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Bubble Tea; Bubble Tea History
Topic Started: Mar 22 2011, 12:08 AM (154 Views)

Bubble teas are the latest fad to hit the Asian tea industry. Contemporary Bubble Tea traces its roots back to Taiwan in the early 1980's. It soon became popular across Asia in 1990's. It is now becoming popular around the world. Click here to know more about Bubble Tea history.


3 ounces tapioca pearls
sugar syrup
1 cup brewed tea (Chinese black tea or lychee tea is good)
1 cup milk (or to taste)
Ice cubes


Prepare the sugar syrup for the tapioca pearls (see below).

Prepare the tapioca pearls (see below).

Place the tapioca pearls in the large glass jar.

Allow the tea to cool to room temperature. Add the milk.

Add the sugar syrup, milk and tea mix, and the ice cubes to a cocktail shaker and shake well. (Alternately you can process them in a blender, but that's not nearly as much fun!)

Pour the shaken mixture into the glass with the tapioca pearls. Serve with a thick straw.

(This recipe is loosely based on one that originally appeared in The New York Times)

Tapioca Pearls - these are the chief ingredient in Asian bubble teas.

Please note that the pearls expand considerably when cooked. Please ensure that you use a large pot.

1 part tapioca pearls
4 parts (or more) water
(as a rule, the more pearls cooked, the more water should be used: that is, the water to pearl ratio must be higher. For 3kgs of pearls, we recommend using as much as 6 times as much water)

Boil the water. Add the pearls to the boiling water and boil for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the pearls are not sticking to each other or to the pot. Turn off heat and let the pearls steep in the water for another 30 minutes with the lid of the cooking pot on.

Drain the tapioca pearls and rinse with cold water to cool them down. Place them in sugar syrup (sugar and water solution - see below). Make sure that the pearls are covered. Stir the pearls well.

The pearls are now ready to enjoy.

Note: To prevent the pearls from sticking to each other and to the pot, there must be enough water and the pearls must be stirred.

Bubble Tea History:

Contemporary Bubble Tea traces its roots back to Taiwan. Legend has it that a particular Tea establishment attracted young customers by combining fruit juices with chilled Tea. The concept proved to be such a success that in a short time the drink became ubiquitous throughout Taiwan.

So how did this amazing drink develop? First we must travel back to Taiwan into the early 1980's. Taiwan was, and still is, known for its "Night Market." This hot spot for cheap goods and snacks saw one very inventive man come up with the idea of giving consumers a nice soothing drink for the hot summer nights. He decided to combine the popular shredded ice and tea. Tea was chosen for a number of reasons. Tea is definitely part of the Asian culture and goes back hundreds of years. Tea also has a nice light taste and allows fruit flavouring to mix into it to create a refreshing drink. This turned into a big hit. Well, why Bubble Tea? To create this tasty drink you must shake it first in order to give an even taste. When all was mixed it was poured into the famous cup, but if you look closely small bubbles would form in the Tea. Thus the original "Bubble Tea" was born.

Shrewd entrepreneurs took this new type of Tea to the next level by introducing Tapioca Balls into the beverage. The Tapioca Pearls also looked like bubbles. Hence, the drink was reinforced as "Bubble Tea". Bubbles at both sides of the drink! By this point, Bubble Tea earned its signature straw, which permitted the avant-garde Tea drinker to consume Tea and "Bubbles" in a leisurely fashion. Today, Bubble Tea is spreading quickly from Taiwan to other parts of Asia and to North America. One man in the Philippines was able to establish 100 locations in two years. Areas of concentrated Asian populations in North America are already cozy with their local Bubble Tea establishments. However, "Bubble Tea" history is still in the making as this outrageous beverage is further introduced into mainstream North America. Additional variations to Bubble Tea have yet to hit the market.

There are numerous names given to this diverse drink. Some of the popular ones are: Pearl Tea, Pearl Ice Tea, Black Pearl Ice Tea, QQ drinks, Nai Cha, Zhen Zhou Nai Cha, Boba Nai Cha and of course "Bubble Tea". Whatever you are inclined to call it, Bubble Tea remains as one of the most refreshing and colourful around. Bubble Tea is here to stay, and consumption will continue to explode.

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