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.
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.
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.