Rain or shine, it’s always a good time for a boba tea.
These delish concoctions can give us a much-needed sugar boost to get us going, or refresh us after a hot or grueling day.
Boba (“bubble”) gets its name from the chewy pearls made of tapioca soaked in sugar syrup that look like dark bubbles which add texture to your drink.
Boba teas originated from Taiwan in the 1980s when the smaller pearls were used for milk teas. An enterprising shop owner then decided to use larger pearls in a bid to make his offerings stand out.
Boba teas then made their way across the globe and soon established a foothold in the Philippines with new shops offering all sorts of bubble tea variants opening every month.
The newest of these boba tea shops is Boba Unibers, managed by twenty-seven-year-old Jacques Michael Buenviaje together with his partner, twenty-six-year-old Katrina Mikaela Laygo.
Both were working in a five-star hotel in BGC when the pandemic struck the metro. They decided to leave their hotel jobs and forge new paths for themselves, which, luckily for us boba tea lovers, includes launching Boba Unibers.
As you can discern from their business’ moniker, #PinoyPride infuses their business and product concept.
By incorporating local flavors and ingredients to their boba tea offerings, they bring milk tea fans like us fresh ways to enjoy our favorite drink while tapping into our sense of nostalgia (plus they also help local farmers by sourcing their coffee beans and muscovado from them).
Being good to the environment is also high on their list of priorities. Not only do they eschew the use of single-use plastics, they also made use of reusable glass jars and edible straws (made with rice and tapioca) which scored major points with my environmentally-aware daughter, #ExhibitA.
Now let’s talk about Boba Unibers’ drinks, shall we?
Wintermelon (Php75). Made with BU’s special tea blend, caramel-y wintermelon syrup, milk, house syrup and boba. #ExhibitA reserved this boba as soon as she saw it.
Taro (Php75). Made with BU’s special tea blend, taro, milk, house syrup and boba. A creamy masterpiece of a drink! (And cutely light purple too!)
Champorado (Php85). Made with BU’s special tea blend, tablea rice milk, house syrup, powdered milk and boba. Who would have thought that our favorite chocolatey breakfast item would taste so good in boba tea form? My son #ExhibitB snatched this up as soon as I was done taking photos.
Pandan Yema (Php85). Made with BU’s special tea blend, milk, pandan yema syrup and boba. A mix of the mild taste of pandan and the milky salted caramel-like taste of yema made for a candy-like sweet drink.
Salted Pistachio (Php110). Made with pistachio syrup, caramel sauce, caramel syrup, Kievit and Lipton Tea. This milky and slightly nutty drink will satisfy pistachio lovers.
Cold Brew Milk Tea (Php85). Made with BU’s special tea blend, milk, cold brew coffee and boba. This woke me right up from my mid-afternoon stupor.
These are just a sampling of the many possibili-teas that Boba Unibers has launched into the milk tea stratosphere, with more flavors to come as Jacques and Katrina continue to experiment with new flavors and ingredients.
So #quarantitas (or #quaranTEAtas?), let’s help these young entrepreneurs raise our flag and bring the spotlight to the unique flavors we Pinoys love by supporting Boba Unibers.
To order, call +63 906 3485071 or message Boba Uniberse on Facebook or Instagram. Cashless payments via GCash, Metrobank and BDO, as well as cash on delivery, are accepted. The jars of milk tea can be delivered from Cainta to Rizal and Metro Manila areas via GrabExpress, Lalamove, Mr. Speedy, Angkas and Joyride (to be shouldered by the buyer).
Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.
Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business: