it spread to neighboring countries such as Korea and Japan, and later to the United States. There are hundreds and thousands of bubble tea shops in the United States and approximately 21,000 in Taiwan. Some say, “In Taiwan, there’s practically a boba shop on every corner!”

Now, what exactly is boba and bubble tea? Boba is made out of tapioca pearls that come from the cassava root. The boba comes in big chunks but is later broken down into digestible balls. Many other ingredients are added to boba to make it have its original, chewy texture. Boba is also made out of sweet potato and brown sugar for a sweet touch. The boba is boiled and cooked so the hardness of the root that it came from becomes soft. In many places, it is common for people to add honey to their boba to give it a sweet touch. There are many types of boba such as golden boba, honey boba, clear boba, flavored, mini, and popping boba. In bubble tea, there are also many other toppings such as lychee jelly, jelly, pudding, red bean, and more. The boba is added to sweet or savory drinks such as tea, milk teas, smoothies, as well as coffee. Or, some also enjoy having the chewy, sweet, treat alone. Bubble Tea got its name from the drinks that are shaken up that create bubbles! The pearls at the bottom look like black bubbles as well. Boba is very important to the Taiwanese because it almost defined them, and they became popular for their amazing creation. 

Although just a simple drink, bubble tea has made a great impact on people’s lives and is a craze to the people of Taiwan as well as the rest of the world.