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What Is Boba and Why Is It So Popular?

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What Is Boba and Why Is It So Popular?

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Pearl milk tea (珍珠奶茶), sometimes called bubble tea or boba tea, is a Taiwanese drink that is most popularly known as a milk tea with tapioca-like balls. The balls are also known as pearls, so the Chinese translation of 珍珠奶茶 is literally pearl (珍珠) milk (牛奶) tea (茶).

“Boba” itself refers to tapioca pearls made from cassava root. They are cooked in sugar and hot water until they reach a chewy consistency.

Origins

Related imageBoba tea was developed by Liu Han-Chieh and Lin Hsiu Hui in Taichung, Taiwan during the 1980’s. Lin Han-Chieh came up with the idea of milk tea after seeing how the Japanese added milk to their coffee. The new milk tea boosted the popularity of his tea house immensely and Lin Hsiu Hui, who was the product manager at the time, created the pearls by combining tapioca ball and sweetened pudding with iced tea. Since then, the popularity of boba has spread from Southeast and East Asian countries to mainly the US and Canada.

Why Is It Called “Boba?”

Image result for boba ballsThe first tapioca balls used were very small, roughly pea sized, hence the name “pearl milk tea.” Later, a tea shop owner experimented with larger balls, and used “波霸” to denounce the difference.

Unique Taste

Image result for BobaThe sweet taste of the tea paired with chewy tapioca pearls make up the unique element that boba provides. Drinks like iced coffee or juice have the same constant texture, but with boba the pearls offer a sort of “break” from the same boring consistency. There really is no other drink like it.

Shops generally have a wide variety of flavors to choose from. This includes extravagant ones like Tara, lychee, matcha, passion fruit and grapefruit. Besides just pearls most boba shops have other toppings as , jelly, fruit, popping boba, kiwi boba, avocado boba, lemon boba, honey boba, mango boba, and many more to use!

Aesthetic

Image result for boba bulbsTo be completely honest, a lot of people buy boba just for the aesthetic appeal on Instagram, Snap chat, and Twitter. People even have boba accounts just for the aesthetic of boba. And why else would boba stores make drinks like”Light Bulb Boba” or “Cotton Candy Boba”? Drinks like “blue galaxy boba”, from Vivi Bubble Tea, also have color schemes perfect for pictures as well. And, boba shops like Boba Guys, Boba Bar, or Vivi Bubble Tea, have artsy wallpapers and backgrounds in stores that are great for Instagram pictures too.

How to make boba!

Boba tea can be created with tea, fruit, coffee, or milk. Blend 16 oz of milk and ice until smooth. Pour into 16 oz glass, then add Tapioca Pearls (a starch extracted from the cassava root, known as boba) and Winter Melon Syrup (Winter melon is a large fruit that belongs to the honeydew family). Stir and enjoy.

Boba can be made in very different ways, but the best way is the way you want it to be like. So hop on the boba train today, and go get some boba at your closest boba tea shop!

Sources-

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-boba-and-bubble-tea-98067

https://www.foodandwine.com/tea/bubble-tea-taiwanese-street-drink-turned-american-addiction

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/bubble-tea-inventor/index.htmlA

https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/what-is-boba-bubble-tea-tapioca-balls

 

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What Is Boba and Why Is It So Popular?