Bubble tea (also known as pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, or simply boba) (Chinese: 波霸奶茶; pinyin: bōbà nǎichá, with tapioca balls it is 珍珠奶茶; zhēnzhū nǎichá) is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in Tainan and Taichung in the 1980s. Recipes contain tea of some kind, flavors of milk, as well as sugar (optional). Toppings, such as chewy tapioca balls (also known as pearls, or boba), popping boba, fruit jelly, grass jelly, agar jelly, and puddings are often added. Ice-blended versions are frozen and put into a blender, resulting in a slushy consistency. There are many varieties of the drink with a wide range of flavors. The two most popular varieties are black pearl milk tea and green pearl milk tea. "Boba" (波霸) is Cantonese slang for "large breasts" referring to the tapioca balls, as a reference to 1980s Hong Kong sex symbol Amy Yip, whose nickname was “Boba".
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