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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf unveils its first boba drink

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For the first time since the bubble tea craze hit the U.S., The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has released a boba drink as part of a new tea collection.

About the drink: The Jollibee-owned, Southern California-based chain is debuting Ceylon milk tea with brown sugar boba, which combines their signature Ceylon black tea with caramelized brown sugar and chewy brown sugar pearls. Ceylon is a variety of black tea originating from Sri Lanka.

A new tea collection: The new boba offering is part of the company’s new “World of Tea” collection, which also includes chai, matcha and oolong options. These teas all historically come from Asian locations.

"The rise in specialty teas and new flavors is an emerging trend in the U.S. and around the world. Our new World of Tea collection is a natural evolution for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf," Sanjiv Razdan, president for the Americas and India markets, said in a news release.

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The big picture: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s latest drink makes it one of the first major U.S.-based coffee chains to offer boba as part of its menu. To date, rival Starbucks has not released boba options but has tested apparent alternatives such as “coffee spheres” and “coffee popping pearls.”

Boba, which originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, rose to prominence in the U.S. in the past several years. Many that offer them today are Asian-owned small- to medium-sized businesses.

The "World of Tea" collection is available in nine locations in Southern California and Arizona.

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