BobaWare is the result of a months-long brainstorm by classmates determined to reduce the waste caused by the production and consumption of boba and bubble tea. As the popularity of the drinks has exploded in the United States, so has the associated consumption of single-use plastic cups. The start-up’s first product, launched on Indiegogo on March 23, is BobaGlass, a reusable boba bottle, specifically made to highlight the attributes of the drink while aiming to reduce plastic waste.

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Two people in face masks sitting on a blue blanket on grass. The person to the right is holding a reusable boba cup.

“The idea behind making a positive impact for the environment isn’t in making huge leaps, but to make sure the steps we take point us in the right direction. I believe decreasing the carbon footprint of the boba/bubble tea industry by creating BobaGlass accomplishes just that,” explained Marcus Tjajadi, co-founder. 

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BobaGlass is the first product that specifically caters to the experience delivered by boba drinks. In contrast to conventional boba cups, BobaGlass offers a retractable straw, which allows the user to freely shake the beverage. The angle positions the straw toward the bottom of the bottle for optimal consumption. A parabolic inner layer focuses the ingredients, and the double-wall insulation keeps the drink cold. The patent-pending design relies on BPA-free Tritan for a minimal waste solution to the cravings of boba aficionados. BobaGlass is leak-proof and holds 24 oz. of beverage.

From left to right, an off-white tote bag with orange letters reading "Asian Girl Boss," a Kindle and a reusable boba cup.

BobaWare was inspired by concerns for the environment. Founders Tjajadi and Edwin Cheung tossed around endless ideas while attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. As proud Asian Americans, they looked to add value to that culture and community while prioritizing Earth-friendly solutions. In 2019, Edwin honed in on the waste left behind in the boba industry, and an idea was born. 

“Seeing the waste surrounding the boba industry deeply upsets me. I know change in behaviour never comes easily, which is why designing BobaGlass to truly elevate the boba drinking experience was our top priority,” said Cheung, co-founder.

Three images. On the left, A hand holding a reusable boba cup with an orange ring around the lid. In the middle, a reusable boba cup with an orange ring around the lid sits on a table. On the right, a clear reusable boba cup with an orange ring around the lid next to a boba cup with an opaque yellow coating.

The team then added Ashley Chen (creative director) and Raymond Deng (technical director) as co-owners of the brand. BobaWare operates with three key values: to serve the needs of their customers, to deliver ethically as a company and to connect on a personal level. 

Looking into the future, BobaGlass hopes to enlist the attention of boba/bubble tea shops, which can offer incentives to customers who bring their BobaGlass in for refills rather than contributing to waste and pollution. 

+ BobaWare 

Images via BobaWare

A bird's-eye view of a hand holding a reusable boba cup.