After a lot of bad boba, peppering boba scientists with questions, and trial and error, here is a review of top boba brands.
What makes good boba pearls:
Chewiness: Chewy, but not mushy
Ability to soak in flavors: the boba is like tofu in the way it soaks in flavors like brown sugar, honey, simple syrup, etc.
Consistency: Sometimes store bought packages of boba lack consistency.