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Boba in the United States

What? —

Boba milk tea, also known as “bubble tea” or “pearl milk tea” depending on who you ask, is a Taiwan-originated drink that consists of chewy tapioca balls and some sort of mixture involving milk, tea, and optional added flavors (through fresh ingredients or syrup).1

Why? —

Over the past few decades, boba tea has become increasingly popular within the United States. This data visualization delves into how different “boba scenes” have developed in different areas around the country, and general insights into each city’s own boba business data.

How was this data collected? —

The businesses (in various cities) were collected via the Yelp Fusion API;2 each business lists “Bubble Tea” as one of their categories. The cities (San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, New York City, and Chicago) were taken from a list of most populous cities in the US, and also have more than 25 “bubble tea” business entries on Yelp.


2; data last updated on 9 April 2018

Number of Boba Establishments

Notes —

Hover to see the number of businesses in each city with the filtered rating.

Insights —

There are a total of 609 boba establishments among these 8 cities.

New York has more twice the number of boba establishments than the city with the second-most (San Jose).

The most common Yelp rating for all cities is 4 stars, except for San Francisco, whose most common rating is 3.5 stars.

Boba Establishments by City

Notes —

Filter the chart by selecting a city above.

Hover to see the number of reviews each business has, or click on a circle to visit that business's Yelp page.

Businesses with more reviews are skewed towards the bottom of each category.