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#10 Boba, Bubble Tea

Posted February 20th, 2008 by Peter · 34 Comments

Imagine going to a strange “tea” shop with your friends. You ask for a glass of “milk tea.” You proceed to sit down. Holding the glass of milk tea up to your mouth, you start to drink the strange and asian substance until all of a sudden, a group of twenty-two black rubbery spheres rush into your mouth!!! You chew the substance and grow fond of it. This is what would happen to a non-asian person upon discovering boba.

It’s very simple. All Asians love boba! It has risen out of the depths of obscurity and made its way to now rival even the evil power of Starbucks. It also comes in a variety of flavors and is included in a myriad of drinks. Whether it be from Lollicup, Tastea, What a Boba… It still has the same chewy and nougaty goodness. It’s placed at the bottom of the cup. You drink it with a novelty large straw. What else could you want? However, many people have a gripe with boba:

1) Choking Hazard: What isn’t a choking hazard nowadays? That key you are typing on could potentially pop out, make its way down your throat and choke you. Must starbucks cups actually have a disclaimer to proclaim their “hotness?” I don’t like how people are trying to exploit every type of business in order to win a couple of extra bucks.

2) It’s only for Kids: Are video game consoles only for children? Are flag football, volleyball, and basketball leagues only for kids? People who say things are for children need to grow up. Think about it.

3) It Tastes Weird: Asians eat dog, deer, frogs, oysters, and other exotic animals. How can someone say that boba tastes weird? If you think boba is weird, you are weird. Try one of the million exotic dishes from asian countries before saying this.

Boba is a phenomenon. Like manga and anime, it has made its way across the Atlantic and into shopping malls all around the United States. Asians all know that boba is an aphrodisiac, re-energizing asians after a hard day of work, or after a hard fought game of basketball. Asians also know that they are never lost when there is a boba shop around. Along with offering the same assortment of delectable drinks everwhere, wi-fi, board games, and entertainment, Boba shops also represent familiarity. If you don’t know where to go, you know now. For a list of the best boba shops, click here.

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Tags: Activities · Culture · Food & Beverage · People · Products · Work

34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dr. Chan // Feb 20, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Yes, very tasty . Heres a list of Local Places

    In Garden Grove , popluar ones include

    Boba House , on Brookhurst

    Boba Corner inside SF Supermarket on McFadden

    Boba Co La on Chapman

    Tapioca Queen on Westminster and Newland

    and many more.

  • 2 Peter // Feb 20, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Don’t forget Tastea in Garden Grove

  • 3 Justin // Feb 20, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Nice description, my mouth is watering! I’m a slave to BOBA!!!

  • 4 hmm // Feb 21, 2008 at 3:53 am

    haha I’m amused that Garden Grove is mentioned in here

  • 5 WhitePerson // Feb 22, 2008 at 6:42 am

    How do you make Boba at home?

  • 6 Justin // Feb 22, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Go to Asian market, buy a bag of what looks like dried boba, then boil it in water for 5 minutes. Huala! Boba!

  • 7 Peter // Feb 22, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    You can buy it online or at an asian supermarket. It’s called Tapioca Pearl, and is made just by boiling the starchy-like tapioca pearls in hot water for about 20 minutes. Then you soak in honey or sugar water and keep it there until you serve it. Don’t put it in the fridge.

  • 8 Liz // Feb 26, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    I love this stuff!!! And I’m not even Asian! Thank you Vietnam Kitchen in Louisville, KY for introducing me to this! I wish I knew how to make it.

  • 9 Kevin // Mar 3, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    every time i try and make it it always gets hard if i don’t use it right away or if i put it in a smoothie or something. i don’t get how tea shops keep them chewy ever after putting it into a slushy or something

  • 10 kvietgrl // Mar 3, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    i think it gets hard if you refrigerate it or if you don’t soak it in some sort of sugar water or if you don’t cook it enough and what type of boba you buy (can’t get the cheap ones)…i think it depends on what you put the boba in, if you put it in a cold slushy/freeze, it’ll turn hard faster. also, what restaurants do is first add boba and the hot/warm boba sugar water at the bottom of cold slushies…unless you mix it all up the bobas will stay at the bottom and won’t be affected by the cold slushy at the top, also if you put it into a tea or something less cold it’ll turn hard less. hope this explanation helps!

