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 TEH TARIK is to malaysia. 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.|
Bubble Tea originated in Taiwan in the early 1980's at a small tea stand.Primary 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 Tea."
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 Taiwanese) and possibly many others.
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 tapioca starch in it's natural form. The black pearl includes tapioca starch, sometimes cassava root, brown sugar and caramel which add the black color.
|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. the cool drink usually includes a healthy tea, infused by a flavoring.|
The consistency of tapioca pearls are somewhere between jell-o and chewing gum. In fact, many people think it's somewhat of a 'gummy bear' texture. Nonetheless, the way the tapioca feels when you chew it is absolutely unique. The tapioca pearls used in bubble tea are the size of a marble. The tapioca pearls are also known as the "boba" in the bubble tea drink. This is because it is described as having the same texture as the female breasts.
|A clear cup with black tapioca 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 bubble tea 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.|