Do You Know How Boba Tea Was Born?

People can't get enough of bubble tea, either because to the tapioca balls' addictively chewy texture, the milky tea's smoothness, or the simple delight of inserting the straw through the sealed plastic top. One of the few tea concoctions, known as bubble tea, is now a worldwide phenomenon, not only in Taiwan, where it originated. Today, bubble tea franchises are all throughout the world. Who on earth thought to put tapioca balls in tea, though?


The origins of boba culture, which emerged in the late 1980s, are disputed. Due to the widespread tradition of drinking tea in East Asia, milk tea was already well-known in Taiwan. At that time, tapioca balls and shaved ice were both common sweets. Someone at some point came up with the idea to blend three well-liked ingredients into one drink: tapioca balls on the bottom, then a layer of shaved ice, and milk tea to make up the remainder. 

As boba became more popular in Taiwan over time, it evolved: stall owners started serving fruit boba, replacing the actual fruit with fruit powders and syrups (which was too expensive and went bad quickly). Beyond tapioca balls, additional topping options were available, including red beans, grass jelly, almond jelly, and egg pudding. Even in traditional boba, the milk in the milk tea was replaced with non-dairy creamer, and as a result, the beverage gained a reputation for its extraordinarily sweet, creamy flavour. 

What To Know  

The hardest and most crucial step in making boba is making tapioca balls, which is very straightforward. They must first be purchased dry, boil for 30 minutes, and then cooled for 30 minutes. You don't want your tapioca balls to be too sticky or they will all stick to one another in the cup. They won't be chewable if they are too tough. The texture of the tapioca balls determines Boba's life and death. Even the Chinese character for chewy, "QQ," is used to describe the ideal consistency. 

Tapioca balls are the first ingredient in every cup of boba, which is then filled with tea or juice and a ton of ice. There are now specialised ribbed plastic cups, broad straws (for fitting tapioca balls), seals (so all you have to do is pierce the seal with the straw), and sealing machines that will complete the work automatically. Today's boba shops frequently incorporate tea and syrup dispensers so that customers can choose the amount of sweetness or milk they want in their drinks.