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More Boba Please

Tapioca boba makes a drink more interesting. Photo by flickr user punctuated.

If you give a junior a cup of sweet “milk tea,” chances are she’ll want some boba to go with it. Boba Milk Tea, which also goes by, “pearl tea” or “bubble drink,” is the latest drink fad to hit Marlborough. Boba itself refers to large, chewy balls of tapioca, which are placed in the bottom of a cup filled with opaque, sweet liquid. The tea can be traditional, with varieties such as black or green tea, or you can order it in a more brightly colored, exotic flavor, such as lychee, mango or passion-fruit.

The tapioca concoctions originated in Taiwan and were brought to the United States as an opportunity to capitalize on the seemingly insatiable American desire for sugar. In big cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, the tea has been a particular hit.

If you’re not satisfied by the boba options right in your own backyard, including “Boba Time” on S. Vermont Ave., “I Love Boba” on S. Western Ave., and (the slightly shady sounding) “Back Door Boba” on Wilshire, you can try to make your own tapioca pearls. DIY Boba can end up being just as good as store-bought, as long as you don’t boil the pearls too long, rendering them tough and inedible.

The Junior Class Council forayed into the world of homemade boba at their fundraiser on Monday, Nov. 28, but according to Community Service Representative Eliza ’13, making boba yourself is simply not worth it.

“I had to go to like, five different Asian markets to find the tapioca stuff, and then it took me so long to get them right. I wish I had just bought the boba!” Eliza said.