Reusable Boba Straws Are A Reality, Here’s Where To Get One

Bubble tea has had a boom in the U.S. for a while now, and its enlarged straws are quite distinct, needing to be wide enough for marble-sized tapioca balls to be sucked through.

With many food establishments around the world eliminating single-use plastic straws, that presented a bit of a problem in the boba community, until now.

The Boba Straw” is the first reusable straw of its kind, allowing boba lovers to help reduce plastic use as well.

The Boba Straws come in three colors: rose gold, true black, and gunmetal. It also comes with a cleaning brush and drawstring carrying case.

Those unfamiliar with reusable straws might think it sounds ridiculous to carry one around, but that seems to be where the future of on-the-go drinks are headed.

Major fast food players such as McDonald’s and Starbucks have already made sweeping moves in eliminating single-use straws for environmental reasons. That leaves customers with the option of going straw-less, using the establishment’s reusable straw, or like the Boba Straw is pushing, bring your own.

However, it’s not just restaurants that are eliminating the plastic straw usage. Major U.S. cities such as Seattle and Malibu have already passed laws to ban plastic straws.

In less than a week, The Boba Straw Kickstarter campaign met its fundraising goal of $3,812.00. With more than a month to go as of this writing, the pledges are likely to keep coming in, as this is obviously something people are clamoring for.

And now you have your own eco-friendly way to drink boba.


Culture Drinks Fast Food

The First ‘Made In USA’ Boba Is Finally Here, And It Could Be HUGE For Fast Food

Boba’s popularity has grown to encompass the entire United States. With that has come the exploration of incorporating milk tea into fast food. Panda Express has looked into the possibility, and there was an April Fool’s prank this year that had people thinking Starbucks was doing the same. That could actually be a reality now, though, as the US finally has its own tapioca pearl factory up and running.

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Created by The Boba Guys co-founders Andrew Chau and Bin Chen, US Boba Company is now starting to test its first set of tapioca pearls from off of their production line. They’re not the first business to make the chewy balls in-house, as companies like the now-closed Pulse Cafe in Santa Monica have done it before. However, Chau and Chen do have the first in-country factory to make them with, something that could be huge for major chains looking to add the drink to their menus.

It’s not like fast food hasn’t looked into adding tapioca in the past, as McDonald’s has run a limited-time batch of milk tea in Germany before. But bringing in ingredients from other countries comes with a host of regulations and red tape, something fast food companies could now avoid thanks to US Boba Company. They could potentially get all of the pearls they need to consider regional, or even national, launches of bubble tea to continue to proliferate the spread of boba.

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That may not happen for a while, as Chau and Chen continue to test and improve on their initial runs of tapioca pearls. For now, though, you can try them out at the Potrero Hill location of Boba Guys in San Francisco. There will also be the opportunity to visit and tour the new factory in the near future, and photos and footage of it will be displayed on social media so everyone can see how the pearls are made.

Restaurants Sweets

The Potted Plants At This Restaurant Are Actually Sweet Milk Teas

Ever wonder what it’d be like to drink out of a potted plant? While the world isn’t quite ready to chug the earthy nutrients and minerals directly from a house plant, you can get pretty close. A popular milk tea trend in Asia has come to the United States in the form of “potted plant” drinks. Curiosity, consider yourself piqued.

Macchiato, a California-based cafe and coffee chain, is serving their beverages in potted plant form and it actually looks pretty refreshing.

Whether you’re craving coffee, tea, for boba-filled milk teas, you can get them “potted plant” style at the restaurant chain. What that entails is your glass being filled with your choice of beverages and topped with a layer of whipped cream. To recreate the dirt, a bed of crushed Oreo cookies are added atop the whipped cream before the final garnish of a single micro green completes the illusion of a potted plant.

If you’re looking for something to munch on, Macchiato also offers sweet waffles made from crushed mochi pieces. The result are crispy waffles that boast the chewy texture of mochi paired with fresh fruit and ice cream.

While I won’t go around drinking from any household fauna in the near future, these milk teas are definitely something I wouldn’t mind coming back to Macchiato for. I wonder if this counts as vegetarian fare?

Now Trending Restaurants Sweets

‘Boba Pizza’ Is Real And The Internet Is Trippin’

Controversial items like pineapple on pizza, watermelon “steaks,” and SPAM Mai Tais have all previously split the internet in two. Their eccentric yet intriguing mix of sweet and savory divides folks on whether these items go a step too far. While those debates haven’t been fully resolved yet, another item has entered the controversial fray: Boba pizza.

It’s not necessarily a new item, as Foodie Star, the Taiwan-based restaurant carrying it, has had it for over a year now. However, a recent photo from Instagrammer @nini_food0822 has brought it into the spotlight and set off a flurry of conversations about the odd pizza combo.

Taipei-based food site Walkerland tried the boba pizza back near its inception date in mid-2017. In their review of it, they were surprised because they thought it would be a 100% dessert pizza, but noted that the salty cheese and sugary boba canceled each out for an “innovative” taste.

