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2 min read

If you guys didn’t know already, the Boba Tribe team is based in Australia. The majority of us Aussies and Kiwis call Boba tea, Bubble tea.

We know you all love Boba tea but do you know the history behind it (It’s really interesting, we promise)

Boba tea originated from Taiwan and was invented by combining one of Taiwan’s most famous drinks, Bubble tea (泡沫红茶 Paomo Hongcha) and one of Taiwan’s most famous/popular desserts Tapioca balls (粉圓 Fen yuan) together.

Fun Fact #1:

泡沫红茶 translates to Bubble and Foam Black Tea, this term was used because of the foam and bubbles formed after mixing/shaking together Black tea, Sugar syrup and Ice cubes. This is where the term “Bubble Tea” was derived from and the term “Bubble” does not actually refer to the Pearls.

So how did the term “Boba” come about?

The term “Boba” is an early Taiwanese slang used to describe the “Pearls” inside the Boba milk tea.

Fun fact #2:

波霸 (Boba) is actually a slang in Taiwanese for “Girls with huge breasts”. 波 means breasts and 霸 means lord/dominator. For Marketing purposes, the marketers back then in Taiwan associated the shape of the pearls with large breasts in order to gain more attention. (BTW, we don’t condone referring to girls/women in such a disrespectful way). Fortunately, the trend of using the term “Boba” has died off already and it’s rarely used anymore in Taiwan.

You may be thinking, so what does the majority of Taiwanese people call Boba tea now?

珍珠奶茶 (Zhen zhu nai cha) or more commonly referred to as 珍奶 (Zhen nai)! Which directly translates to be Pearl Milk Tea.

Fun Fact #3:

The term “Pearl (珍奶)” has no association whatsoever with Tapioca Balls. Tapioca balls is actually called (粉圓 Fen yuan) which simply means “Starch Balls”. These Starch balls are commonly found in popular Taiwanese dessert/snack. The term “Pearl” was adopted by marketers because it was a much more marketable name than “Starch ball milk tea”

Okay, so what is the correct name? Is it Boba Tea or Bubble Tea or Pearl Milk tea?

We personally think Pearl Milk tea is the most appropriate name compared to Boba tea or Bubble tea. It is what Taiwanese people call it right now and as the country of Pearl Milk tea’s origin, we think we should align with what they call it.

What are your thoughts?


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