The Rise of Bubble Tea in the Western World

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In almost every town, shops selling bubble tea (also known as boba tea) have appeared in recent years. Originating in Taiwan, bubble tea is available in a variety of flavors and is a combination of milk, tea, and pearls of tapioca.

Bubble tea can be traced back to 1940s Taiwan and while it is debated who first created the drink, it has become a global sensation in recent years. One of the biggest champions of bubble tea in the western world is Assad Khan, owner of Bubbleology. The company was first launched in London in 2011, and since then has popularized the drink throughout the UK. Additionally, Roberto Panto started selling boba tea from a pop-up stand in Vaud, Switzerland after a trip to Asia. Within two years Panto had considerable lines and had introduced the drink to many Europeans.

According to CNN, the bubble tea industry is expected to grow to about 4.3 billion dollars by 2027. In Southeast Asia alone bubble tea purchases increased 3000% in 2018. Although Asia is home to the largest portion of the bubble tea market, North America is projected to be the second largest with the increase of boba tea shops opening up.

Since its invention, the drink has become a staple in specific cultures throughout Asia and has begun to spread throughout every continent. Every aspect of the drink is customizable, therefore, everyone has an equal chance of finding a flavor that they love.