A Beginner’s Guide to Bubble Tea
Bubble tea – or boba tea – is a delicious drink enjoyed across many Asian cultures. If you’ve never had it before, here’s what to expect.
What is bubble tea?
Bubble tea is a type of cold tea drink, with its key feature being chewy tapioca ‘bubbles’ that sit at the bottom of the cup. Available in a huge array of flavours, bubble tea can be anything from fruity and juicy, through to milky and creamy. There’s a bubble tea to suit all tastes! Popular bubble tea flavours include black milk tea, taro milk tea, matcha milk tea and brown sugar milk tea.
Where did bubble tea originate?
There’s no debate that the home of bubble tea is Taiwan. Everywhere you go, you’ll see people walking around with cups of boba- or zhenzhu naicha (珍珠奶茶). Bubble tea was invested back in the 1980s, and today has become a worldwide sensation. The tapioca pearls that make bubble tea so unique were also originally made from cassava starch, as cassava was introduced to Taiwan from South America during Japanese colonial rule.
Legend has it that Chun Shui Tang teahouse employee Lin Hsui Hui in Taiwan invented the idea when she poured fen yuan, a sweetened tapioca dessert, into her Assam iced tea.
The oldest known bubble tea drink involved hot Taiwanese black tea, tapioca pearls , condensed milk, and syrup or honey to sweeten. Today, bubble tea is more commonly enjoyed cold, through that iconic fat staw.
What is bubble tea made of?
Bubble tea is made up of black tea, milk, ice, and tapioca pearls, shaken together and served in a tall cup. Bubble tea comes in many variations, usually consisting of black tea, green tea, oolong tea, and sometimes white tea. One of the most iconic bubble teas – that you may have spotted on Instagram – is the ultra-rich brown sugar boba tea, which is milk-heavy and full of sweet brown sugar syrup. Brown sugar boba is so popular that an ice cream bar has been made from this flavour, which sounds delicious!
There are plenty of fruit-based boba drinks too, if milk isn’t your thing. Popular choices include mango, lychee and lemon.
Which bubble teas can you try at Intoku?
At Intoku, we sell a delicious range of bubble teas. Our flavours include chocolate divine, matcha precious, ube yum, buko pandan, classic tea delight, and oreo supreme. Our teas are so colourful, and make for a gorgeous photo for Instagram! We love our photogenic boba tea, and we hope you do too!
Fun facts about bubble tea
Okay so this one blew our minds! Did you know, contrary to popular belief, the ‘bubble’ in bubble tea does not refer to the tapioca balls (even though they’re called boba!). Instead, ‘bubble’ refers to the foamy bubbles that form at the top of the drink when shaken. 🤯
Even McDonald’s have given bubble tea a go. For a brief period back in 2012, all 800 McDonald’s locations in Germany sold bubble tea. What a glorious time to be alive.
There is a knack to putting your straw in your tea. If you just push your straw straight through the plastic lid, it will make the tea leak out of the hole. Instead, you should put your thumb on the top of the straw to make an airtight seal, then confidently stab straight down. This is the pro way to do it!
We’d love you to come and try Intoku’s popular bubble tea! Click here to book a table, or you can order online for takeout. If you take a photo of your stunning tea, please tag us on Instagram for a chance to be featured on our page!