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Bubbles in Tea?

Bubbles in Tea?

By Israel Gutierrez 

“Wanna get boba?”—the phrase you can’t escape these days, but why would you want to? 

So many combinations! Photo by Uber Eats. 

Boba goes by many names: boba, bubble tea, pearl milk tea, and more. Boba is an extremely popular beverage that originated in Taiwan. [1] 

It primarily consists of black tea, milk, and the signature “bubbles,” which are gummy pearls made from tapioca starch. 

There’s a bunch of different flavors, some of the most popular flavors being original milk tea, Thai milk tea, taro (purple sweet potato), matcha (green tea), and many more. [2] 

Most boba shops have a variety of unique toppings as well. These range from different flavors of bubbles, puddings, foams, and jellies, which are fruit flavored toppings made from coconut meat. [3] 

With so many flavors and customizable topping choices, there’s bound to be a combination for everybody.  

Cool and colorful boba. Photo by 

When asked about her go-to order, Barbie Chavez, a senior studying film, TV, and Spanish, said, “Jasmine milk tea boba or mango passion green tea with aloe jelly.” [4] 

When asked about his go-to order, Alex Tapu, a sophomore business administration major, said, “Purple velvet with original bottoms.” [5] 

This drink has taken over social media in the United States, largely because of its fun appearance and great taste. People often post pictures of their boba on their various social media accounts. 

In downtown Walla Walla, we have Black Pearl Boba Tea and a couple other shops where boba is served. However, for diehard boba fans, there just aren’t enough options. 

Tapu said, “I think the boba shop selection is pretty limited. I’ve only been to Black Pearl Boba, but that place is really great.” [6] 

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Chavez is a native of Los Angeles, a popular place for boba lovers. Chavez said, “Unfortunately the boba here in downtown Walla Walla ain’t it. I feel bad for people who grew up here.” [7] 

Everybody seems to have their own opinions about boba in general, as well as the boba in Walla Walla. I suggest you go out and try it for yourself! 

For those who have never tried bubble tea, I advise you to make it your life’s mission to try it as soon as possible. You will be in for a delightful surprise.  

If you don’t know what to order, you can always go with the classics: original milk tea or Thai milk tea. Or you can try my favorite order of blended honeydew with green apple jellies and original boba. 

Boba, bubble tea, pearl milk tea—whatever you may call it—is a delicious drink that deserves all the hype it receives.  


  1. Tam, D. (2014, September 15). Jelly toppings for bubble tea and snow ice explained [Blog post]. Retrieved from 
  1. Nguyen-Okwu, L. (2019, March 16). Boba Explained: A taxonomy of Taipei’s bubble tea. Retrieved  rom 
  1. Talk Boba. (2020, May 19). 7 most popular bubble tea flavors. Retrieved from
  1. Phone interview with Barbie Chavez, 11/5/20. 
  1. Phone interview with Alex Tapu, 11/8/20. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Phone interview with Barbie Chavez, 11/8/20. 
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