  • 11 yimay // Mar 6, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    boba is slang for “big nipple” in chinese

  • 12 KK // Mar 8, 2008 at 7:36 am

    A cup of tapioca milk tea, averaging 700 CCs, costs around US$1 in Taipei. Really great quality balls and tea. Can’t say the same over here…

    Oh and in some circles, shiny tapioca balls chewy but light, are referred to over there as frog’s eggs, which is making a huge comeback…

  • 13 Amy // Mar 10, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    haha i love this!
    in Australia it’s called “bubble tea”. The boba is called “pearl” or “sago”.

  • 14 blah // Mar 14, 2008 at 9:51 am

    wait…is boba tapioca or bubble tea?

  • 15 kvietgrl // Mar 14, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    yeah…boba = bubble tea = tapioca pearls = bigger than baby pearls depending on where you get them…

  • 16 foxwithcpu // Apr 7, 2008 at 6:53 am

    Best boba for my money is at Champion Foods in Fountain Valley, Calif.

  • 17 sowhat // Apr 28, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    You should mention that it bubble tea or boba originated in Taiwan. Or maybe no one really cares.

  • 18 Mrs. Wang // May 1, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    I love boba nai tsa. i love tswa bing. but most of all, I HEART Taiwan.

  • 19 Ray // Jun 23, 2008 at 4:44 am

    just like in the US, boba is more of a niche here. i fall into that niche. boba yeaaaa

  • 20 Anonymous // Jul 14, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    yuck, I think bubble tea is nasty

  • 21 lvazifdar // Aug 1, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I’m Asian and I love boba. It’s amazing. How can white people not like boba? Come to think of it I can’t think of any Asians who don’t like boba.

  • 22 PearlynRae // Mar 23, 2009 at 5:45 am

    i love the bubbles/pearls. i just hate when i forget to tell the “EasyWay” girls to use dairy not soy milk… :\

  • 23 Lisa // Apr 14, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Boba is one of those things that you have once and think, “meh”. You have it a second time and you think, “it’s good”. And then before you know it your spending 3 out of 5 weekly lunch hours subbing it to Chinatown just to get some Quickly Boba in your belly.

    I think the pearls have small doses of crack in them…god bless it!

  • 24 kvietgrl // Apr 15, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    agreed haha i now brew boba everyday =*(

  • 25 NW Bubble Tea Supply // Jun 18, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    NW Bubble Tea Supply is based in the Northwest. Our company focuses on basic bubble tea supply needs such as cups, straws, sealing film, and equipment.

  • 26 Kady // Jun 17, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    I can only say one thing:
    Tapioca Express FTW!

  • 27 Seri // Jul 26, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Why isn’t this number one on the list? >_>

  • 28 lingyuan // Jul 28, 2010 at 9:00 pm


    Many (or most) white people get weirded out by the boba at the bottom of the drink. If they manage to look over that, then they hate that they have to chew on the boba, because American foods have that Q texture. I’ve heard stuff like “what kind of idiot would put chewy globs in a drink?”, etc. from white people trying it for the first time. It’s the texture that puts them off, though if you’ve grown up eating Asian food, that’s exactly what makes boba sooo good.

  • 29 Peter // Jul 30, 2010 at 11:38 am

    @Seri, it’s an ongoing list, not a listing of the top things

  • 30 juicy couture // Oct 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm

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  • 32 Girl Here // Oct 2, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I love boba when the tapioca is mostly frozen. I’m weird like that, I don’t like it very much it’s defrosted, i just like munching on it.

  • 33 k // Oct 9, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Interesting! In singapore, it is called ‘bubble tea’ and bobas are called pearls or bubbles. Shops with origin from Taiwan are really popular now.

  • 34 ilovehorseyrides // Jun 9, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Asians also like Thai Tea!!!! (Only found in Cali!!!)

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