What is Bubble Tea?
That is something I wanted to know. Never heard of or seen it. (What were bubbles doing in tea I thought).
So I did some research and found that this is a tea that is sweet which was developed in Taiwan.
In fact in Hong Kong and Taiwan you can find bubble tea shops all over the place.
This beverage is thought of like soda or other beverages are in the USA.
It is so popular in Taiwan that you would think it is almost the national drink.
Its popularity is not exclusive anymore to just Taiwan or Hong Kong. It is now being drunk in many parts of the world even in parts of the USA.
I have myself noticed several places that serve it which surprised me. How did this become popular without me knowing:)
How did this tea first begin though?
Well, it began back in the early part of the 1980s at one lone tea stand in Taiwan.
Young school kids would like a cup of tea after school back. So tea stands would set up around the schools and would each try to get the kids to buy from them.
One concession owner began to flavor the tea she sold. To mix the flavor in well it had to be shaken which created bubbles. The name of Bubble Tea came into being.
Many are fruit flavored (we will mention these again later). However, there are the milk teas too.
The milk teas could have non-dairy or dairy creamers in them. Soy milk is used sometimes for those who cannot tolerate dairy.
Ingredients of this tea can vary from tea house. Normally it's made from green or black tea. Some versions can be decaffeinated.
Later in 1983 tapioca pearls were brought to Taiwan by Liu Han-Chieh. It became popular to add the tapioca to the popular tea.
How It Got Its Name
Even though the tapioca sort of looks like bubbles the name is from the method of mixing.
The tapioca is normally mixed with cold tea rather than hot. It falls to the bottom of the glass for a treat at the end.
Tapioca gives the person drinking the tea a chewy treat when the tea is finished. This adds an interesting texture to the drink.
With the tapioca being black in some cases, it can be seen at the bottom of the drinks. There are some white or opaque varieties though too.
There are many fruit flavors of this beverage from strawberry to cantaloupe. Also there are numerous non-fruit flavors too like sesame, ginger and lavender to mention a few.
When the Bubble Tea first came around it was not that popular. Then from Japan a television show from there stimulated interest in it.
By the 1990s the popularity of the drink had spread around Southeast Asia and many parts of the East.
Today it is served in clear glasses with nice, big straws. This way the tapioca can even be sucked through the straws to be eaten along with the drink.
Give it a try. You might like it!