Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Boba. It's taken the world by storm. It's 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? [How boba came to be] 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. [Side note: The addition of brown sugar in later recipes is what made them look like this.] 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. ♪We call it boba, you might call it bubble tea.♪ ♪Fill up a stamp card, might get a couple free.♪ ♪It's Chinese culture to stay with a cup of tea.♪ ♪We updated...♪ 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 USD by 2023. And three decades since its invention, it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. If you liked this video, subscribe to Goldthread for more delicious content.