Bubble Tea fever has been sweeping across Europe recently with McDonald’s being the latest to jump on the bandwagon, introducing Bubble Tea into their McCafe shops around Germany.
But here at hungryhouse we’ve asked ourselves more than once – just what is Bubble Tea and where does it come from? So before the wave of Bubble Tea reaches British shores this summer we thought it was high time to let you know what you’re in store for.
Bubble Tea (or Boba as it is also known as) originated from the tea shops of Taiwan in the early 1980’s and there is contention between rival tea shops over who was responsible for inventing the drink. What is certain however that is the mix of tea, fruit juice or milk with black Tapioca balls – which can be best described as soft, chewy balls or “pearls” filled with different flavours – presents an interesting taste which takes you by surprise if you’re not expecting it!
The hungryhouse team have differing views on Bubble Tea, it seems that you either love it or hate it! But if you’re willing to try it out then here’s what you need to know;
Bubble Tea comes in two forms, the first in an almost-milkshake fashion, which mixes cream, sugar and of course tea into that perfect drink for summer. The inclusion of exotic flavours such as Almond, Coconut and Papaya really make milk Bubble Teas stand out from your typical high-street milkshakes. Powders are used to inject flavour into the teas which might make you opt for chunky fruit smoothies instead of Bubble tea if you’re trying to hit your five-a-day quote of fruit, yet the cooling milk Bubble teas go down much easier than smoothies and are twice as thirst-quenching!
Milk teas don’t drown your sense in tea either as they typically only include shots of tea as well – so if you’re a caffeine addict then you might want to instead try……
Going for a fruity (and often colourful) concoction in summer is a great way to quench your thirst and you won’t be disappointed with the vast array of fruity Bubble teas available. Some of the most popular variants include Strawberry Green Tea and White Peach Green Tea which will transport your taste buds to South-East Asia instantly. The fruit Bubble teas infuse a greater amount of tea with the fruity flavours giving you that important boost in the hot, long afternoons in the office!
Bubble teas can be enjoyed both hot and cold so if you’re feeling adventurous then opting for a hot, fruit tea should go down a treat!
But watch out for those balls!
However you like your Bubble tea, please don’t forget those Tapioca balls, they lurk at the bottom of each tea and really provide the “Marmite effect”. It’s not easy to find the right words to describe these balls; some (harshly) say they feel like chewing small bubble-gum bags of grass, whilst others say they lend a healthy, unique texture in contrast to the fruity flavourings in the tea. Whatever your opinion, the consensus here at hungryhouse is that these balls are truly what make Bubble tea an exciting drink that really stands out on the high-street!
The Bubble Tea invasion of Britain
The first Bubble tea shops have opened up in London and a rapid expansion of stores all over the UK is surely not far away. If you’re looking to try out Bubble Tea for yourself then leading connoisseurs of the tea are Bubbleology, with stores in Soho, Harvey Nichols and (coming soon) Notting Hill.
Have you tried Bubble Tea on your hols and are you looking forward to tasting this crazy concoction again in the UK? Are you a Bubble tea-head?