What is Bubble Tea?
Bubble tea has taken western markets by storm lately but not a lot of people know what it is and how it is made.
Boba milk tea, boba juice and pearl milk tea are just some of the names given to this Taiwanese creation. Back in the 1980s in Taichung, Taiwan this tea-based drink was invented. To this day they refer to it as pearl milk tea but the term bubble has grown in acceptance outside Taiwan.
The essentials are tea with fruit or milk and chewy tapioca balls. Once all this is shaken together a foam is formed giving its name Bubble tea. There are some variations that exist these days but the traditional one of milk tea and tapioca as well as milk green tea and tapioca remain the most popular. Many Asians are lactose intolerant so it is not always added with alternatives like soy milk and other milk substitutes often used.
In general terms two distinct types can be defined – Fruit Flavoured and Milk Tea. Black tea (usually oolong or Earl Grey) are preferred as well as green tea (Jasmine) or even coffee.
The range of fruits used in bubble tea are only limited by your imagination. Here is a list of many of them: plum, strawberry, green apple, passion fruit, mango, lemon, watermelon, grape, lychee, peach, pineapple, melon, lychee, mango, banana, avocado, coconut, kiwifruit and jackfruit.
Other ingredients may be added including taro, chocolate, coffee, barley, sesame, almond, ginger, caramel, lavender and rose. To give some sweetness honey, agave or stevia can also be added along with of course sugar. One of the amazing things about Bubble tea is the different texture sensations. Not only are tapioca pearls added but also coconut jelly, konjac, grass, azuki bean, mung bean paste, sago and aloe.
Bubble tea is served cold in most circumstances with plenty of ice. It is important to note that with sour fruits, milk is normally not added as it can curdle the milk.