What is Bubble Tea?
Bubble tea is a type of milk tea in which “boba” or “tapioca” is added to the mixture. This type of tea is said to originate from Taiwan back in the 1980s and has now become a favorite in many countries around Asia. It has reached Europe and the US. The tapioca added in the milk tea are referred to as “yam starch pearls” and so in the US, bubble tea is also commonly known as “pearl milk tea’. In Taiwan and other parts of Asia, bubble tea is also called as “boba tea”.
The original recipe for bubble tea included black tea mixed with milk and tapioca pearls. Honey is also a common sweetener for the original recipe. Today one could find a wide variety of flavors with new ingredients mixed with the traditional tea, milk, and tapioca pearl mixture. Some stores also make bubble teas with gelatin cubes instead of the traditional tapioca pearls. Other types of tea are also used nowadays other than the original black tea. One popular alternative is green tea mixed with milk and boba or tapioca pearls. Others even use coffee-based drinks and still call them as bubble tea or pearl milk tea.
The tapioca pearls mixed in this drink have a chewy consistency. These pearls are first cooked or boiled first before adding them onto the tea and milk mixture. Most stores that make bubble tea soak these tapioca pearls in honey or other forms of sweeteners to make them more flavorful. Bubble teas may also be served hot or cold depending on one’s preferences. Hot varieties are typically served in a mug with a teaspoon for eating the tapioca pearls. Cold varieties are usually served in plastic cups with straws that are big enough for the tapioca pearls to pass through. Today, bubble tea shops and parlors are a common site in big cities and malls.