Robert and Catherine love boba. One day, they waited 20 minutes to get boba at their favorite boba shop in Boston, TeaDo. After complaining about how crowded and inefficient TeaDo was, Robert realized that the monotonous labor of the employees there could be automated.

Because they have a long history of working together on projects, they decided to build a boba machine with another one of their friends, Jingwei. They began on November 2nd, 2017. After working for around a month, they publicly released their first machine on December 1st in Jingwei's dorm room.

The machine at MIT was extremely successful, vending over 500 cups of boba in 2.5 weeks. The boba was not only convenient, but so good that their best customer bought 24 bobas and 46 unique students bought 4 or more bobas in two and a half weeks.

"Why stop at one machine when more people can benefit from freely accessible boba?", they thought, and decided that they wanted to work on Lambda Tea full-time. Unfortunately, Jingwei's status as an international student made it difficult for her to leave MIT, so they parted ways, and Catherine and Robert moved to San Francisco to make boba freely available to the world.


Lambda Tea builds self-serve bubble tea machines and is based in San Francisco, CA.

If you are interested in pre-ordering a boba machine, please email us at