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Bubble tea, bbt, boba, whatever you want to call it, everyone admits that this Taiwanese beverage, which also serves as a snack thanks to the chewy tapioca pearls, is simply addicting. Which is why lots of people are asking where they can buy bubble tea.

At Pearl Lemon Tea we’ve been into bubble tea for more than a while, and adding it to the offerings on the menu at our headquarters – Pearl Lemon Cafe in fashionable Fulham – was a no-brainer from the start. Increasingly our customers buy coffee in the morning to wake them up but by lunchtime are clamouring to buy bubble tea, and we are more than happy to oblige.

The Buzz About Boba

The bubbles, or boba, at the bottom of your cup set this drink apart from any other on the market. So, who invented bubble tea? What is the process of making it? And why are we so enamored with it?

If you’ve never had bubble tea, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about, but once you try it, you’ll understand. When you know, you know, as they say. Meanwhile, here’s all you need to know about this delightful beverage!

What is bubble tea, exactly?

This is a difficult issue to address because bubble tea can refer to a variety of drinks, and the possibilities are almost unlimited. Bubble tea may or may not include any tea. But, to get back to the beginning, let’s say it all starts with tea: green, black, oolong, or even white tea is the foundation of the basic bubble tea beverage.

After that, the tea is combined with a creamy ingredient, which can be anything from ordinary milk to almond milk to oat milk and everything in between. The resulting liquid is fragrant and flavorful and lots of fun.


Best Bubble Tea in London

Then there’s the matter of the sweeteners. You can sweeten your tea with everything from sugar to agave to honey, but it’s vital for lots of people, since it changes the taste.

Finally, there are the garnishes. The most popular topping is, of course, the titular bubbles, which are the last element that gives bubble tea its allure. The bubbles, also known as tapioca balls, pearls, or boba, are manufactured from cassava starch, which comes from a South American root vegetable also known as yuca.

Tapioca is gluten-free and has a chewy, playful texture similar to yuca bread and mochi. Fruit, fruit jam, aloe vera, almonds, and even exploding bubbles (flavored fluids explode instead of tapioca-based chewy bubbles) are some of the other toppings you can add to bubble tea.

With so many customisation choices, no two bubble teas from Pearl Lemon Tea are the same. Some bubble tea drinks, as previously indicated, don’t even contain tea, instead relying on fresh fruit or fruit juice as their base. There’s even cheese foam bubble tea, with cheese as the star topping (yep, people drink it and enjoy it because it tastes uniquely amazing). Bubble tea is difficult to define, yet it is always enjoyable.

How long does Bubble Tea last in the fridge
pearl lemon bubble tea london

What is the origin of bubble tea?

There are lots of different stories as to who originated bubble tea, and it’s unclear if there is a single person to whom we can credit this wonderful beverage, but we do know it began in Taiwan in the 1980s. Tea has long been a component of the daily lives of those living in Asian civilizations, and tea stands have been there for millennia.

Taiwanese tea vendors’ innovation was spurred by intense rivalry amongst tea stalls, which led them to begin selling cold tea, tea with milk, flavoured tea, and finally tea with tapioca pearls. Fair competition like this is excellent because it drives people to break the rules and innovate. And gave us bubble tea.

Today, bubble or boba tea stores can be found on six continents (sorry, Antarctica), and the trend is just growing.

So, what's the big deal?

You may have noticed that bubble tea businesses are springing up all over. Because of the high-profit margins and the fact that the beverages practically promote themselves through social media, it’s a fantastic industry to be in. You can’t help but take a picture of bubble tea before you drink it.

Bubble tea comes in a variety of flavors, so it’s a wonderful conversation starter when you want to tell your friends about your new favorite bubble tea business. The incontrovertible truth that bubble tea (good bubble tea, not the bogus powder stuff, but boba drinks prepared from high-quality tea and real milk like we serve at Pearl Lemon Tea) is super delicious lies at the heart of the bubble tea mania.

Tapioca’s chewy texture and bouncy nature provide for a mouthful of pleasure. The milk tea is pleasant and does not make you feel too bad about yourself, even if it contains 50 percent sugar. Bubble tea is here to stay and will only grow in popularity due to the mix of FOMO (fear of missing out) and a product that does not disappoint.

Popping Boba
glass of bubble tea on wooden table

Is bubble tea healthy?

Bubble tea is one of the healthiest beverages available, if stuff that makes you happy is good for you. Have you ever heard that a boba a day keeps the devil at bay?

But, in all seriousness, you can enjoy bubble tea as long as you don’t consume too much sugar and drink it in moderation. Tea, when made properly with loose tea leaves rather than tea bags, is a strong antioxidant that helps your body age slower and prevent illnesses.

Milk is a fantastic source of calcium and energy, and it’s a healthy supplement to your diet when used in moderation. Not a milk drinker? No problem! Nowadays, you can have your bubble tea with healthy milk alternatives such as almond or oat milk.

The bubbles themselves are largely carbohydrates from starch, so they’re not particularly nutritious, but as long as you limit your bubble tea consumption, it’s just another dessert drink.

Preparing Bubble Tea
glass of bubble tea on wooden table

If you’re worried about the quality of the bubble tea you’re drinking, consider one of our DIY bubble tea kits, which give you complete control over the sugar and bubbles in your cup! These kits also mean that if you can’t make it to Fulham and Pearl Lemon Cafe, you can still enjoy the best in boba tea, as we include both all the ingredients and supplies you’ll need to make great bubble tea at home and detailed instructions for doing so the right way!

Buy bubble tea and experiment with different flavors and combinations to find the bubble tea that best suits your personality and your tastebuds. And if you know anyone who hasn’t yet tasted it, don’t wait to show them what they’ve been missing out on! Buy bubble tea from Pearl Lemon Cafe – either in person or online – and do them a favour they won’t forget by introducing them to the most fun they’ve had drinking anything in years!


Bubble tea can be divided into several categories based on the type of tea used, and the ingredients added. Some popular types include milk tea, fruit tea, smoothie, and slush.

Bubble tea is typically made by brewing, adding sweeteners and milk or creamer, and mixing in tapioca pearls. Some variations of bubble tea include adding fruit syrups or purees or blending the ingredients to create a smoothie-like consistency. 

Bubble tea is best consumed chilled and shaken well before drinking to ensure that the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the cup. The best way to enjoy tapioca pearls in bubble tea is by using a wide or bubble tea straw designed to allow the pearls to pass through. It’s also important to shake the cup well before each sip to ensure that the tapioca pearls are evenly distributed throughout the drink.