Courtesy of Brand
I'll blame my daughter's obsession with boba tea on the pandemic. Lila is an only child, so we bought her an iPad when we knew everything was shutting down. She spent more time on that device than I'd like to admit, much of which was spent watching YouTube for Kids. And that's when the boba obsession started, mostly from watching videos of making the boba (chewy balls made with tapioca) from scratch. She was intrigued by all aspects of it. What did taro tea taste like? What was the texture of the boba like? She needed to have boba tea!
I didn't know much about boba but what I do know is that she talked about it a lot. "Mom, next time you go to the store, buy me tapioca." "Mom, can you get me Gatorade so I can make juice bubbles?" We never actually got so far as to make homemade boba (although I did buy her tapioca!), but what I did do was finally take her to the tea shop at the mall so she could finally try it.
She sucked down that tea and devoured all those chewy balls and asked to go back the next day. Knowing that these drinks can be high in sugar, I was OK with them being an occasional purchase, but not an everyday drink! Plus boba orders add up—if all three of us get one, it ends up being close to $20.
Lila requested and received a boba tea kit for Christmas, so now she makes it a few times a week. While I don't mind that, she tends to make enough of the pearls to feed an army, and we end up composting a lot of them each time.
So I was intrigued when I received a press release for BOBABAM, a frozen boba tea product sold in several stores—including Sam's Club, Target and Costco. They come in six flavors including taro, coffee, black tea and strawberry—Lila's favorite—and are portion controlled, so there's no waste. I requested some samples, and my family was instantly converted. It's so easy to make! Lila just squeezes out a packet of frozen boba and flavoring into a mug, microwaves it for 1 minute, then adds milk and ice. My husband prefers nondairy milk, so she can easily make one for each of them really fast.
Then I did the math. A 12-pack of BOBABAM clocks in at just under $9 at Sam's Club, and a gallon of milk (more than enough to make 12 servings of boba) is about $3. That's $12 to make 12 servings, so just a buck each. Lila's typical order (taro milk tea with coconut jelly) at our tea shop is at least $5.
I haven't seen them at my Costco yet, but I hope they carry them soon. In the meantime, I'll place my order online.