Boba in the Bay


Izzy Tolosa & her friend, Ariane HB getting Boba Guys post practice :) (In courtesy of Izzy Tolosa)

Izzy Tolosa, Staff Writer

Many high school students in the past who would want to grab a quick sip with their friends would drive to the nearest coffee shop. However, recently the new coffee is now a milk tea called boba. Boba is one of the latest trending drinks that contains a sweet creamy milk tea or fruit tea with pearls at the bottom. Boba started spreading in 2011 and is still growing in popularity to this day. If one were to ask a friend to grab a cup of boba many years ago, about 50% of them would most likely not know what the word boba meant. Now, many students love boba and get excited when they hear the word! Even if one doesn’t like boba, they would still know what it meant– and so the question lingers– how did boba grow to be so popular in the Bay Area?
In the Bay Area, there are 20+ chains of boba shops today. For example, Gong Cha, Sunright Tea, Boba Guys, Pekoe, 7 Leaves, and much more. When asking Teaspoon worker, Cheyenne De Guzman, about the average of how many customers come in a day she estimated about 1,500 people a day. De Guzman explained, “I feel like during quarantine it was just a go-to place to try new drinks, and now that we are able to be ‘out and about’, it’s such a simple and easy place as a quick hangout.” De Guzman states that her personal favorite drink is “brown sugar milk tea because I usually don’t like strong teas but there’s a mix of sweet to strong in it. For me, it’s also a basic drink which I like.” There are a variety of different flavors and toppings in a boba drink that can be customized to one’s own desire.
Due to the many variations, boba is very versatile and likable to anyone who gives boba a try. Not only are there many flavors to choose from, but there are many boba shop chains that offer specialty drinks. If one is into more fruity drinks, they may prefer to go to Fantasia, whereas if someone prefers a milk tea drink, they might want to go to a place similar to Boba Guys instead.
Another student-worker, junior Alyssa Robles, has worked at multiple boba shops including 7 leaves and Pekoe. When asking Robles why she believes boba has grown so much in the Bay Area she states, “I think it is due to the Bay Area being a very diverse area with a large population of Asian Americans.” Boba originated in Asia and was eventually brought to the U.S. in the early 1990s. However, many students only started becoming aware of the drink around the late 2000s. Besides the amount of diversity in the Bay Area, social media was definitely one contributing factor to boba being so popular today. Many students admit that they see boba videos on platforms such as Instagram and Tik Tok. These videos helped entice many people to try boba and understand what the hype was all about.
Overall, boba is a drink with many diverse flavors. The Bay Area is blessed with many options of boba places to choose from. It is a distinguished pit stop to go for a refreshing drink with friends and family, whether it be morning or night!