Mililani - Waipio - Melemanu, Hawaii
95-390 Kuahelani Ave, #1B
Mililani, HI 96789
(808) 200-1036

A Quick Look at Boba Tea’s History June 12, 2019

Mililani - Waipio - Melemanu, Ewa
A Quick Look at Boba Tea’s History, Ewa, Hawaii

Since the 1990s, boba tea has been a steadily growing trend in the United States. However, it was invented in Taiwan. Whether you’ve been a long-time fan or only recently found the beverage, this guide will take you along its journey.

What Is Boba Tea?

Also known as bubble or pearl tea, this cold tea contains dark tapioca pearls that require an oversized straw to consume. The base can consist of any type of tea, but most drinkers prefer one mixed with milk—either fresh milk, cream, flavored powder, or sugary syrup—or fruit flavors like lemon, lychee, and peach. 

How Did It Originate?

boba teaBoba tea’s origin in the 1980s is a bit hazy. Some speculate the sweet drink was designed to sell more tea to children when they got out of school each day. Others claim Liu Han-Chieh from Chun Shui Tang tea house in Taichung, Taiwan, as the original inventor. He is notably accepted as the first person to add the boba to milk tea and started the popular idea of serving the tea cold after a visit to Japan.

However, Hanlin Tea House in Tainan City also comes up regularly in this origin tale. Owner Tu Tsong-He claims he created the beverage by adding white tapioca to create the illusion of pearls in the tea, but later he changed them to the current black that is seen today. 

It wasn’t long before boba tea became a staple in Taiwan and spread throughout the rest of Asia. About a decade after its invention, the drink made its way to the United States where it became an instant fad. Today, boba tea is sold at tea houses and coffee shops across the nation.


If you’re craving boba tea or want to try it for the first time, stop by Blue Bubble Creamery. They create some of the most delectable treats in Mililani, HI. Whether you order bubble tea, rolled ice cream, or a smoothie, you can expect every item on their menu to be made from fresh ingredients. Call them today at (808) 200-1036 or visit their website to learn more about their sweet creations.