What Is Boba?

Have you been seeing the mysterious boba drinks everywhere too? Is it something you always wanted to try, but found too complicated? Let us walk you through a brief explanation, the history and how we make it, in preparation for your life changing experience.

First, let's cover what boba even is!

We commonly call boba tea (or just boba), bubble tea, tapioca tea, pearl tea, and many other names from around the world, is not a one singular drink, but rather an umbrella term for drinks that include tapioca or fruit pearls, mixed with tea (or sometimes juice) base, usually with milk added. However, there are infinite varieties of this drink, and it’s always possible to combine the ingredients to make your own! Take a look at our colorful and delicious menu for some examples!

What are tapioca pearls?

 The classic, chewy and sweet bubbles of the bubble tea, are brown sugar infused, and are made from tapioca starch, that comes from cassava root. Boiling water is added to the starch (and sugar or the flavor of choice) to make the dough, which is then kneaded, cut, and rolled into pearl shapes. Later it is cooked in brown sugar syrup to achive the product we first the think of when we hear boba tea. The already made product is stored for short periods of time, usually up to 4 hours, and served right away. However, the tapioca pearls can be flavored with anything, and fruits, syrups are often used to create variation.

And the other toppings?

The second most popular bubble tea topping is the popping boba, which is made out of fruit base, seaweed extract, and calcium compounds. The popping pearls have hard skin and soft inside, hence they pop when bitten, which is where they get their name from. They are sweet and fruity, and a true experience to drink.
The third most popular topping for boba tea is jelly, which is cut into small square shapes and is made out of fruit juice and are thickened with either Konjar, which is a vegan alternative to gelatin, or coconut meat. Jelly is chewy and sweet, reminding of the jello dessert from our childhoods.

The History of Boba

2737 BC


Starts all the way in 2737 BC. China, when an emperor accidentally dropped some tea leaves into hot water. Unfortunately the beginnings of bubble tea is a lot more confusing. The real origin is highly debatable, and is a topic everyone on which everyone has their own theory on. Furthermore, the two possible inventors of this magical drink have gone as far as going to court in their battle of ownership, but with no success of course. However, thanks to that, we are able to experience boba all over the world.

2737 BC



During this era, bubble tea was a sweetened green or black tea, shaken through ice, which not only cooled the drink, but created the fun foamy bubbles, not unlike those we see on beer or some sodas.



Hanlin Tea Room

The owner, Tu Tsung-ho in 1986, saw white tapioca balls on sale at a market.  He got inspired to create a fusion between the white tapioca pearls from his childhood memories and the tea he was selling. Once he added them to the milk tea, the name ‘pearl tea‘ was chosen, as per the colour of tapioca pearls, and so the drink was introduced to the customers.



Chun Shui Tang Tea Room

The second version was claimed by Chun Shui Tang Tea Room in Tainan. In 1987, a female employee also came up with a similar idea of mixing tapioca pearls snack with the tea they were selling, adding variation with options for milk tea or lemon black tea.


British Malaya

If you weren’t confused already, there is another alternative version for the true origins of bubble tea. This one, starts in the times of British Malaya, which is the modern day Signapore and Malaysia. A drink, by the name of cendol (chendol), which got popular at the time. It was a drink-dessert, that contained gelatinous strands, made out of rice flour or sage, filled with colours, which were combined with ice, to make a drink for the hot weather or a cooling dessert.


How did it gain popularity?

Starting from teahouses in Taiwan, back in the 90s. They started selling the drink, gathering young crowds to hang out, chat, and enjoy the unusual drink. It launched to insane popularity once takeaway became an option.


Way to America

With the help of taiwanese immigrants it made its way to America. Later once it got so popular that it even started being sold in Starbucks. Soon after, boba tea started appearing all over the world, including Europe, where our very own bubble tea shop is located! Back in its own home place, Taiwan, bubble tea became a national drink, and it even has its own dedicated day of celebration.


But why is that?

The main reason should be attributed to social media, as with the drink becoming a trend, more and more people became not only aware of it but created demand by wanting to try it. 



Explore our shop’s history

This ends our exploration of the history of boba tea. You are welcome to explore our shop’s history or our menu next!


How is boba made at our store?

Are you curious to how exactly your drink is made at our store? Have you been trying to sneak a look over the counter to figure it out but didn’t really see anything? Did you catch yourself wanting some boba at home but didn’t want to go outside to get some from our stores? Don’t worry, we are more than glad to share the process! You are always welcome to ask our employees about anything, and here is a brief description of the boba making!

Step 2

The bubble tea usually starts with the main toppings: we add tapioca pearls, popping boba, jelly, or whatever the recipe calls for or you as the customer want. Syrups are also added at this stage.

Step 4

The drink is then sealed and mixed by a special machine, and we make to hand it over to you with a straw and a smile!

The last step is for you to enjoy your drink! You are always encouraged to share your thoughts on how it was directly to us in the store, in our reviews, one on our social media!

Step 1

Before anything, all the components are prepared: we brew our teas, make the toppings, prepare the cups and machines. All of our bubble tea ingredients are made in store by us, from high quality ingredients sourced responsibily.

Step 3

Next we add the tea and milk, just tea or just milk, juice. Any additional toppings go in now too, such as cheese foam, that is somewhat similar to the traditional milk foam you see on coffee, and therefore has to go on top of the drink.

How can you easily experience our boba tea at home?

If reading this got you craving some boba, but you don’t want to leave the comfort of your own home, worry not! We offer city-wide delivery, so you can enjoy our delicious boba while cozying up in your bed! We also have an awsome option for those of you who live outside of Budapest: order our at-home boba kit from anywhere in Europe and explore our exclusive recipies from afar!

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