Bubble tea—also known as boba tea—may be one of the hottest trends in the beverage industry. The chilled milk tea with tapioca pearls, or boba, is a big hit, especially among Gen Z consumers who are drawn to the drink’s texture and sweetness. Global sales are north of $2 billion a year and expected to increase to nearly $3.4 billion annually by 2027.
Boston has seen an explosion in boba cafés, with at least 10 within walking distance of the Charles River Campus. We invited two Terriers and self-described boba tea connoisseurs—Irene Kim (COM’23) and Sharlene Chang (SHA’24)—to rate samples from five local shops. Kim publishes a food blog on TikTok that has 495,000 followers and 16 million likes. Chang is from Taiwan, the birthplace of boba tea.
In the video above, the two take part in a blind taste test and offer candid assessments of each drink. Will any of the milk teas earn a 5 out of 5 rating? Watch to find out.