Even just a couple of years ago, bubble tea was not very common in Seoul. You had to go to Coffioca in Apgu for a decent one, as the few other places that carried it weren't very good. Now, bubble tea has caught on particularly with a global franchise chain called "Gong Cha", and it can be found in almost every single area you go in and around Seoul! I was even at Vivaldi Park Ski resort and they had one there! There are other bubble teas shops that have opened as well, but for quality and consistency, Gong Cha is my favourite joint! I first had a bubble tea from a Gong Cha in Hong Kong. See HERE for other good HK eats!
What is what? Bubble Tea aka Pearl Milk tea aka Boba Milk Tea
Bubble Tea is a drink invented in Taichung, Taiwan in the 80's. The original hot black tea with small tapioca pearls is amazing in Taiwan - should definitely try it if you have the chance. Boba in Chinese means "large", and is used as a slang for representing the large sized tapioca balls. These chewy tapioca balls are also referred as pearls due to their shape and size. This is why this drink can be called interchangeably different things. There is also a wide variety of flavours, so it's not always called milk tea as some of the bases can be juice or just tea without any milk. You can get versions made as smoothies without any tea in it, and even coffee based drinks too.
What is your favourite combination of bubble tea???
Find your closest location GongCha in Seoul HERE. There are 3 pages of Gongcha locations in Seoul. (Sorry, it's in Korean - but copy and paste your neighbourhood's name, and then when a location comes up, see the map for directions!)