Bubble Milk Tea
Originating from Taiwan, Bubble Milk Tea, also known as Boba Milk Tea, has always been a popular drink in South East Asian Countries. In recent years, the popularity has spread to Western Countries such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. So what exactly makes Bubble Milk Tea so special?
First of all, Bubble Milk Tea is an exceptionally unique looking drink. It combines a tea base with milk and fruit juices and comes with delicious and chewy bubbles at the bottom of the cup. Furthermore, Bubble Tea comes in a wide variety of flavors to choose from such as classic, strawberry, passion-fruit, honeydew and many more. With so many flavors to choose from, people will almost never run out of Bubble Tea to try.
Who Invented Bubble Milk Tea?
The are varying versions of Bubble Milk Tea’s origin and how it was invented, but it is the general consensus that it first appeared in the 1980s in Taiwan. The number of tea stands in Taiwan rapidly increased during that period and it became a common place for people to hang out with friends after work, which increased the competitiveness of the tea market. Rumour has it that with the increased competition, tea merchants would come up with new and unique inventions to their tea products to gain a competitive edge.
Stories have been circulating that Chun Shui Tang, a tea house in Taiwan, started to serve Chinese Tea cold, while traditional Chinese Tea tend to be served hot. Miss Lin Hsiu Hui, a product manager at Chun Shui Tang, decided during a staff meeting to mix her dessert - a tapioca pudding - into her iced tea. She liked it so much that she suggested to add it to the tea house’s menu, and this new idea eventually became their top selling beverage. Other tea houses followed this idea and that is how the trend of Bubble Milk Tea began.
What Does Bubble Milk Tea Taste Like?
Bubble Milk Tea can come in many different flavors as there are different teas and fruits to choose from. In general, the tea itself has a sweet milky taste along with the chewy tapioca pearl that tastes like jelly. There is a good balance of sweetness and it would not be overly sweet, as the tea would counteract the sweetness of the Tapioca pearls. Of course, you can also ask for a higher or lower level of sweetness based on your personal preferences.
What are the Bubble tea balls?
As mentioned in the previous section, tapioca pearls is a common name for the bubbles in Bubble Milk Tea. Other common names include Boba Pearls or simply Boba. Tapioca is originally a jelly-like dessert that is popular through out South East Asia. Tapioca Pearls became popular with the emergence of Bubble Milk Tea and has a chewy texture that strongly complements the sweetness of the Milk Tea.
Just like the Milk Tea itself, Tapioca Pearls can also come in many different variations. It can come in different sizes, colors, texture and the taste could also differ based on the ingredients used in the process.
How To Make Bubble Milk Tea
While you can easily find and order Bubble Milk Tea at teahouse chains, you can also make your own Bubble Milk Tea at home. One of the great benefits of this is that you can have full control of what flavor, how much sugar and ice to include. It is also very simple to make and can be done within just minutes. All you would need is Tea, Milk, Tapioca Pearls and Sweetener.
For the type of tea, it is strongly recommended to use a tea with a strong and robust flavor. Black Tea and Jasmine Tea are 2 of the most commonly used teas to make Bubble Milk Tea as it can retain its flavor even after being watered down with milk and ice.
Next, what kind of milk should be used? This very much depends on personal preferences, but whole milk is most commonly used as it adds a rich flavor that improves the overall taste of the tea. Other options include half and half milk or dairy free milk such as nut milks or soy milk depending on what extra flavor you are looking for.
Lastly, there are several sweeteners for you to choose from, such as honey, granulated sugar or syrup. It is recommended to add the sweetener while the tea is still hot so that it can dissolve properly. Usually, 2 tablespoons of honey or syrup is recommended for 2 cups of tea. Since everyone’s preference of sweetness is different, you can adjust the amount of sweetener from the previous step depending on how much of a sweet tooth you are. Next, combine half a cup of water and half a cup of sugar in a saucepan and let it boil. Once the sugar dissolves, turn of the heat and it is ready to be used once it cools down.
Bubble Milk Tea has come a long way since its beginnings in the 1980s in Taiwan. Over the past few decades, it has developed from a local trend to an international sensation. Recent studies have shown that the Bubble Milk Tea Market is expected to grow to more than $4 Billion by the year 2027. South East Asia recorded a mammoth 3000% increase in Bubble Tea sale in 2018.
While Bubble Milk Tea has always been popular in Asian areas such as Chinatowns in foreign countries, it was still relatively unknown to non-Asians. However, this changed in 2011 when Bubbleology was launched in the UK. With its colorful and appealing logo and overall branding, the first store started in the Soho area in London and over the years became a fan favourite lifestyle drink. It now has over 60 stores in Europe, UK and the US and is continuing to expand. Many other Bubble Milk Tea chains and franchise have followed suit and industry continues to grow even today.
There are potential health benefits of Bubble Milk Tea depending on the type of tea you choose. For example, studies have shown that Green Tea and Black Tea can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It has also been shown that Green Tea has antioxidant that can lower the risk of liver, breast and prostate cancer.
However, like any other food or beverage, having too much could lead to potential health risks, so it is important to have it in moderation. You could always ask for or make your own Bubble Tea with a lower level of sugar and choose healthier dairy alternatives such as Soy milk, coconut milk or almond milk to cut down on the calories.