More and more individuals, being health conscious, opt for tea rather than any other beverage. But bubble tea is even more exciting! It’s absolutely beyond the usual tea you are more familiar with. This unique tea has its origins in Taiwan. And the ‘bubble” in the label is for the tapioca balls mixed with the tea. These balls which are about the size of small marbles sink into the bottom of the teacup. Technically, you will be eating in between tea sips. It’s a drink and dessert in one. What’s more interesting is the gigantic straw with every serving of this tea. You use this straw to slurp the tapioca balls.
The tapioca balls which are also called matcha bubble tea tapioca pearls are taken from cassava root. They are boiled with extra caution. The end result of the tapioca pearl should have tenderness just between jelly and gum. If cooked too long, they dissolve; if cooked too short, the middle of the tapioca ball is not chewy. Because tapioca balls have a quite bland taste, they are coated with sweetener. Others soak them in honey or sugar for an hour. These tapioca pearls are also called Boba and so don’t be surprised if someone calls the tea as Boba tea.
The origin of the bubble tea brings us to about three decades ago. The first version of the bubble tea was a mixture of black tea, milk, sweetener and tapioca pearls. It was served either cold or hot. After about ten years, its fame went out of Taiwan and crawled to neighboring Asian countries and eventually to United States, Australia, Europe and Canada.
Different modifications of the bubble tea came out. The most common and popular nowadays are the fruit versions. Bubble tea servings are now colorful and with varied fruit flavors. You can choose mango, pineapple, lychee, green apple and a lot more. If you prefer to prepare your own bubble tea at home, you can have any fruit flavor you wish for. You can use Monin syrups or powder for the flavorings. They can easily be ordered online.
There’s another twist of the usual combination of tea and the tapioca pearls. Some add in small cubes of jellies. There’s now a variation in the texture of the food eaten. The jellies are softer than the tapioca balls. The good thing about jellies is the fact that they are already pre-flavored and comes in different colors. The most common used jellies are nata de coco, these are jellies from coconut. You can actually use any jelly so long as they can be sliced into cubes.
Others who are having hard time preparing the tapioca balls opt for the jelly cubes as substitute. Just like the original version of the bubble tea, it is still a hybrid of tea and dessert. But personally, I prefer half-boba and half-jelly.