The refreshing and sweet beverage that is famous among children, young adults, and adults is called the Boba drink. Here is everything we know about its history.


Boba tea is known by many names-- pearl milk tea, bubble tea, or tapioca drink. It falls under two categories: teas without and with milk. The tea-based itself comes in many varieties like black, green, jasmine, or oolong tea. The milk usually includes condensed, almond, soy, coconut, skim milk, and many other choices. 

The balls or pearls are what give the drink its name. The bubbles are meant to be sucked on with wide straws together with the tea or milk tea. Boba tea has been increasingly popular in the world in recent years. The beverage can mostly be found at most coffee shops and Asian restaurants. 

Although it is popular, the history of boba itself is unclear but thought to have originated in Taiwan back in the 1980s. Here is everything we know. 

When Boba culture started
Boba culture started in the late 1980s. Especially in Taiwan, where drinking tea mixed with milk is a robust practice, the country can be considered as the pioneer to the start of the boba trend as dessert. At some point, someone invented a dessert drink with tapioca balls on the bottom, followed by a layer of shaved ice and milk tea to fill out the rest of the drink. 

The term "boba" itself is actually a slang word for "breast" in Chinese as a reference to the spherical shape of the tapioca balls. From black tapioca balls, Taiwanese stall owners began to evolve them into fruit boba, using fruit powders and syrups for their taste and colors. 

The boba drink is believed and traced back to Taichung City, Taiwan in the 1980s. It is believed that Liu Han Chieh first created the innovation. He combined milk tea with black tapioca balls. The drink became more popular when people started to sell them at street vendors, especially among students. 

Another claim that the invention of bubble tea comes from Tu Tsong, who was the owner of the Hanlin Tea Room of Tainan City in Taiwan. He claimed that he was inspired by the idea when he saw white tapioca balls on sale in 1986. He was then aspired to create a drink that would be popular among customers who were seemingly bored of drinking bland teas. 

Aside from the two claims, the drink's popularity has emerged in East and Southeast Asia since the 1990s. Especially now in the digital age, social media platforms drive the drink to become more well-known. 

Additionally, boba drinks served nowadays come with many different and easy-choosing flavors by many boba drink outlets. People who are also reducing sugar intake can also request a customs order according to their preferences. Therefore, it is no wonder that many people put their interest in boba drinks. 

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