It wasn’t until I got to college that I first laid eyes on bubble tea.
The story of bubble tea is one of disparate parts coming together, a collision of cultural products and practices in one drink.
The fusion of those two traditions — milk tea and chewy, gelatinous pearls — eventually gave rise to bubble tea.
And thus bubble tea, or “pearl milk tea” in Taiwan, was born.
Google Trends data shows a steady increase in interest over time for “bubble tea” and “boba tea” starting around 2012, with steeper inclines the past few years.