The Rise Of Boba Milk Tea

The Rise Of Boba Milk Tea

A love story of East and West culture.
Hedy Yu
Hedy Yu
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Oh, man. Where do I even begin? Those who know me know my love for boba is pure and eternal.

But of course, I’m not talking about own personal love story with my beloved. I want to talk about the love story of Eastern and Western culture.

For those of you who may not know the gift that is boba milk tea, allow me to introduce the two of you.

1. What is it?

Boba milk tea (or “bubble tea,” or “pearl milk tea”) is an up and coming star within the world of drinks in the US. It is a sweet, iced, tea drink with tapioca pearls in it. There is another variation of this drink that uses non-tea ingredients such as fruits, but we’re going to stick with the OG tea plus milk drink.

2. Where did it come from?

Supposedly boba milk tea came about through the genius of a man named Liu Han-Chieh at his tea shop called Chun Shui Tang in Taichung, Taiwan starting in 1980. He introduced it to the public in 1987. It slowly gained popularity with the locals and was even introduced on a Japanese TV show, which caused its name to become more widely known around Asia. Through the immigration of many Asian people, boba milk tea along with other Asian foods made its debut appearance in the US.

3. So where does the love story come in?

One could say the West has finally noticed the beautiful and modest East.

The drink has gotten more attention these few years. Though this drink was mostly invisible and unknown to non-Asian Americans, it seems to be on their radar now.

One reason for this may be Asia has truly influenced California. According to the 2010 US Census, Asian Americans made up 13.6 percent of California’s population; this percentage is still increasing. We are exposed to people, food and experiences we otherwise would not have been exposed to if we did not live in this diverse place.

Another reason may be that the perception of this drink has somewhat changed. Boba milk tea was mostly available cheaply at small, Taiwanese- or Chinese-owned tea shops or restaurants, places that aren’t attractive to non-Asian people.

Now, it has become more “artisanal” because of changes to traditional packaging, ingredients, and décor within the tea shops. Because of this new aesthetic, it appeals not only to those familiar to Asian foods but also attracts others who aren’t familiar to try it.

For example, according to an article done by NBC Asian America, the co-founders of Boba Guys made “the design and aesthetics of Boba Buys intentionally [to null] any prejudice of what an Asian tea shop should look like.” By making drinks with truly great ingredients such as real brewed tea and organic milk and charging a slightly higher price than at smaller tea shops, modern tea shops present themselves as hip tea joints.

Some have criticized Boba Guys for making hipster boba that “is not real [boba],” but the fact that most ingredients are the same (tea, milk, tapioca pearls) and that makes me think it is still “real.”

4. Western culture seems more inclined and enthusiastic to pull inspiration from the East now more than ever.

And the East is more eager to expose those of the West to its traditions. East truly meets West here in California and the mainstream is beginning to see the unique beauty and tastes of the West.

In the future, boba milk tea will become even more well-known and will probably undergo transformations, but it will always remain an East-inspired gift.

Cover Image Credit: anthrsnday.com

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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5 Things You Need To Know About Thinx Underwear

Those of you with a uterus, listen up.

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I first heard about Thinx underwear two years ago while on a subway in Washington DC. I thought the whole idea of leakproof underwear sounded a bit too much like diapers and brushed the product aside. Fast forward two years, my mom states that she is going to buy a pair to try and offered to get me one too. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I decided to give it a try. I'm sure glad I did!

If you're not familiar with Thinx allow me to explain. It's a company that prides themselves on creating underwear specifically designed for individuals to wear during their periods. Looking at the reviews, everyone seemed to love them, and after trying them out for myself, I must say I like them quite a lot. Here are a few important things to know about Thinx underwear.

1. It doesn’t always replace your pads/tampons

Thinx may not replace tampons, but it can help cut back the amount you use.

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I learned this the hard way that if you have a heavy flow, you can't wear Thinx on its own. If you have a light flow, you could get away with only wearing these, but for us poor souls with heavy flows, I recommend making these your new period underwear. You never have to worry about any leaks, even at night!

2. They don't stain

Behold! No bloodstains!

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If you leak onto this underwear, fear not. Merely rinse them in the sink and then throw them in the wash like normal and boom! Clean underwear. No more ugly stained underwear to keep in the corner of your drawer.

3. There’s a bunch of cute designs/colors

There's something for everyone!

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One thing I must say about Thinx is that they have a wide variety of options. There are several different cuts, and almost all of them come in different colors options as well. They seem to be introducing new colors all the time, so keep an eye out for one you like.

4. They are super comfy!

These feel just like normal underwear.

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When I got my pair, I was worried that this underwear would feel like wearing a diaper or something else uncomfortable, but that was not the case at all! This underwear when you're wearing it feels like normal underwear, and while you're washing it, it feels like a swimsuit.

5. They donate to a good cause

Everyone should have access to period products. Period.

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For every pair of underwear that you buy, the company donates a pair to someone in need. It seems like most are sent to developing countries where women do not have access to proper menstruation hygiene products. In addition to this, Thinx was designed to help cut back the number of disposable pads entering landfills. They designed this underwear to be a more sustainable alternative for people with periods!

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