@nini_food0822, the Instagram user who posted the above photo, said in a post that everyone who comes to Foodie Star orders the pizza. The texture of the boba is soft and chewy, and it has a deep note of brown sugar. Overall, she felt that it was a perfect combination of savory and sweet.

Not everybody may be on board with the concept, but those who’ve tried it so far have seemed to be fans. It shows that regardless of how you may feel about the boba pizza combination, you can’t really knock until you’ve tried it.

Culture Drinks Now Trending

Starbucks Is Allegedly Testing Boba And People Are Losing It

[The Instagram user removed her photos, and through Instagram stories, admitted it was just a joke. It looks like our dreams of boba Frappuccinos will have to wait.]

The thought of a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato with boba should definitely excite you, and some Starbucks boba photos have surfaced, getting people riled up at the prospects of it being real, but we have our suspicions.

Instagram user @foodwithbecka, out of Houston, Texas, posted a photo three boba-filled Starbucks drinks, with the caption, “Happy Thirs-Tea Thursday! Starbucks will be testing out tapioca at a few locations on the westside of town this weekend!”

Happy Thirs-Tea Thursday! Starbucks will be testing out tapioca at a few locations on the westside of town this weekend! (and I gave into the hype and tried the crystal ball frappe and it’s actually pretty good.. still available at some locations!) swipe left for more photos! Check it out at the following Starbucks locations: Beltway 8 & Harwin Westheimer & S. Kirkwood Westheimer & Briarpark Westheimer & Jeannetta Westheimer & Hillcroft • • @starbucks crystal ball frappe, caramel macchiato and pineapple black tea tag a friend who would love this! • • #starbucks #tapioca #boba #thirsty #thirstythursday #drank #tea #caramelmacchiato #pineapple #blacktea #crystalballfrappe #frappe #frappuccino #tryitordiet #limitedtimeonly #starbucks #caffeinefix #houstonfood #westside #westchase #yougottaeatthis #explorehouston #dailyfoodfeed #ighouston #foodblogger #houstonblogger #houston_insta #houstontx #espesso #whippedcream

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Understandably, commenters freaked out, with cries of, “Whaaaat tapioca at Starbucks?!? That’s crazy!” and “Oh whattttttt???? I gotta go asap.”

Soon after, the foodie Instagram account @tryitordiet got in on the hype and reposted Becka’s photos, and their vast following started losing their shit, as well.

Both accounts went on to list five Houston locations that are allegedly testing the tapioca balls.

With the exciting news, I went ahead and called each of the Houston locations listed on her page, to confirm, and each denied that any testing was planned for the weekend.

Wamp wamp.

The Starbucks is either trying to keep the testing under wraps, or this is a very early April Fools’ joke. We’re willing to bet it’s the latter.

This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen way-too-early April Fools’ jokes in the food world. Hell, Cup Noodles told sent us a press release about steam-proof glasses they developed. We’re 92 percent sure it’s an April Fools’ joke, seeing how a couple of the photo files they sent us were labeled, “April Fools,” so there’s that.

There are already quite a few companies starting their April Fools jokes prematurely, according to the Washington Post, as businesses like Chegg, Duolingo, Mancrates, and even Energizer are getting a head start on the fake shenanigans.

We’ll have to wait and see if a slew of Starbucks boba pics start surfacing this weekend, but we call bullshit, and urge you not to get too excited.


We Just Heard About CHEESE TEA And We Had To Try It

We’re always down to hear about cool new food and beverage innovations. The thing is, the more that come across our desk, the more we think we’ve seen it all. Not so much the case with this beverage from Little Fluffy Head Cafe.

The Los Angeles-based cafe and boba shop serves what they call Cheese Tea.

How’s that even work??

Well, Cheese Tea features freshly-brewed tea that’s topped with a layer of decadent creamy cheese foam, with the type cheese foam varying from drink to drink.

The owner, Jenny Zheng, first discovered the Cheese Tea trend in Asia and decided to introduce the concept stateside.

Among the line-up is a Chedd-Cha (iced matcha latte with whipped cheddar cheese), Fluffy Medium Oolong Tea (medium roast oolong tea with whipped cream cheese), Dirty Mess (black milk tea with creme brûlée flavor cream and crushed Oreo), and Fluffy Light Oolong Tea (light roast oolong tea with whipped cream cheese).

Foodbeast’s fried chicken fanatic Richard Guinto got to try it last night and had this to say:

For the most part the cheesy whipped topping tasted great. However, it had an odd mouthfeel as some of the whipped cheese curdled and ended up in the consistency of small bits of cottage cheese

He did note that the camouflage tea looked dope, though.

You can find the Cheese Tea line-up at Little Fluffy Head Cafe. Just be sure to drink it fast before it curdles.

Cravings News Now Trending Opinion Sweets

The New York Times Just Discovered Boba, And They’re Getting Ravaged On Twitter

UPDATE: The New York Times apologized for their embarrassing boba gaffe, and pretty much changed most of the article. It no longer sounds like they think boba is finally “going mainstream,” instead focusing on the boba shop owners they interviewed.  The headline, now changed for a second time, reads “Bubble Tea Purveyors Continue to Grow Along With Drink’s Popularity.” The tone of the article now reads more like it’s trying to emphasize how boba is trying to be pushed “further into the mainstream.” That’s probably how they wanted the article to sound in the first place, but their latest version doesn’t exactly amount to page views quite like the previous version did. 

