Culture

The U.S. Is Facing a Bubble Tea Shortage

And it may take months for the boba supply chain to recover.

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We’ve got some bad news for bubble tea enthusiasts — according to a report by Marketwatch, the United States is facing a shortage of boba and tapioca starch, the powder used to make the chewy balls. According to the publication, a shipping backlog on the West Coast will deplete boba supply over the next few weeks. Even worse, it may take months for the bubble tea supply chain to recover.

The owners of popular bubble tea chain Boba Guys highlighted the issue in a video posted to Instagram. “This is an industry-wide shortage,” founders Bin Chen and Andrew Chau said. “Some boba shops are already out. Others will run out in the next few weeks. 99 percent of boba comes from overseas…It will be in flux for several months until we get our next series of tapioca starch shipments.” The duo added that, due to the backlog, boba shipments — which the majority of which are imported from Taiwan — are taking four to five months to clear customs and cross the Pacific.

In the meantime, savor your bubble tea while you can. In case you missed it, here’s how to make bubble tea at home.

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