Origins of Boba Tea

by Jadeeyah Abang

Two boba tea drinks on a table

Bubble tea or boba tea, is a refreshing drink with black or green tea, milk, and tapioca pearls. Contrary to popular belief, bubble tea is so named because of the air bubbles created with shaking of the tea. Boba tea originated in Taiwan and found its way to the west and is now extremely popular worldwide! 


In this piece, let's take a closer look at bubble tea's origins and why it is such a popular beverage today. We even have a few bubble tea recommendations for you to try!


Where did boba tea come from?

Bubble tea originated in Taiwan during the 1980s. The said sweet and refreshing drink can be traced back to Taichung City in Taiwan, where it was said to be first created by Liu Han Chieh, who combined milk tea with black tapioca pearls.

The tea’s recipes evolved as its fame grew throughout Taiwan. Modern bubble tea now sees many different ingredients ranging from tapioca pearls, fruit popping boba, aloe vera, coconut jelly and many more. Tea flavors are expanded with fruit syrups and fruit powders, bringing endless fun to bubble tea taste! 


Today, bubble tea became a full-blown sensation not only in its country of origin but in different parts of the world. 


How has boba tea changed the world?

Bubble tea is causing a big buzz around the world! South Asia is leading the charge, with people enjoying an average of four cups per person each month. It's no surprise bubble tea has taken off here; after all, Asia was where it first gained widespread recognition and popularity. 


In the early 2000s, bubble tea made its way across the Pacific ocean to western USA and soon found itself embraced by Asian-American culture. Soon, the phenomenon then found its way into Europe but it wasn't until recent years that its popularity exploded in the region. 


Of late, social media has played a large part in the popularity of the drink. More and more YouTube vloggers and Tiktokers from all over the world are showing off their bubble tea experience. In fact, the global bubble tea market size in 2022 was USD 2.4 billion and still has a long trajectory for its market growth! Today, with just a few clicks on the Internet, one can order bubble tea ingredients and even bubble tea-looking items like stickers, stuffed toys, keychains, and more! This goes to show how much bubble tea has become part of people’s lives.


Where to get the best bubble tea in Zürich?
To experience the best boba tea in Zürich, look for Bubblish bubble tea shop and check out our vast option of bubble teas! Our bubble teas are available hot and cold, with and without milk. Most of our bubble teas are vegan-friendly; if not, they can be made vegan friendly, so visit us now! 


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