I keep reading this New York Times piece over and over, hoping that it’s labeled as satire, but they’re seriously trying to make it sound like they just discovered boba.

Surely we can’t expect everyone in the U.S. to know what boba is, but The Times put out a story Wednesday with a headline that read, “The Blobs in Your Tea? They’re Supposed to Be There,” and it was a bit ridiculous. You have to wonder why The New York Times would take an approach that makes it seem like boba is something new, like if there’s not a shop on every corner in the greater Los Angeles area.

They quickly saw the error in their ways and edited their headline, but it didn’t sound much better, as the second time around they claimed that boba is now, “mainstream.”

It’s baffling that the New York Times would approve such an angle for their story, with every paragraph sounding like they just discovered a new trend, especially when less than a year ago, they put out an article where the headline started with, “Bubble Tea? So 2002…”

It seems that The NY Times were at least somewhat aware that people have been sipping on those little tapioca balls for years, and even acknowledged that it was an old trend, yet they had the audacity to publish this garbage.

The internet was not amused, and as quickly as this story went up, it got torn down by Twitter users, especially within the Asian community, even creating a hashtag called #bobagate:





It almost feels like we’re in the Twilight Zone, with the story incorporating quotes from the president of the Tea Association of the U.S.A., saying things like boba “hasn’t hit anybody’s radar in terms of the next big trend,” and “Innovation is important to any product category.”

What? Boba hasn’t hit anybody’s radar? There are close to a million Instagram posts involving boba! Granted, some of them involve Star Wars character Boba Fett, but I think it’s safe to say that boba is on quite a few people’s radars.

It’s a bit of a shame that this article went up the way it did, because there was actually some boba history attached, along with some pretty kick-ass photos of the popular beverage, but it all gets lost behind the terrible, out-of-touch premise that this boba thing might catch on some day.

Even if you want to argue that they were trying to cater to an audience that might not be too keen on the boba concept, at the very least hammer home that it is a popular trend that’s been around and didn’t suddenly turn “mainstream.”

Hey, New York Times, I know what it’s like to try to grab the reader’s attention with a headline. In the age of digital media, you absolutely have to have an element of clickbait, but at least be accurate with it.

Much love to your experienced food writers who are trying to keep journalism alive, but in this specific instance, you played yourself.


Featured photo by @Foodwithmichel

#foodbeast Culture Drinks FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss

Why Does Boba Tea Receive Such Negative Criticism While Starbucks Drinks Get Praised?

Depending on where in the world you live, you call the drink either boba or bubble tea. Whatever you call it, there seems to be a living trend of news articles that creates a negative outlook on boba (lets just call it boba, I’m west coast) as a major health risk.

In an article by VICE’s Celeste Yim, she addresses White America’s demonization of boba as a drink you could definitely do without. In her piece, she continues to explain America’s rising health trend and vilification of all things unhealthy.

In truth, we all know that boba is by no means a healthy drink, but that isn’t the issue. The problem is the overall tone of how it is portrayed in media. In some cases it has less sugar and caloric levels than your favorite Starbucks Frappuccino, yet there are hardly any articles about how you shouldn’t be going to Starbucks anymore.  Do a quick Google search on their “Unicorn Frappuccino” and I will bet all the boba stamp cards that I’ve been racking up, that you will see a headline that reads along the lines of “This is the Cutest, Most IG Worthy Drink Ever” rather than “There’s a Shit Ton of Sugar in this Drink.” The bottom line is that we, as contemporary American media praise Starbucks and similar companies for serving us “sugar water” that look great on camera, but crucify “sugar tea” popularized by an Asian population.

When you compare a cup of Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino and a milk tea with boba both at 16 oz. (grande) you’ll find that the standard frap contains 420 calories with 66 grams of sugar, while the tea is just 212 calories with 42 grams of sugar, plus another 200-250 calories with boba added.

The main issue is this: The same people that glorify the sugar cult of America’s leading thirst quenchers are the first critics of boba’s insurgency.  Praising the grandeur of “Freakshakes” while denouncing a simple honey milk tea with boba is where their arguments fall apart.  The hypocrisy is ridiculous.

These demonizing articles that Yim sources have gained enough headway that even the popular NY/SF boba chain, The Boba Guys addressed “the rumors about their balls,” citing comparisons between popular cafes and juicers.  They react with similar acclimations—that their drinks are no worse than the leading American joints.  Let me repeat that: they are NOT worse.  In fact, according to Harvard Medical School, drinking tea has been linked to certain health benefits such as being an anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants.

So the next time you decide to quench your midday thirst this summer, consider your options a little better.  Remember the sugar content of your drinks can always be adjusted to your liking, and you can substitute the tapioca pearls for pudding, grass jelly, or chia seeds (because they are less caloric).

And don’t forget that free stamp card.  It’s crucial for free boba.