Bubble Tea vs Boba Tea – What’s The Distinction?

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In case you have been a bit confused about what the distinction is in relation to bubble tea vs boba, you aren’t alone. That’s as a result of the names bubble tea and boba tea refer to precisely the identical drink.

Each bubble tea and boba tea are fabricated from iced milk teas. Like all tapioca teas, each have giant spherical boba pearls sitting on the backside. In America, that is known as bubble tea as a result of the tapioca balls on the backside seem like bubbles.

In Asia, tapioca pearls are known as boba. So if buddies say, “Let’s go get a boba!” they’re speaking about getting bubble tea.

Bubble Tea Has Many Names

Bubble Tea Has Many Names

The confusion between what entails bubble tea vs boba is a technicality to do with its identify. It’s extra American to name a boba tea a bubble tea as a result of the drink comprises giant tapioca pearls known as boba. It’s similar to the way in which we are saying, “Let’s go get a burger!” once we imply hamburger.

Listed below are some frequent names for bubble tea.

  • Boba
  • Boba nai chi
  • Boba tea
  • Bubble tea
  • Hong Kong milk tea
  • Milk tea
  • Pearl milk tea
  • Pearl tea
  • Taro milk tea
  • Tapioca tea

In Taiwan, the place it was invented within the 80s, this identical drink is named each bubble tea and pearl tea.

What’s Bubble Tea?

What is Bubble Tea

Bubble tea is a tea-based beverage that has chewy tapioca balls, known as boba or pearls, resting on the backside of the glass. Nevertheless, it’s not at all times boba balls on the backside of a bubble tea drink. Some bubble tea outlets additionally supply milk teas with pink beans, aloe vera, and grass jelly on the backside.

Bubble tea could be served sizzling or heat, however it’s extra frequent to search out it served with chunky ice or blended ice.

The normal option to put together bubble tea is to do it by hand. The sugar, tea powders, flavorings, and tapioca balls are all shaken collectively in a shaker stuffed with shaved ice. Nevertheless, in trendy outlets, your entire course of is automated, together with sealing the highest of the cup with a plastic seal.

The Unique Bubble Milk Tea Recipe

The unique bubble tea drink was created within the late Eighties in Taiwan. It was a sizzling beverage and consisted of Taiwanese black tea, tapioca pearls, and honey. The pearls have been made out of cassava, which is a starchy tropical shrub.

There are two totally different firms claiming that they invented the beverage. The primary is Tu Tsong-he of The Hanlin Tea Room, who mentioned he was impressed so as to add tapioca pearls to sizzling tea after seeing them in a grocery store. The second is The Chun Shu Tang tea room in Taichung, which was the primary to serve pearl milk tea chilly in 1988.

What’s Milk Tea?

There are two sorts of bubble teas: ones made with milk and ones made with out milk. Usually, the bottom is made with a alternative of black tea, oolong tea, or inexperienced tea.

The teas made with milk are known as milk teas and could also be blended with any of the next: almond milk, condensed milk, coconut milk 2% milk, skim milk, soy milk, and powdered milk.

Milk teas are rather more frequent than milk-free teas. Even the ice teas supplied at boba milk tea outlets have dairy in them.

Standard Bubble Tea Toppings

There are lots of several types of toppings for bubble tea. They’re known as toppings within the boba tea enterprise, although they drop to the underside of the cup after mixing.

Popular Bubble Tea Toppings

Nearly each bubble tea topping is made out of tapioca starch which is a mainstay meals in Asia. The commonest toppings are the oblong sticks and spherical pearls present in boba tea drinks. As soon as cooked, tapioca balls and bars seem like clear items of sweet.

Popping Boba

These are spheres of tapioca starch stuffed with flavored fruit starches or syrups. These balls squirt juice into your mouth while you chew on them and are very talked-about with youthful individuals. Popping boba flavors embrace coconut, honey melon, mango, and strawberry.

Jelly Toppings

Jelly toppings are made out of gelatin and starch and minimize into totally different shapes comparable to stars, cubes, and balls. Most of the jelly toppings even have their very own distinctive texture, with some being gummier or firmer than others.

