Boba: A User's Guide, Part One

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. Wondered what this increasingly popular, bizarre beverage is all about? You've come to the right blog post. 

Boba teas, also known as "bubble tea," are cold, sweet drinks packed with ice and small "pearls" of chewy tapioca (the boba), the perfect remedy to that 110° afternoon burn.

Get details on boba -- including where to buy it in the Valley -- after the jump.

Traditionally, the beverage comes in two main varieties: fruit-fruit flavored teas and milk teas, with flavors as varied and far-reaching as cantaloupe, jasmine and taro root. The boba themselves also can come in flavored jelly varieties, such lychee and mango.

The boba drink originated in Taiwan during the 1980s as an afterschool treat for children; these days they are a favorite among hipsters in America.

As with most things Asian, the East Valley is the best part of metro Phoenix to find boba drinks. Boba Tea House (2055 N. Dobson Rd. in Chandler) serves a creamy and refreshing Taro Milk Tea, as well as a thick and uniquely flavored Avocado Milk Tea. Also try their fruity Volcano Slush, which comes with piña colada, strawberries and boba.

Be sure to order the eye-opening Honeydew Milk Tea at Lollicup (2050 North Alma School Rd. also in Chandler).

Mesa's The Street sells the unique Diamond Ice, a shaved ice dish that contains condensed milk, a variety of fruits, sweet red beans, and optional boba, as well as a solid variety of your typical bubble teas.

In a later post, we'll show you how to make your own boba with ingredients you can buy locally.

Where is your go-to boba place? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.

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