No other caffeine fix is sort of as aesthetically satiating as bubble tea, the Taiwanese sweet-milk-and-tea-based drink. But where did it come from and how did it get so popular?
Two teahouses in Taiwan claimed to have invented boba tea in the1980s. One among those teahouses is Chun Shui Tang teahouse, which is in Taichung, and the other one is the Hanlin Teahouse in Tainan.
The exact origin of bubble tea remains uncertain, but Chun Shui Tang Teahouse in Taichung, a city in Taiwan, is usually accepted as its birthplace. During the 1980s, the teahouse was an early purveyor of iced milk tea, which the owner added to the menu after trying iced coffee in Japan. Shortly after, as the story goes, a young teahouse employee named Lin Hsui Hui mixed the tapioca balls from a well-liked Taiwanese pudding dessert called fen yuan, into her glass of iced milk tea.
The other is the Hanlin Tea House in Tainan, a city in Southern Taiwan. There, a person named Tu Tsong-He, added white tapioca balls to his milk tea. The colour white made the tapioca balls appear as if they were ‘pearls', which eventually gave it the name “pearl milk tea”. Later, they switched to the black tapioca balls by adding sugar to the recipe.
There is no clear indication about who officially invented the drink. However, even without knowing this, the love for this drink is undeniable and it's been proven by its worldwide popularity.
What would you like to make bubble tea at home?
Tapioca pearls: You'll find frozen bags of these, just confirm to follow their preparation instructions. You can even use sabudana.
Sweetener: Sugar, black sugar and honey are great options to sweeten the pearls
Black tea: Feel free to swap with your tea of choice, but black tea is the original tea utilised in bubble tea
Filtered or purified water
Milk: Preferably thicker milk
Ice: Many also love hot bubble tea
Extra-wide straws or a spoon: For drinking the tapioca pearls/sabudana
A rich, silky, and satisfyingly chewy bubble tea is great at any time of the day and on any occasion.
Your bubble tea, your way. And as you enjoy your bubble tea, thank either Hanlin Tea Room or Chun Shui Tang tearoom. Or both!