Bubble Tea, a phenomenon that spread rapidly to other Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea as well as North America and Australia. Read on to discover what this beverage is all about, why it is becoming very popular in South London and hopefully you will consider trying it soon.
Invented in the 1980’s, Bubble Tea was originally created as a tea-based drink served in tea shops in Taichung, Taiwan.
Most Bubble Tea drinks contain a tea base mixed with a wide selection of fruit flavors or milk.
Although Bubble Tea is often served ice cold but there is also choice of having it served warm especially during winter. You can distinguish Bubble Tea from other cold drinks like smoothies by looking out for the iconic bubble shaped pearls that sit at the bottom of the cup.
Those pearls are very sweet and come in a variety of flavours such as: mango, strawberry, grapes and more. For the large cup, you have the choice of mixing a maximum of 3 different flavoured pearls however for the medium or small cup the maximum is only two.For fruit flavoured Bubble Teas, you have a selection of different fruity flavours to mix and match; maximum of three flavours are allowed per serving. My signature mix and match fruit Bubble Tea is Mango, Pineapple and Strawberry. Never did I expect those flavours will blend so well to offer such an exquisite and exotic taste that is making me ask for more and more. As for the milk based Bubble Teas, there is no mix and match so choices are strictly what is on offer. Some of my top favourite milk Bubble Teas are Bubble Gum, Banana & Vanilla, Marzipan as well as Rose Milk. Of course, you are always asked to choose what pearls to add to your chosen Bubble Tea but you are not obliged to have them added to your drink if you don’t wish to.
What is tapioca?
Tapioca is a chewy ball-shaped blackpearls that are often added to Bubble Teas. They are tasteless as theirmain ingredient is starch and which contain higher calories compare to fruity pearls such as Lychee. After Cassava plants are harvested, their roots are treated to remove toxins found in the plant. The starch is then processed into one of several popular forms: powder, flakes, sticks or ball-shaped pearls. Tapioca pearls are the most popular form. Tapioca is almost completely free of both protein and gluten.
Why is it popular?
There can be many reasons but from what I have managed to gather locally, people enjoy it as not only a drink but also a snack. Just a single cup of Bubble Tea contains around 335 calories per serving, which really is considerably high.
However that is not the only reason why people consider this drink as a snack. I managed to speak to a few people who were enjoying drinking Bubble Tea around the famous Bubblelology as well as a small Bubble Tea shop called Vegan Bubbles & Tea and ask them why they love the drink so much.
Noora Ali, 17, who lives in South London is a regular consumer of Bubble Tea said,
“I love bubble tea! It is delicious and I can have it as a snack because chewing on the pearls makes me feel like I have eaten something so I feel full after I had finished drinking it”.
Sophie Johnson, 23, a Greenwich University student added,
“I drink Bubble Tea at least 3 times a week especially during lunch time when I want to quench my thirst. I think it is not just tasty and refreshing but filling. You just don’t really want to eat anything after drinking it! This helped me lose a couple of pounds!”.
Mary Stewart, 20, retail staff in SouthWest London, said,
“Bubble Tea has become my new addicition! I started drinking it since 2013 and I cannot stop ever since. It’s so tasty and I feel so much better when I drink it. The variety of flavours is what makes me crave for more. Everyone should really try it asap!”
Why should you try it?
There are many reasons as to why Bubble Tea consumers enjoy drinking and why many are regular customers and simply
put, it is because of variety of flavours as well as the uniqueness of the beverage; consumers love the idea of tapioca pearls which can be sucked in through a long fat straw. Although Bubble Tea is popular with the younger generation, there is no age restriction so anyone can enjoy this wonderful beverage. The main reason as to why you should consider trying Bubble Tea is simply because it is tasty and can be a substitute to a snack. Bubble Tea is not just all about the taste, it is an experience you won’t know until you try it.
Photo: Nina Janmaat