What is that colourful drink with dots at the bottom? What does it taste like? Why does it have such a big straw?
Bubble tea has become a worldwide phenomenon, with bubble tea bars opening in towns, cities, and shopping centres across the UK. But little is known about it.
In this article, we explore its history and why it has become the craze it is today.
The history of bubble tea
Bubble tea is a tea-based drink that originated in Taiwan. It is also known as milk tea, pearl tea, tapioca tea, boba tea, foam milk tea, and several others.
The exact story of who invented bubble tea is debated. However, it is said that Lin Hsiu Hui of the Chun Shui Tang Tea Shop in Taiwan, created the drink when she got bored and poured fen yuan (a sweetened tapioca pudding) into her iced tea during a meeting in 1988.
It was so good that the store decided to add it to the menu, where it soon became the top-selling product.
The name ‘bubble tea’ comes from the frothy bubbles that form when the drink is shaken to mix the tea, milk, and flavourings together. But overtime this has evolved to refer to the tapioca pearls added to the tea, also known as boba.
What is boba?
Boba are edible balls that sink to the bottom of bubble tea.
They are made from partially cooked tapioca flour – the refined starch extracted from the cassava root. Boba is commonly gluten-free and, in its natural state, flavourless. It has a chewy texture and can be added to hot and cold drinks.
Boba pearls can appear black, white, and translucent. They can also contain flavours which contribute to the bubble tea.
Many bubble tea bars also offer jelly cubes or ‘popping boba’ – fruit juice pearls that burst in the mouth.
Types of bubble tea
Popular types of bubble tea include:
- Milk teas
- Fruit teas
- Iced teas
- Iced coffees
There are hundreds if not thousands of flavours that can be used to make bubble tea.
How is it drunk?
Inn Supplies is pleased to support and supply to bubble tea bars across the country.