Bubble tea, pearl milk tea, or boba tea are all terms to describe a drink that features chewy tapioca balls soaked in black tea with sweetener. The drink has its origins in Taiwan, and has become so synonymous with Asian American culture that it has spawned terms like “boba liberalism.”
Traditional flavors include taro, coconut, mango, and lychee. It's also common to be able to add a variety of Taiwanese dessert items to the drink, including firm-textured, fruit-flavored jellies, sweetened mung and red beans, small chunks of fruit, thick custard, and fruit-flavored popping bubbles (spherification of fruit juice).
Note: A recent shipping backlog from Asia on the West Coast has created spotty availability of imported tapioca balls. Some bubble tea spots may have limited supply of boba over the next few months, but it is a great opportunity to branch out and try other fillings and toppings.Read More