The popularity of boba tea, also known as bubble tea or pearl milk tea, has soared in recent years. People appreciate how the boba or bubbles inside the drink provide an exciting blend of flavors and textures that isn't found in other beverages.

Similar to the flavors in every pearl milk tea you make, your packaging should leave customers in awe. The right bubble tea packaging supports higher price points, showcases your brand's personality, and makes your tea stand out from the competition. In this informative guide, we outline everything you need at your foodservice establishment to properly package boba tea.

What Is Boba Tea?

Lin Hsiu Hui invented boba tea in Taiwan in the 1980s. Hui was working at a tea shop and decided to make herself a drink using two popular culinary trends at the time: tapioca pearls and milk tea. Tapioca pearls were used as a dessert topping, and milk tea had been a well-known beverage for decades.

However, if you walk into a coffee shop or tea bar today, you will notice that they have an extensive boba tea menu with numerous types of milk, teas, syrups, jellies, and condiments you can choose from. Foodservice establishments have gotten creative with their offerings to ensure there is a kind of bubble tea for everyone.

What Are Boba Balls?

Tapioca pearls, commonly referred to as boba, boba pearls, or boba balls, are edible spheres made from tapioca which is a starch extracted from cassava root. These boba balls are hard, white, and do not possess much flavor. To provide tapioca balls with taste and a soft texture, establishments boil and sweeten them with brown sugar, honey, or other ingredients. The tapioca pearls turn black during the boiling process and become the sweet, chewy pearls individuals enjoy in boba beverages.

Most Popular Types Of Boba Tea

Whether you're looking to open your own boba business or want to start offering bubble tea at your foodservice establishment, you may notice there are hundreds of tea options available. To prevent you from getting overwhelmed, start with a simple menu that features well-known boba tea options. Purchasing too many ingredients without understanding what your customers want will likely result in your business throwing out unused ingredients and decreasing its net profit. Below is a list of popular types of boba tea and their ingredients so you can start offering them at your business:

  • Classic milk tea: Tea, sugar, creamer, and tapioca pearls
  • Thai milk tea: Black tea, condensed milk, and boba pearls
  • Brown sugar milk tea: Tea, milk, brown sugar, and boba balls
  • Fruit tea: Fruit-based tea with boba pearls or jelly

What Do I Need To Serve Boba Tea?

Your bubble tea packaging supplies play a vital role in your success. Using the right products can influence your drink presentations and make customers feel like they're getting their money's worth. Below you will find the essential boba tea supplies you need to serve orders.

Clear Cups

Whether you are packaging bubble teas for take out or dine-in services, consider using clear plastic cups. While you may think of boba tea cups as an afterthought, they are the first thing customers notice. When guests order a bubble tea, they expect to see the unique bubbles, toppings, and hues their beverages possess. Clear cups provide guests with a full view of their order and instantly enhance your drink presentations.

When you begin to offer pearl milk tea at your foodservice establishment, you will notice that most of your customers are from younger generations. While children and young adults are well-known for posting their boba teas on social media, they are also eco-conscious. They grew up learning about different eco-friendly practices and understand that conventional plastic cups harm the planet. To meet their needs, you can serve drink orders in PLA cups that are commercially compostable and clear to showcase your colorful beverages.

Boba Cup Sealing Machine

If your foodservice establishment is selling boba tea at a high volume, you may want to consider using a sealing machine. Boba tea machines seal plastic films on plastic cups within seconds and create an airtight seal to eliminate messes when delivering orders. The boba cup sealing machine increases your efficiency in preparing orders and removes the hassle of applying thousands of lids to cups each day. A number of these machines can seal up to 500 cups per hour.

Flat Lids

If your business serves to-go sodas, lemonades, or juices, you are likely pairing those refreshments with flat lids. Rather than investing in a cup sealing machine to seal bubble teas, you may want to use the cups and lids you’re accustomed to using. Flat lids create a tight-fitting seal to help prevent patrons’ drinks from leaking out of the cup. They also allow you to stack ready-to-drink orders on drink stations so you can display more beverages.

Dome Lids

Dome lids are a popular option to seal boba tea orders because they provide businesses with plenty of space to top off drinks with whipped cream, slushed beverages, or leftover tea in the blender. Many operators also use dome lids because they believe the dome lid resembles the boba sitting on top of the tea. Restaurateurs feel that dome lids elevate the look of their boba teas and customers appreciate the similarity between the bubbles and lids.

Drink Pouches

If you want to separate yourself from the competition, one alternative you can use from traditional cups is plastic drink pouches. Beverage pouches feature a one-of-a-kind design to immediately capture the attention of boba lovers and make your drinks stand out. Drink pouches also have a clear finish, allowing customers to appreciate the unique colors, boba pearls, and toppings while enjoying their beverages.

The benefit of packaging boba teas in drink pouches is that you don’t need to purchase lids. They have resealable zippers that allow you to lock in drinks for take out and delivery services.

Colossal Straws

When browsing for bubble tea straws, it’s essential to keep in mind the boba size in each drink. Serving pearl milk orders with conventional straws will not allow customers to enjoy the bubbles in their drinks. That’s because the average boba pearl measures 0.33 inches in diameter, and a soda straw measures 0.32 inches in diameter. Choosing to pair beverages with colossal straws, which measure 0.48 inches in diameter, guarantees your customers can enjoy all the add-ons in their teas and have a smooth drinking experience. Colossal straws are also available in numerous colors and patterns, providing you with the perfect opportunity to add a stylish flair to every order.

Drink Carrier Bags

When handing out drinks to customers, numerous foodservice establishments store them in drink carrier bags. Most boba tea drink carriers feature a slot for each cup and a durable handle, providing your employees with a secure way to transport beverages without worrying about drinks tipping over. They also have a clear finish to give patrons picking up their take out orders a full view of their orders without needing to look inside. Boba tea carrier bags are available in single or double cup styles, allowing you to package orders accordingly and customers to carry multiple beverages with ease.

Customize Your Boba Tea Packaging

Before finalizing your boba tea supplies order, think about customizing the products. Adding your company’s name on the boba cups, logo on drink pouches, or slogan on drink carrier bags helps increase sales. Branding your boba tea packaging supplies will provide your business exposure in the community and on social media. Your boba tea instantly stands out from the competition, and you'll be able to build a strong brand identity. To understand how to get started customizing your boba tea products today, click here.

It’s Time To Start Selling Boba Tea!

Now that you have an understanding of all of the packaging supplies needed to serve bubble tea, it’s time for you to run a successful boba business! Just remember, your business should stock up on dome lids, flat lids, or have a cup sealing machine to package all types of boba teas. You should also consider pairing pearl milk teas with colossal straws to prevent the bubbles from getting stuck on the straw and impacting your customers' drinking experience. And to increase your brand awareness, add your business’s logo or slogan to your packaging supplies!