Bubble Tea – the popular drink from Taiwan

27 10 2008

Bubble tea is Taiwanese phenomenon – a drink that consists of tea mixed with fruit and cream or milk and tapioca pearls, often also called ‘boba tea’, ‘neu-nai tsa’ or ‘pearl tea’. Bubble tea comes in a clear plastic cup with a lid and a straw thick enough for the pearls to be consumed along with the drink.

Bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s, but who exactly invented it is unclear. Two different tea houses claim to be responsible – Chun Shui Tang in Taichung City and Hanlin Teahouse in Tainan City. In the beginning the drink was pretty simple and had no tapioca pearls. With it’s selling success the business became more competitive and sellers started experimenting with new flavors and additives. The tea and flavoring had to be shaken well in order to mix thus creating bubbles in the Bubble tea. in 1983 tapioca pearls first came to Taiwan and became a new, trendy ingredient of the Bubble tea as we know it today. Nowadays this beverage is as popular in Taiwan like our Coca-Cola. It also spread to the Unites States, Canada and larger European cities like London and Paris.

What makes Bubble tea unique and unusual are the tapioca pearls. They are have a chewy consistency, are most often black or transparent and the large ones are 6mm in diameter. The pearls are extracted from roots of the cassava plant which is native to South America. To prepare them for consumption the have to be soaked preferably overnight and then boiled for about 25 minutes. Since the pearls by themselves are tasteless they can be soaked with sugar or honey for more flavor.

The tea is usually black tea mixed with condensed milk. The health-promoting versions of the drink can also contain green tea and instead of fruit flavoring – actual fruits. The quality of tea used for Bubble tea is significant and of course the better tea you use, the better the drink will taste. I should also mention that it can be consumed hot or cold.

Bubble tea is a great alternative to regular tea, not to mention that it’s a part of modern tea culture, which new, exciting ways of drinking and preparing this ancient beverage.

For Bubble tea supplies





3 responses

27 10 2008
Discover Unearthed

Very informative – cheers! Having had to survive largely on cassava for several months in West Africa, I would not normally be rushing to eat the stuff again (it is hard work!) but I reckon I could cope in this interesting context. Something different for sure…

21 12 2008

For several months?? Thats quite a long time… Well, this is much more flavorful then just cassava by itself!

25 03 2009

YOu can say me a lover of Bubble tea.

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