It was during the 1980s in a Taiwan town named Taichung that the boba beverage was discovered. The boba is a type of tea that can be distinguished by the presence of black “pearls” made from tapioca starch or cassava root. The tea is commonly prepared with fruit and mixed with milk.
Nowadays, this beverage is very popular, particularly in Asian countries. In fact, there are now plenty of shops and stalls dedicated to selling these things. In the Philippines, a shopping mall is rarely without one of these milk tea stalls, and the beverage is the favorite drink to have during warm days.
While this is essentially a tea, this beverage is prepared in the same way that Starbucks prepares coffee. In other words, the boba can either be served hot or cold, as a smoothie, and even as a shake. As long as the drink contains the giant black pearls, also known as fenyuan, it is considered as a boba.
As mentioned above, the tea can be served with milk or with fruit. The latter is more popular due to controversies that say that tea mixed with milk does not really provide any health benefits, as the milk can negate the beneficial properties of tea. Thus, many customers go for the tea that has been infused with their favorite fruits.
The boba tea will not be as popular without its famous black pearls, which are commonly made from chewy tapioca. However, today, there are plenty of alternatives that are being offered to customers who want to try other flavors aside from sweet. For example, jelly, mung beans, and taro balls can be served in the drink instead of the pearls to give the drink a boost in flavor, as the boba doesn’t really have a distinct taste.
The oldest recipe for the tea involves green tea, tapioca, and honey. Nowadays, a customer can ask the server to change the tea type, the kind of pearls, and even the kind of sugar. For those who have diabetes, stalls make it a point to include artificial sweeteners and aspartame in the list of available alternatives.
While its name says that the boba is a type of tea, it is surprising to see that there are variants of this tea that are purely made from coffee. Of course, the only important thing is that the drink contains the chewy tapioca balls. Still, it is amazing to think how versatile this drink is to the point that it can handle a lot of ingredients while still providing a great taste.
In fact, it is said that this beverage has over two hundred and fifty flavor combinations. That is truly a lot of options for one customer. On the other hand, at least a person can find one flavor that he will really like.
From the 1980s up to the present, the boba beverage is making its way into the market at a rapid pace. Back then, this tea-based item is only available in coffee shops, though nowadays, one can easily order this drink from their favorite fast food chains, including McDonald’s. Today, this tea is now being sold in parts of Europe, particularly Austria and Germany.
The boba tea, though popular among consumers, has also faced a lot of controversies regarding its health benefits. However, it is important to note that many experts have done research and experiments, concluding that the beverage indeed has benefits for metabolism and digestion. As for those who claim that the drink is dangerous to the health, this fact is yet to be proven.