Bubble Tea vs Boba Tea

Bubble Tea vs Boba Tea

This question is probably something you have asked yourself when you drink boba or bubble tea. What is the difference between boba or bubble tea? Is there even a difference? The answer is no.


    Both drinks refer to the same thing. You can get more technical and learn the meanings of each name, but for simplicity and consistency, we'll refer bubble tea and boba tea as just bubble tea.     


People of all backgrounds have given this delicious and tasty drink many different names.


Popular names given for bubble tea    


    Bubble tea gained a lot of popularity in western cultures, Asia, and Europe. It was given many names and can be confusing to understand what everyone is talking about with all the different names.    


These are some of the most common names and titles people use to refer to bubble tea.

  • Boba
  • Boba Tea
  • Bubble Tea
  • Pearl Milk Tea
  • Milk Tea
  • Pearl Tea
  • Tapioca Tea

    You may hear a friend or yourself saying one of these various names, but the intention is to refer to the type of drink and not a specific drinks, usually. 

Here's an example of context-appropriate verbiage.    


"Do you want to get boba with me today?"    

"Have you ever tried pearl milk bubble tea?"



"What's your favourite bubble tea?"

As bubble tea culture has become more mainstream, people have continued to use different titles and names for bubble tea depending on where they are located.


Many people on the east coast refer to Bubble tea as, well Bubble Tea, but not all.

However, many people on the west side of the United States refer to bubble tea as boba or boba tea.    


You don't have to be overwhelmed by it. It's the same thing, unless you want to turn this into a regional thing..

Technicality behind Bubble Tea or Boba

This section is ideal for people who like things to be clearly defined.

What is boba?

When someone mentions boba it means that they are referring to bubble tea's tapioca pearls. If you don't know what they look like, just image small black chewy pearls, often soaked in sugar. 

Or just look at the picture below. 

 tapioca pearls

Pearl Milk Tea?

The most iconic bubble tea out there. This drink is available at every tea shop that sells bubble tea. This is because it was the flavour of bubble tea ever made. 

The pearl milk tea has a black tea base, mixed with milk, sugar and tapioca. A simple, yet classic drink.

All flavours of bubble tea started with the Pearl Milk Tea. 


Bubble Tea or Boba

There is no difference between boba and bubble tea. There is no real division between the two. Let people refer to the drink however they want and just enjoy it!