Bubble Tea and Boba Tea: The Great Debate

Twrl Boba Milk Tea

While some people say bubble tea, and others say boba tea, they are actually talking about the same drink! 

What’s behind the two different names? 

People often think that “bubble” refers to the bubble-shaped tapioca pearls. But actually, the name comes from the froth generated when combining milk and tea in a cocktail shaker. 

The term "boba" is derived from a slang term. In Mandarin (boba) or Cantonese (bo1 baa3), boba literally means "large breasts." Yep. However, this is a nod to the shape of the tapioca pearls at the bottom of the drink.

Why the two different names?

Consensus around the Internet is that what you call the delicious, chewy drink depends on what part of the country you live in! In general, East Coasters tend to call it bubble tea. It's a direct translation what it's called in Taiwan where it originated. However, West Coasters call it boba tea.

So, just like soda or pop, garage or yard sale, sneakers or tennis shoes, the bubble tea vs. boba tea debate will never be settled. It's all a matter of regional (or personal) preference. But whatever you choose to call it, I think we can agree that it’s a fun and novel drink that has quickly found a following from coast-to-coast. 

Did you know bubble/boba tea can be a cinch to make at home?
Want instant gratification? Use any of our refreshingly delicious, lightly sweetened plant-based
Twrl Milk Teas as a base. Then, mix in our low-prep, preservative-free Brown Sugar Boba Toppings. You'll have authentically delicious cafe-style bubble/boba tea in under one minute--which is less time (and less gas) than running to the boba shop. Plus, it's healthier with less calories and less sugar.

Try it! Your taste buds will thank you! 

Do you call it bubble tea or boba tea?

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