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Bubble Tea Trivia
History and Origin of Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea is a tea beverage mixture with milk and historian said to have originated in Taichung, Taiwan during the early 1980s. A Taiwanese tea shop owner experimented with cold milk tea by adding fruit, syrup, candied yams and tapioca pearls.  Tapioca pearls a.k.a. "Boba", a cantonese slang, literally means the "dominatrix of breasts" which refers to the MILK.  Although the drink was not popular at first, a publicity from an Asian television show caused businessmen to take notice. Then the drink became well known throughout Asia in the early 1990s.

During the late 1990s, in United States and Canada, bubble tea began to gain popularity in major North American cities with large Asian populations, mainly those on the West Coast. This unique beverage has received attention in American mainstream media. Bubble tea has spread internationally through Chinatowns and other overseas Asian communities.  Bubble tea can also be found in major European cities, such as London and
Paris.  As it's spread internationally, it is also known under a number of other names such as pearl tea, pearl ice tea, black pearl ice tea, QQ (Kiu) drinks, naicha, zhenzhu naicha, boba drink, pearl sago and tran chau (vietamese usage).

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. And if you like it like the Asians do, the cool drink usually includes a healthy tea, infused by a flavoring.

Tapioca pearls are black, but can sometimes be found to be white or transparent. Depending on the ingredients of the pearl, the color varies. According to our sources, the white and translucent pearls are made of caramel, starch and chamomile root extract. The black pearl includes tapioca starch, caramel and brown sugar which add the black color.

The consistency of tapioca pearls are somewhere between jell-o and chewing gum. The common tapioca pearls are the size of a marble.  Some tapioca pearls are 4.0 mm or 8mm in size.  They are also known as the "boba" drink in Western China because it is described as to having the same texture as the female breasts.

When ordering, customers are often asked whether they want  "pearls" in their beverages, and the term refers to the tapioca balls. Another alternative to the traditional tapioca balls are "jellies", a lighter option. Jellies are served in small cubes, sometimes made of coconut jelly and has a sweet, crunchy consistency (Jelly Flavors: Mango, Rainbow, Lychee-Coconut, Green Apple, Coffee and Green Tea Chobee). You can have your bubble tea in 2 ways, Milk Tea style (shaken and poured over ice) or Blended (slushy style).  To make it simple, follow the 4 elements of making a bubble tea; 1) Choose a base component such as tea, 2) Select the essence of your bubble tea which maybe fruit syrup or powder based, 3) Add sweetener to bind all the flavors, 4) Put the soul of your bubble tea and enjoy the taste of "boba" tapioca pearls or flavored jellies to treat your senses to fantastic heights!

A clear cup with black balls on the bottom can easily be identified as Bubble Tea drinks.  One obvious trait is a huge fat straw. The fat straw is needed so that the tapioca pearls can be sucked up with the 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 way of life! This drink is addictive.  It's quite an interesting experience that you will love once you try.  So what are you waiting for?


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