The balls are made by mixing dehydrated tapioca powder blended with water by a sieve. The balls are created as they’re pushed by the sieve holes and rolled by the fingers.

Differing kinds embrace grass jelly, coconut jelly, konjac, lychee, mango, espresso, and inexperienced tea.

Dried tapioca pearls are low in fats, however they’re additionally fully devoid of vitamin. They’re 89% carbohydrates.

Bean Pastes

Pastes and pudding could also be added on to the bubble tea drink. Each mung bean paste and azuki bean paste are typical Taiwanese additions that give the drink extra texture.

Cream or Pudding

Some bubble tea outlets prime the drink with custardy egg pudding or frothy milk, similar to a latte. It is extremely conventional for a boba drink in Asia to be topped with cheese foam, which has the consistency of whipped cream. Nevertheless, this whipped topping has the savory taste of powdered cheese.

FAQs on Bubble Tea

Listed below are some enjoyable FAQs about bubble tea.

Why Are Tapioca Pearls Black?

Tapioca pearls are black as a result of they’re made out of brown sugar. Meals coloring and syrups could also be used to make orange-pink, white, inexperienced, and orange tapioca balls. They’re a strong coloration when uncooked however turn into translucent, like jelly when cooked.

Does Bubble Tea Have A Lot of Sugar?

One of many nice issues about ordering in a bubble tea store is that the barista will ask you the way a lot sugar you need in your tea: 0%, 25%, 50%,75%, or 100%.

Additionally, you will be requested how a lot ice you need in your cup. The choices will likely be no ice, much less ice, or regular ice. The extra ice you order within the drink, the much less the sugar within the tapioca tea will have an effect on you. The truth that you possibly can management each your ice and sugar degree is nice for individuals with diabetes and different individuals who want to cut back sugar consumption.

Why is Bubble Tea Made in A Machine?

Many bubble tea franchises have automated bubble tea manufacturing. The pearls, milk, and tea are sealed in a cup topped with a cellophane wrap after which robotically shaken. The client is then given a big ingesting straw to puncture the highest of the cellophane to allow them to sip it.

What’s Bubble Tea Mania?

Bubble tea mania refers back to the early Nineties when the recognition of pearl milk tea unfold all throughout East and Southwest Asia. It was notably widespread with younger individuals who would line up for half an hour to get a drink.

These franchises quickly unfold to North America, the place shoppers fell in love with the drink’s coconut-like taste and chewy tapioca pearls.

Quickly bubble tea advanced to incorporate every kind of surprising components that catered extra to western tastes, together with oolong tea, watermelon cubes, chia seeds, oat milk, and actual whipping cream. Boba is now additionally offered in fruit slushies and smoothies.

Many bubble tea treats have been spun off the scrumptious beverage, together with bubble tea ice cream, bubble tea toast, bubble tea fruit cake, bubble, and bubble tea ramen.


Bubble tea and boba tea are precisely the identical issues. If you wish to restrict this dialogue to how bubble tea vs boba tea is seen in the US, then you will see it’s extra frequent for individuals to name it boba tea on the west coast. Folks on the east coast of the U.S. name it boba tea.

In Canada, it’s recognized broadly as each pearl milk tea and bubble tea; within the U.Okay., it’s known as pearl milk tea, and in Australia, it’s known as bubble cup. It’s a widespread drink for individuals who wish to sip on a dessert drink that’s gluten-free.

In Japan, it’s known as tapiru, which implies “ingesting tapioca tea” in Japanese. Tapioca tea is so widespread in Japan {that a} tapioca theme park was in-built Harajuku, Tokyo in 2019.

In Singapore, China, and Hong Kong, its nickname is boba tea. There are lots of widespread bubble tea chains within the far east, together with Hey Tea, Koi, Gong Cha, Nayuki, Tiger Sugar, Youiccha, and Xing Fu Tan. There you would possibly hear somebody say, “Let’s go for a Hey Tea!”

So, to summarize evidently Boba is the extra frequent identify within the far east for what is named bubble tea in Western international locations.

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