Bubble milk tea has become a uniquely popular across the globe. What was once considered a popular drink primarily in eastern Asia has seen significant growth in Australia, Western Europe, in the United States. While this beverage has been around since the 1980s its surge in popularity worldwide is a fairly recent occurrence. Many people are still not familiar with what bubble is or why it has quickly become a popular beverage option.
What Is Bubble Milk Tea?
Bubble milk tea, also known as pearl tea or boba tea, has a tea base mixed with either milk or fruit. There are also slushy style versions of tea as well. While it was not an original component, most of this tea will come with small chewy tapioca balls or boba. While many people believe the name bubble comes from the tapioca pearls, it actually comes from the bubbles produced when the beverage is shaken before it is served.
Where Did Bubble Milk Tea Come From?
Bubble milk tea was originally created in the 1980s in tea shops across Taiwan. One tea shop owner added the tapioca pearls which has now become synonymous with bubble milk tea. There are now hundreds of different recipes in tea shops across the globe. Along with milk, other popular items to put in tea include ice cream, fresh fruit, syrup, flavored powders, and either black or green tea.
How Has It Become a Global Beverage Phenomenon?
It is difficult to identify exactly why this beverage has become a global phenomenon but many people point to its unique texture and appearance. The tapioca pearls stand out as they are typically black, although they can be white or transparent as well. The color of the tapioca is determined by its ingredients. For example, black pearls often include sweet potato, brown sugar, and cassava root.
One of the reasons bubble milk tea has become popular is due to the perceived health benefits. The black tea or green tea itself offers numerous health benefits because it is rich in antioxidants. The specific antioxidants found in tea have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties as well. This allows them to protect the body against free radicals which can cause cellular damage and inflammation. At the same time, it is important to remember that tea often has sugar and sweetened condensed milk which can increase the number of calories. Fortunately, it is easy to get a healthier version utilizing less sugar, substituting brown sugar for white sugar, and adding fresh fruits.
Another reason bubble milk tea has become globally popular is because of its versatility. Unlike soda or other prepackaged beverages there is no limit to how many flavors of bubble that can be created. This allows it to be tailored to each individual locales flavor preferences.
It’s Just Fun to Drink
The simplest explanation as to why this beverage has become a global phenomenon is that it is just fun to drink. The oversized straws make it fun to try and target tapioca pearls while consuming the beverage. Plus it has a unique visual appeal that makes it a conversation starter among friends.