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Keepin' It Local: Boise man brings culinary pop culture sensation to the Treasure Valley

Owner of Boise Boba, Steve Salas, saw a need for one of the globe's hottest, fun fruity beverages.

BOISE, Idaho — Boba Tea or also known as ‘Bubble Tea,’ is a culinary pop culture sensation that took off across the globe in the 1980s. Iced fruity drinks with a literal pop of fun in chewy bite sized marbles called ‘Boba.’ Now this Taiwanese cult classic has made an impression here in the Treasure Valley all thanks to Steve Salas, owner of Boise Boba.  

Upon relocating to Boise years ago, Steve and his family were surprised to find a shortage of this fun beverage in the area.

“My kids, when we moved here they were like…there is no Boba! There is no Boba! I have owned other businesses before and I thought what can I bring that Boise needs and I thought what better than Boba!” explained Salas.  

But many may ask…What is Boba?

“Basically, Boba is just a tapioca. It is just a giant tapioca ball!” exclaimed Steve Salas

A giant ball of tapioca surrounded by delicious fruity tea concoctions that can be customized to your liking. When ordering a Boba tea, the customer gets to pick iced or smoothie, caffeinated or non-caffeinated, the flavor profiles and even the level of sweetness. There is also an option to pick between different types of Boba.

“There are so many options,” said Salas

According to Salas, not all Boba is created equal either.

“Our big thing is we cook Boba in its raw form instead of a powder form. The balls are already premade, but it is not like an instant Boba where you cook it in five minutes. It actually takes us an hour and a half to cook the Boba,” explained Salas.

Aside from the actual tapioca balls, one of the biggest signatures of a Boba tea is the way it is presented once prepared.

“We put them into a sealing match. It is sealed to the point where you can flip it upside down,” demonstrated Salas.

The perfect cap to punch a large oversized Boba straw into to suck up all the fruity delicious chewy goodness.  

See all the 'Keepin' It Local' segments in our YouTube playlist here: