SACRA<ENTO (CBS13) – The boba tea craze shows no signs of stopping here in California, but a shortage of the sweet treat could put a dent in it.
That shortage is having a big impact on sales at local stores that normally sell dozens of the drinks each day. The boba business is booming at Tea 18 in Natomas, but that sweet bubbly flavor is becoming more difficult to find.READ MORE: Cal Fire: Fire That Started Under Foresthill Bridge Was Caused By Arson
“Everywhere they run out of the boba,” said Tea 18 owner Sokunthy Hay.
Hay says her store goes through up to 30 pounds of boba a day, and right now, her current supply will last less than a week.
“It kind of impacts our business now because most of our customers, they come to the boba shop, they only want boba,” Hay said. “When they tell them we don’t have the boba, they just walk away.”
“I don’t think I would go because I only go to boba places to get the boba,” said customer Amanda Huang.READ MORE: Insurance Shopping Company Ranks Rancho Cordova With Highest Rate Of ‘Rude’ Drivers; City Criticizes Data
The popular ingredient is imported from Asia and shipping delays due to the pandemic have now tripled the time it takes to get boba back in stock.
“They told me it takes a month to ship from Taiwan or China to the port in United States,” Hay said. “Right now, it takes three months.”
Though Tea 18 has other kinds of drink additions, boba is by far the most in-demand.
“They don’t want it, they only like the boba,” Hay said.
It’s another shortage being blamed on the pandemic, with boba fans saying they can’t wait for the sweet treat to be back in stock again.MORE NEWS: 17-Year-Old DUI Suspect Arrested After Deadly Crash In Tuolumne County
According to Yelp, boba tea was the most popular delivery order in California during the early days of the pandemic. Experts say it could be months for the boba supply to get back to normal.