Boba culture is prominent in California where people are excited to try new boba flavors. Having lived in the East Bay before, I’ve tasted my fair share of them, many of them being completely mind blowing. But before we all get excited about what’s good, you should probably know what boba even is.

Boba balls are made from tapioca, a gluten-free starch extracted from the roots of cassava plants. Originating from Taiwan, this drink has expanded to other parts of the world. The hype led “Bobaristas” to create their own mixtures of boba drinks. If all of that sounds good to you (and it should, because boba is delicious!), here’s a list of the Bay Area’s specialty boba drinks that you need to get your hands on stat. 

1. U Cha: BomberMan

You can bet on coming back for more of their boba with brown sugar syrup. BomberMan is a milk-based boba drink with brown sugar syrup. This combination of syrup and boba makes it bomb, though sweeter than the average boba drinks out there. 

2. Teaspoon: Strawberry Velvet

Made with sparkling water, fresh strawberries, and house-made cream, the strawberry velvet from Teaspoon will make you feel like you're drinking in summer. Their Liquid Gold (honey oolong tea topped with cream) and Virgin Mojito (key lime with jasmine green tea and mint) for a creative spin on boba drinks.

3. Plentea: Nutella Milk Tea

Plentea is a firm believer in recycling, and they are making the conscious effort of preservation by serving their boba drinks in adorable glass bottles. Go for their sweet all-time fave Nutella milk tea or honey citrus green tea for a refreshing drink.

4. Boba Guys: Strawberry Matcha Latte

Boba Guys is big on serving Grade A tapioca balls and their world-class teas. You can also take home merchandise with an their mascot, an aardvark, or a sweatshirt that says “Boba Bae” from their stores.

5. Westea: Lychee Strawberry Fruit Tea with Butterfly Blue and Butterfly Pearls

As featured above, Westea is a cute place to get your fix for boba with a dog waiting to greet you into the shop. Plus, Westea serves up some creative, colorful boba drinks with their butterfly blue syrup. 

6. Happy Lemon: Black Tea with Salted Cheese and Boba

A favorite for many, Happy Lemon is a popular option for its salted cheese in their boba drinks. If you want a sweeter option, substitute the salted cheese with their puff cream for an addicting drink.

7. Purple Kow: Combo D3 on the menu

Those who love extra-sweet boba drinks will love this combo of iced milk drink with caramel pudding and boba. It may sound like a lot, but the mixture of the different ingredients create an interesting texture in your mouth.

Try one or all of these refreshingly sweet boba drinks in the Bay Area and I promise, you won't be disappointed.