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Boba.
It's taken the world by storm.
This is exciting.
Cheers.
Two men on a mission to make better boba,
which is milk tea with tapioca pearls.
But what exactly is boba, and what's with all the hype?
Invented in the 80s,
boba is a popular beverage that originates from Taiwan.
Still, the West is just beginning to understand it.
The New York Times famously called it the blobs in your tea
and promptly issued an apology after all the backlash.
Both of these tea shops in Taiwan
claim they were the first to invent boba in the '80s.
As the story goes,
someone working at the shop
decided to put tapioca pearls into tea on a whim,
and liked it.
But tapioca isn't indigenous to Asia.
It's a starch derived from the cassava root,
a tuber native to South America.
It came to Asia in the 19th century via Portuguese traders.
And it thrived in Taiwan
because Taiwan has a similar subtropical climate
to parts of South America.
Modern boba pearls are made by combining tapioca starch
with brown sugar water.
They're then submerged in a mix of tea
and non-dairy milk creamer.
But where did the word “boba” come from?
It's actually slang in Chinese for “big boobs”
and came to be associated with the drink in 1988,
when a southern Taiwanese tea shop named their tapioca drinks
after Hong Kong sex symbol Amy Yip.
Her nickname? Boba.
Today the drink is all over Asia,
and has quite a following in the States,
mostly in California and New York,
where there are significant Taiwanese-American populations.
There's a regional divide
in what the different coasts call the beverage.
But vernacular aside,
those starchy, gooey pearls
have become an important symbol of Asian-American culture.
Google search trends over the last five years shows
a huge increase in searches for the drink
across the United States.
And the global market
is expected to balloon to $3 billion by 2023.
And three decades since its invention,
it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.
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Where Did Bubble Tea Come From?

2656 Folder Collection
Cathy ♥ published on April 21, 2019    Cathy ♥ translated    Evangeline reviewed
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