Avid fans of boba—also known as bubble tea—have been craving this Taiwanese beverage as much as anyone else who’s been missing their favorite coffee shop these days.
But Boba Guys, known for elevating the tea-based drink with quality ingredients, launched its own kits to send across the U.S. earlier this week. From chewy tapioca pearls to earthy matcha green tea, the $50 box includes all the components you need to recreate the chilled (or hot) drink at home.
The first 100 or so kits sold out in under an hour when they debuted on Monday, says Bin Chen, who co-founded Boba Guys in San Francisco back in 2011. The team is taking orders and restocking supplies as quickly as possible in the meantime; a kit includes one reusable straw, Oatly oat milk and house-made sweeteners like pandan caramel or kuromitsu (a Japanese black sugar syrup).
You can make 10 drinks from each kit (a good deal considering in NYC the drinks currently cost between $4.25-$6 per order), but you’ll have to put in the time: 30 minutes to cook the boba, another half hour to let it cool down and 20 minutes of soaking it in a syrup. While the current matcha latte flavor is available as part of the DIY project, fans can also expect the classic black milk tea to be available down the road (and maybe even horchata, Chen adds).
Boba Guys, which also released its cookbook earlier this year, is known for customizing its customers’ drinks—from the level of sweetness to various toppings—but only a handful of shops are currently open. They have streamlined the drinks and reduced their offerings to help prevent lines from forming outside their shops (NYC’s Lower East Side location is taking online orders with contactless ordering and payment). The kits have been ordered everywhere from Long Island City to L.A. to Phoenix and Philadelphia.
“Not everyone can get to us, but people were just excited, and there was such an overwhelming response,” says Chen. “We’re hopefully on our way back.”
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