- Food and Cooking
Bubble Tea - An exquisite, refreshing beverage...
Have you tried Bubble Tea yet?
If not, there's no time like the present. Bubble Tea can be found at most tea shops and even many mall food courts. If you have a local Lollicup, that's a great place to get some great Bubble Tea.
This style of tea comes in a multitude of flavors, with or without tapioca pearls (your preference - I love them). You can even purchase Bubble Tea "Kits" and throw your own Bubble Tea party for your friends.
Go ahead, live a little. Try some Bubble Tea!
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Introduction to Bubble Tea
Bubble tea, invented in Taiwan in the 1980s, is a sweetly flavored tea beverage. There are many recipes for bubble tea, but most contain a tea base mixed with fruit (or fruit syrup) and/or milk. Another great take on the drink is the blended-ice version of the drink, which generally is made in fruit flavors. Bubble teas are shaken to mix the ingredients, which creates a foam on the top of the drink - hence the name! Bubble teas may also contain small tapioca balls or pearls called "boba". Pearls made of jelly are also available in many places.
After it's origination in Taiwan, bubble tea spread over Asia, then migrated to Canadian and US Chinatowns. It eventually became a big hit across the country, especially in college towns.
(Photo Credit: AAGSA/Stanford University)
Cool Bubble Tea Kits - Make Your Own!
Bubble Tea Contents
Exactly What's In Bubble Tea?
Bubble tea is a mixture of iced or hot sweetened tea, milk, and usually other flavorings. One of the very distinctive characteristics of bubble tea is the black gummy balls made of tapioca or yam starch, called "pearls" or "boba". These pearls, larger than those found in tapioca pudding, sit at the bottom of the cup.
Originally, bubble tea consisted of a hot Chinese black tea, tapioca pearls, condensed milk, and honey. As this drink grew in popularity around the world more variations were created. First, iced versions with a hint of peach or plum flavoring appeared, then more and more fruit flavors were added until in some cases the tea was removed entirely in favor of real fruits. Today you can find shops entirely devoted to bubble tea, similar to juice bars of the early 1990s. They usually contain beautifully colored pearls that accent whatever tea or fruit juice is used, in addition to brightly colored oversize straws that enable the drinker to suck up the pearls.
Examples of the many flavors of bubble tea available are strawberry, passion fruit, chocolate, and coconut. Flavors may be added in the form of powder, fruit juice, pulp, or syrup to hot black or green tea (if desired).
(Photo Source: DiaryofLulubellewany)
Bubble Tea Pearls
I Love Tapioca!
The tapioca pearls used in bubble tea are generally made from the cassava root. The boba (pearls) are made by boiling for 25 minutes until cooked thoroughly, but still pliant. They are then cooled for about a half-hour, and remain usable for the next 7 - 8 hours. The pearls themselves have little natural taste, their flavors are created when they are soaked in sugar, syrup or honey solutions.
(Photo Credit: Santos)
Bubble Tea Trivia
A Fun Fact!
It was reported In September 2004 that, while defending an $18 billion USD weapon purchase plan, the Republic of China's Ministry of National Defense used bubble tea as an example of the overall cost of the proposed purchase!
The Ministry stated that the total cost of the weapons systems would be equivalent to the money saved if all Taiwanese people bought just one fewer pearl milk tea per week for the next twenty years. Seems doable, right?.
(Photo Credit: Easy Recipes Online)
Bubble Tea Links
- Bubble Tea-- Ellen's Kitchen
How to make Bubble Tea at home!
- Bubble Tea @ What's Cooking America
Bubble Tea History and Recipe
- Bubble Tea @ About.com
Bubble Tea Recipe in the Asian Drinks Forum at About.com
- Bubble Tea Article @ CNN.com
Tapioca Milk Tea Creating Waves as Fun Coffee Alternative
- Looking for Bubble Tea?
Enter your U.S. Zip Code and this site will find Bubble (or Boba) Tea sites near you!
Pearl Tea "Culture"
What You Might Want To Know
When ordering bubble tea, you might be asked whether they want 'pearls' or 'boba' in your drink. Remember, the "bubble" in bubble tea refers to the foamy part of the drink. Both 'pearls' and 'boba' refer to the tapioca balls.
Some cafes use a non-dairy milk substitute instead of milk, which adds a distinctly different flavor and consistency to the tea. One possible reason for using milk substitute is lactose intolerance, although a more likely explanation is that powdered substitutes are cheaper and more convenient.
As bubble tea has become more popular, new types of bubble drinks have been invented, such as the 'Snow Bubble.' This drink is slushie-like with one of many fruit flavors and it is mixed in with shaved ice to make a smooth refreshing drink. After mixing, the pearls, or boba, can be added.
(Photo Credit: Tales From an Open Book
Bubble Tea on the "Tube"!
Pearl Tea Availability
What Sounds Good?
These days bubble tea is available at a variety of small cafes and some restaurants. Most bubble tea shops serve a large variety of drinks, including coffee, juices, fruit smoothies, and fruit freezes.
Flavors may include some varieties less familiar to non-Asians, such as taro, honeydew, or lychee, as well as the more familiar chocolate, Milo (in Australia), Horlicks (in England), or strawberry.
Hot bubble tea with pearls is also common. In addition to tapioca (pearls), jellies such as coconut jelly, apple, etc, and puddings can be added to each drink.
(Photo Credit: Organic Coffee and Tea Recipes)
More Bubble Tea Links
- Boba Tea Direct
Supplier of bubble, boba, tapioca and pearl tea products and supplies.
- Tapioca King
Tapioca King Inc. is your source to Boba Tea (Tapioca milk tea) products for your new or existing boba tea store. Whether you are making boba tea at home, adding to your restaurant menu or starting a new boba tea business, we have all the right tools
- Bubble Tea Supply
Bubble Tea Supply is your source of supplies for Bubble Tea! Also called boba tea, tapioca tea, boba nai cha, pearl tea, milk tea, bubble drink, zhen zhu nai cha, tapioca pearl drink, momi, momi milk tea, QQ or any combination of the abov
- Bubble Tea Supply
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 m
- Bubble Tea Biz
Established in 2001, Bubble Tea Canada is a Vancouver-based service network specializing in bubble tea products. We provide supplies to a broad range of specialty tea/bubble teashops and consumers worldwide. We provide top quality products, ingredien
- Bubble Tea Canada
All the Bubble Tea Supplies and Business Promotional Products, including the essential support needed to help promote your new or existing businesses.
More Bubble Tea Fun Facts
Just Can't Get Enough
A reference to bubble tea was made on the Canadian television show Radio Free Roscoe in the episode "Lil' and Grace" when Robbie brings Travis bubble tea during lunch. Travis mentions that the drink was popular at his old school in Hong Kong and identifies the flavor of his drink to be lychee.
A reference to bubble tea was also made on an episode on the American television show Grounded For Life in the episode "Who Are You?" when Sean tries to bond with his son Jimmy, by accompanying him to various activities his son enjoys, including his after school hang out, the Bubble Tea shop.
(Photo Credit: Musings On Local History)
(Photo Credit: Jegimjajo.net)
Bubble Tea Names
- * pearl (milk) tea or drink
* milk pearl tea or drink
* black pearl (milk) tea or drink
* (milk) tea pearl
* boba (milk) tea or drink
* tapioca (milk) tea or drink
* pearl smoothie
* bubble tea
* bubble milk