Spill the Tea on Boba Tea {And Where to Get It in Cincinnati}


In my daughter’s teenage years, she has discovered boba tea and loves it. This is the “I got an A on my geometry test” treat, as well as the “Today really sucked” pick-me-up.

boba tea

So what is boba tea?

Basically, boba pearls are tapioca starch, brown sugar, syrup, water, potassium sorbate, and guar gum. These chewy little pearls are found on the bottom of the drink, with a tea combined with milk or fruit on top. A fairly large straw is used to drink the tea mixture and suck up the boba.

As the boba can come up relatively fast through the straw, we should note that we likely would not take a small child to get boba tea because of the choking hazard. There have been a few times where even as an adult I thought, “Oh, yikes. That was close,” making the phrase “drink responsibly” take on a new meaning.

What is popping boba?

You have likely seen popping boba. If you go to a “add your own toppings” ice cream parlor, such as Menchies, this is a common topping. As opposed to the chewy boba, popping boba are round balls filled with fruit juice that pops when your press on them and does not contain tapioca. This boba is also called popping pearls, bursting boba, bursting bubbles, juice balls, or popping bubbles.

Can I really get boba tea in Cincinnati?

Yes, in fact, a real fast Google search will give you loads of options from the west to the east side, north to south. We have recently visited three different establishments and are finding our favorites.

Some offer more than tea, such as rolled ice cream, smoothies, matcha cakes, and even sushi! My son does not care for boba tea but loves going with his sister because there is always something there for him. One place even gave him a small cup of the popping boba, which was a huge hit for him!

I heard boba is bad for you…

Boba tea, or bubble tea, is a tea mixed with fruit juice or milk and poured over boba that is created with sugar and starch, making it high in carbs. The calorie and carb content definitely works to your advantage if you need energy, but like getting a frap from Starbucks, most times our treats are not exactly the healthiest of options.

The high sugar content needs to be weighed out against other health factors, but for most people, this occasional treat is similar to heading to the local ice cream parlor for a night out.

So if you are in need of a treat, grab a friend or your teenage daughter, and head to the closest boba tea joint, order a taro tea with tapioca boba, and celebrate your day!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here