Unique drinks are hard to find, but bubble tea will capture your imagination. This cold blend of tea first appeared in Taiwan in the 1980’s. After a few years, some of the nearby Asian countries adopted bubble tea and soon after small Asian markets adopted it in the United States. Combining tea with sweet fruit flavorings, milk and tapioca pearls seems strange when most people drink tea undiluted. The novelty of bubbles on top brought interest for drinkers but the drink was slow to catch on.


You might think the little matcha bubble tea tapioca pearls, called boba, give bubble tea its name. The name bubble tea actually refers to the frothy drink rather than the small pearls at the bottom. The froth comes from shaking the ingredients together right inside the cup. Most vendors sell these drinks in cups with a sealed plastic lid so you can shake it up yourself.

The first time you drink this tea you might find the large straw to be awkward, but try it. The straw served with this drink is larger than normal to accommodate the small boba hanging out on the bottom of your glass. The chewy texture of the tapioca surprises most first time drinkers. If you have ever been tempted to chew ice but know you shouldn’t, a bubble tea could give you that chewy experience you need.

Bubble Tea Options

Bubble tea excited teashops and coffee shops because it offered so much variety over and above regular teas. You can order your tea with black tea, green tea or even a coffee base. Some coffee shops will even customize your tea with exotic varieties and custom blends of tea. Next, you might enjoy adding flavorings like passion fruit, coconut or lychee to your drink. The options for flavorings are nearly endless, especially in coffee and teashops that use flavorings frequently. Fruit flavorings are a personal choice and work best if they go with the flavor of the tea.

Milk is optional in this type of tea, but most teahouses will include it in your drink. If you prefer not to use milk, however, ask for a milk substitute.

Tapioca balls make this drink unique and they can add a fun element as well. If you want to tell your drink from a friend’s, simply ask for chewy shapes of jelly like stars or cubes. The boba even have flavors like mango and green tea.

With so many options, it is possible to make your drink completely personal to you. The cool refreshing flavors can even change as your tastes change. Each order of this tea becomes a broad series of choices that you control.


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