What is bubble tea?

Bubble tea is a tea-based drink that originates from Taiwan. It is also known as pearl milk tea, boba tea and QQ (onomatopoeic for the Taiwanese word for ‘chew-chew’). The name ‘bubble tea’ originally came from the frothy bubbles that form when the drink is shaken to mix the tea, milk and flavourings together, but over time this has changed to refer to the bubble-like tapioca pearls in the bottom of the drink. These were the original ‘boba’, but now the terms bubble tea and boba tea are more or less interchangeable.