Everything You Need to Know About Your First Boba Visit
Boba newbies, we got 'chu.
We know that first time anythings can make you a tad bit anxious, fearful, sweaty and the list goes on. But we are here to reassure you that drinking a cup of tapioca filled goodness is not too bad. First things first, you need to fully understand the anatomy of it all.
If you do not know by now. Boba is often described as pearl milk tea, tapioca tea, boba tea, or bubble tea. And if you get confused by them all, just know they pretty much mean the same thing. The drink can be served at room temperature, cold or hot. Inside the cups you'll find those black round chewy "pearl" sized balls. They are called tapioca, a gelatinous substance that derives from cassava root. You can read more about that in a previous blog post. The drinks are also served in fat straws to fully accommodate the size of the tapioca. So please don't get overwhelmed or startled. The straws are here to stay!
I guess your next concern is... Is this even healthy or consumable? Why do you drink it so much?
Well of course it is. The beverage in fact is tea (and/or incorporates it for the most part). And depending on which flavor you get, tea will always have its benefits. According to WebMD, teas may help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; encourage weight loss; lower cholesterol; and bring about mental alertness. Tea also appears to have antimicrobial qualities.
As far as the tapioca goes. Did you know that they are gluten free?! Despite its claims that it is not healthy, it is filled with very low levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, fiber and sodium. Trust me, by the end of this post, you'll want to go to your nearest boba shop ASAP.
But that is not all. Boba has its perks and flavors. It's a different drinking experience and most of all, it brings people together! Here are five things to be mindful of on your first bobaventure:
Find one nearby
We here at The Boba Social are from the Washington, DC area...except for our now distant cousin living in California. You may find a pattern that many boba shops thrive and live in college towns. Of course this does vary on demographics and most of all where you live. So it doesn't hurt to Yelp one close by.
Start with the smallest size
To kick off, always go the safe route and purchase the smallest size cup. Some shops have small sizes as little as 12 oz. and some have 24 oz. for the large ones. Some have a one-size fit all.
Don't let the menu overwhelm you
The menu will have a lot of flavors. I repeat... a-freaking-lot. Some things to keep in mind is:
If you're feeling something sweet, fruity and tangy, go for the green tea based drinks that are infused and mixed with fruit juices. Some include passion fruit green tea, lychee green tea, peach green tea.
If you prefer to drink your beverage with black tea, something not too strong but just the right amount of caffeine, try an oolong tea, mango black tea, or classic milk tea.
If you like cream-based drinks, boba shops have flavors that mix both above-like flavors into a yummy concoction. You can't go wrong with a honeydew milk tea, taro milk green tea, chai tea, jasmine milk tea or matcha milk green tea. One thing to note, some boba shops have customizable menus that include soy, almond or whole milk. Otherwise, many boba shops carry a non-dairy creamer.
Powdered boba and actual boba tea
Because we want you to have the best experience ever, we want you to know that there will be boba shops that use powdered flavored sugars to make your so called boba tea drinks. And yes, while they do sell these, we want you to know that we are not about that artificial lifestyle.
We love real tea because real tea tastes so much better. Just know that actual boba tea is brewed from fresh tea leaves. The quality in taste is brewed to perfection, mellow and really fresh. If it's instant, you'll notice the difference.
Keep calm, sip, chew slowly and enjoy
To avoid choking on a tapioca pearl like miss lady up there, be very conscious on how you sip your drink. It may feel weird at first, but to be quite honest, imagine eating jello or those tapioca-filled puddings. That texture is just like it! And to add on, tapioca tastes really good and adds a nice hint of sweetness to your drink. You won't be disappointed.