Genius Finds the BEST Way to Drink Boba Tea By Using Math

    A boba tea enthusiast from Bangkok, Thailand took the unprecedented study to ensure that one consumes all pearls before the drink runs out.

    Krist Wongsuphasawat, a data visualization engineer, revealed that it all comes down to optimized sips — that is, getting the “maximum amount of bobas while getting the minimum amount of tea possible.”


    Wongsuphasawat detailed his findings in an article on Medium, enhanced by multiple graphs and even an interactive simulation that predicts how long one could take to finish a cup.

    For optimized sips to work, the standard simulation assumes that all bobas are stacked “nicely” on top of each other at the bottom of the cup.

    It also assumes that the drinker pokes a straw straight down the cup, which would collect an n number of bobas.

    The drinker then sips until all n bobas are consumed.

    According to Wongsuphasawat, the likelihood of finishing the bobas before running out of tea may be affected by three factors: (1) the shape of the cup, (2) the ratio of boba, tea and ice, as well as (3) the way one drinks the whole thing.

    A wider cup means fewer bobas per sip, as seen in the simulation below:

    More tea increases one’s chances of finishing all bobas. Ice, a third variable, may be a problem at first, but it helps in the long run as it melts and mixes with the tea.

    The simulation below shows how long one can finish the drink in three conditions: (1) equal amount of boba and tea, (2) more boba and (3) equal amounts of boba, tea and ice.

    Finally, Wongsuphasawat considers that everyone drinks boba tea differently.

    As such, he presents three drinking styles in the simulation below: (1) using the optimized sip, (2) drinking more tea per sip (200% of tea in an optimized sip) and (3) drinking more bobas per sip (200% of bobas in an optimized sip).

    If one’s drinking style is none of those three, this interactive simulation may be useful.

    Wongsuphasawat ends the article with three recommendations:

    1. It’s better to use a slim cup than a wide cup. This can create a taller layer of bobas, and there is less area to catch the bobas when few are remaining.
    2. Don’t add too much ice. If you add ice, let it melt to add volume to the tea. I usually shake my cup before drinking to ensure the entire drink is cold in case the ice was dropped on top without shaking or stirring. The trade-off is that it might dilute the tea.
    3. It’s better to take a powerful sip than a weak sip. Powerful sips ensure you get the bobas, while weak sips may only give you the tea. Just don’t be so aggressive you end up choking.

    Images via Medium / Krist Wongsuphasawat

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