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Bubble tea, also known as boba and pearl milk tea, is a tea-based beverage originating in Taiwan in the early 1980s. The drink is usually served with chewy tapioca balls called pearls or with fruit jelly inside the tea, resulting in its unique taste and contrasting textures of liquid and solid. Since its creation, bubble tea has become a Taiwanese cultural icon and export around the world.


Milk tea

There are several types of bubble tea. Among the most popular types are:

  • Milk tea – this the classic version of bubble tea which consists of black tea, milk or creamer, and sugar. The most common topping is tapioca pearls, though it can also be served with fruit jelly or aloe vera
  • Fruit tea – a refreshing and lighter alternative to traditional milk tea, which typically contains pieces of fruit within the tea
  • Cheese foam tea – a newer version of boba that can be made with green or black tea. It is sweet, savory and creamy and is served cold. The tea is topped with a whipped cream cheese foam, adding a salty element to an otherwise sweet drink.

Famous bubble tea shops[edit]

Major chains[edit]

  • Chun Shui Tang – one of the chains along with Hanlin Team Room whose founder claims to have invented bubble tea. The original Chun Shui Tang shop in Taichung is visited by tourists and locals alike.
  • 50 Lan – a chain known for their wide variety of flavors and on the whole being less sweet than the typical bubble tea

Local shops[edit]

See also[edit]

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