BUBBLE TEA: the Most Fashionable Drink

The colorful tea with milk and pearls drink invented in Taiwan in the 1980s is booming everywhere: what there is to know about Bubble Tea?

It's a drink that seems to come out of a Japanese cartoon and that's why it's very popular among those who love good and beautiful food, the perfect one to post on Social Media to get many likes.

But in addition to the likes of the followers, even the taste buds will approve, the word of those who have tried it and now can’t help but crave a sip.

First of all, to know this elixir it is necessary to know what it contains. The basic ingredients of a Bubble Tea are tea, milk (or a mix of both), and a syrup (fruit or cream). On the bottom you’ll find some gummy pearls: these mini-balls are called "topping" and can be pieces of tapioca (a black tuber from South America), fruit balls, strips of flavored jelly or the so-called "popping boa". In English it means "tea with bubbles" but actually, the word “bubble” comes from a misspelling of “boba”, a Taiwanese term used to indicate tapioca pearls.

Tapioca Pearls


Around the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the next decade, a strange thing occurred at Chun Shui Tang Teahouse in Taichung (Taiwan): Liu Han-Chieh, the place’s owner, experimented a with a different kind of tea, incorporating tapioca pearls into the tea to be served to customers. Since the Taiwanese way of tea is now exclusively mixed with milk, the news has been the pearls. Since then, the tapioca pearls have become a trend. Earl Grey, matcha, and jasmine tea are the most common varieties, while peach tea and passion fruit tea are only available during the summer, when many choose to combine fresh Bubble Tea yogurt, slush, and ice cream scoops.

On the island of Taiwan, many small bars specialized in this drink have opened and within a few years Bubble Tea has started to flourish throughout South East Asia, the United States, and in the last few months, Europe.

These are the basic ingredients you will need to prepare it at home:

20 g of tapioca pearls to cook in 160 g of water

140 g of water with 70 g of sugar

A cup of strong tea (preferably black tea)

Fresh or condensed milk (also vegetable)

Juice, syrup or fruit pulp of your choice


TEALIVE: It is the brainchild of the famous businessman Bryan Loo, who also owns numerous franchises in Malaysia such as Gindaco and Croissant Taiyaki. Some of their recommended drinks include the Signature Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea, Japanese Matcha Red Bean Milk Tea and Strawberry Pudding Smoothies are some of their most ordered beverages. They offer a permanent menu, but they are also known for their exclusive and limited-edition drinks such as During King Smoothie and Black Diamond Milk Tea.

CHA WAN JIA: The Taiwan-based Cha Wan, Strategically located at SS 15 Subang Jaya, Jia may be fairly new to our local scene since its inception in late 2018. But Cha Wan Jia isn’t just your typicsl brand of bubble tea, thanks to its handmade boba pearls with various flavours. Check out their rainbow pearls, strawberry and mango pearls, sakura pearls and dragon fruit pearls.

GONG CHA: Native to Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 2006, Gong Cha specializes in a range of freshly brewed bubble tea using only the finest tea leaves. While you can find the likes of pearl milk tea, oolong tea and brown sugar earl grey tea, There’s nothing beating their Signature Winter Melon Tea, cold, refreshing winter melon tea with creamy milk foam overlapping. You can even choose to use various add-ons such as coconut jelly, white pearl and seeds.

DABOBA: At SS15 Subang Jaya, the renowned Taiwan-based Daboba made its debut, offering a range of tea-based beverages from fruit teas to cheese teas and fresh teas. Their main attractions are the Roasted Brown Sugar and Honey Golden Pearl Series. The Roasted Brown Sugar Pearl Milk, which boasts a robust mix of brown sugar syrup and pure milk with chewy big pearls, is among their must-try beverages on the menu.

CHATTO: Chatto, despite the name, is a homegrown tea brand that made its debut in 2017. Unlike other brands either originating from Taiwan or influenced by the idea of bubble tea in Taiwan-style, Chatto stands out with its special Japanese design tea bar. We highlight the herbal flavor of a tea that can be found in some of their menus including Hojicha Green Tea, Kee Mun Tea and Brown Rice Tea, among others. All of Shizouka Japan, Taiwan and Chian are carefully picked and extracted from the tea foundation.

MUYOO: This brand claims to have a the healthiest version of cheese tea. Their must-try is the Cheese Cloud: the smooths, frothy crown on top of the tea, is whipped with a mixture of New Zealand’s “naturally derived milk powder”, Holland’s cheese powder, and Bolivian sea salt. The combination of cheese and fruit tea is great, with fresh fruit choices.

Choose your favorite one and enjoy your bubble tea delivered at home!

__The SmartBite Team. __

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