||If you visit Taiwan or Hong Kong you can't
help but notice the unique bubble teashops on every corner.
Bubble Tea to Taiwan is what coffee or soda is to the
U.S. One would think Bubble Tea is the national drink
by its popularity.
|Just like in Taiwan, Bubble Tea shops are
popping up all over the world. One Taiwan based company
has over 450 locations while in the Philippines another
person owns over 100 within 1.5 years.
The U.S. is also now feeling the growth. Hundreds of locations
serve Bubble Tea in California alone. You may be wondering,
"What is Bubble Tea and how did this all begin"?
Bubble Tea originated in Taiwan in the early
1980's at a small tea stand.
Elementary school children would look forward to buying a
cup of refreshing tea after a long, hard day of work and play.
Tea stands were set up in front of the schools and would compete
for business with the best selling tea. One concession owner
became popular with her tea when she started adding different
fruit flavoring to her tea. Because of the sweet and cool
taste, children loved the taste. Soon, other concessions heard
about the "unique" and popular tea, so they started to add
flavoring to their teas. When adding flavor, the tea and flavoring
needed to be shaken well for a good all around taste. This
formed bubbles in the drink, which came to be known as "Bubble
In 1983 Liu Han-Chieh introduced Taiwan to tapioca pearls.
The new fad was to add tapioca pearls into a favorite drink.
Most of the time tapioca pearls were served in cold infused
tea. After the tea and flavor were shaken well, it topped
tapioca pearls that were sitting on the bottom of a clear
cup. The tapioca pearls also looked like bubbles, thus also
became to known as "Bubble Tea." Bubbles floated on the top
your drink and bottom of your drink.
Bubble tea is also known as boba drink,
pearl tea drink, boba ice tea, boba, boba nai cha, zhen
zhou nai cha, pearl milk tea, pearl ice tea, black pearl
tea, tapioca ball drink, BBT, PT, pearl shake, QQ (which
means chewy in Chinese) and possible many others.
|Bubble drinks are usually cool, refreshing, and a sweet drink
with tapioca pearls sitting on the bottom of a clear cup.
Sometimes the drink is made with fresh fruits, milk, and crushed
ice to create a healthy milk shake. You can also find drinks
that are made of powdered flavoring, creamer, water, and crushed
ice. And if you like it like the Asians do, the cool drink
usually includes a healthy tea, infused by a flavoring.
Tapioca pearls are black, but can sometimes be found to be
white or transparent. Depending on the ingredients of the
pearl, the color varies. I've been told that the white and
translucent pearls are made of caramel, starch and chamomile
root extract. The black pearl includes sweet potato, cassava
root and brown sugar, which add the black color.
The consistency of tapioca pearls are somewhere between jell-o
and chewing gum. They are the size of a marble. They are also
known as the "boba" drink in Western China because it is described
as to having the same texture as the female breasts.
||A clear cup with black balls on the bottom can easily identify
bubble Tea drinks. Another obvious trait is a huge fat straw.
The fat straw is needed so that the tapioca pearls can be
sucked up with the drink and eaten. Bubble Tea's appearance
definitely makes it unique.
One thing is for certain. Bubble Tea is not a fad. It's a
trend. This drink is addictive. If you've had a good
one before then you know what we're talking about.