Bubble tea is specialist drink increasingly being offered in cafés, coffees shops and bars.It originates from Asia and is made up of hot or cold tea, milk, sugar and giant black tapioca balls. Ice is then added and the drink shaken to create the bubble effect. Bubbletea is often referred to as pearl shake, tapioca ball drink; boba ice tea and bubble drink among other things.Owing to their influences, bubble tea cafés are often Asian-themed in décor and may alsosell Asian snacks and food. They are often situated in fashionable areas of cities, populated by urban professionals with high disposable incomes and an interest inalternative eating and drinking venues.Bubble tea is a tea beverage that originated in Taiwan in the 1980s. The term "bubble"refers to the tapioca balls in the drink. These chewy tapioca balls, or "pearls," areconsumed along with the beverage through a wide straw. Bubble tea is especially popular in many East Asian and Southeast Asian regions such as Taiwan, Brunei, China(including Hong Kong and Macau), Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea,Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia.Bubble tea is a mixture of iced or hot sweetened tea, milk, and often other flavorings. Thedistinctive characteristics of bubble tea are the black gummy balls made of tapioca (or,more commonly in East Asia, yam starch), called "pearls" or "boba" or balls that sit at the bottom of the cup. The pearls are larger than those found in tapioca pudding, with adiameter of at least 6 millimeters, but smaller ones are occasionally used. They aregenerally translucent brown with a darker brown center, although pearls of other colors or 'jelly cubes' have also recently become available.The original bubble tea consisted of a hot Taiwanese black tea, tapioca pearls, condensedmilk, and honey. As this drink became more popular, variations were created. Initiallyiced versions with a hint of peach or plum flavoring began to appear, and then more fruitflavors were added until, in some variations, the tea was removed entirely in favor of realfruits. Today you can find shops entirely devoted to bubble tea, similar to bubble teacafes of the early 1990s. They usually contain colored pearls that are chosen to matchwhatever fruit juice is used, in addition to brightly colored oversize straws for sucking upthe pearls.Bubble tea is generally split into two types: fruit-flavored teas, and milk teas. Milk teasmay use dairy or non-dairy creamers.The mixtures that make up bubble tea vary. Several examples of flavors are strawberry, passion fruit, mango, chocolate, and coconut, and may be added in the form of powder,fruit juice, pulp, or syrup to hot black or green tea, which is shaken in a cocktail shaker or mixed in a blender with ice until chilled. The mixture is usually combined with milk andcooked tapioca pearls.
Bubble tea bars often serve bubble tea using a machine to seal the top of the cup with plastic cellophane. This allows the tea to be shaken in the serving cup. The cellophane isthen pierced with a straw. Other cafés use plastic dome-shaped lids. Even fruit slushiesand smoothies can have boba added to the drinks.These tapioca pearls are made mostly of tapioca starch, which comes from the tapioca, or bitter-cassava plant. In other parts of the world, the bitter-cassava plant may be calledmanioca or yuca. Cassava is native to South America, and was introduced to Asia in the1800s. The balls are prepared by boiling for 25 minutes, until they are cooked thoroughly but have not lost pliancy, and then cooled for 25 minutes. After cooking they last about 7hours. The pearls have little taste, and are usually soaked in sugar or honey solutions.There are two shops that claim to be the first creator of Bubble Tea. One is Liu Han Chiewho worked in Chun Shui Tang teahouse Taichung City, Taiwan in the early 1980s, andexperimented with cold milk tea by adding fruit, syrup, candied yams, and tapioca balls.Although the drink was...
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