It’s Tea Time, Ladies

We all love a refreshing Starbucks tea every once and a while, but many people don’t know there’s a new type of tea that gives off an even more revitalizing sensation. It’s becoming more popular across the globe and is very unique. I’d love to tell y’all about my new fun favorite… Bubble Tea! I mean the name just sounds fun doesn’t it?! I strongly encourage you to try it first, then read the article! You’ll enjoy it better if you do it that way. ;-)

First, a little background on the establishment of bubble tea. Bubble tea started in Asia, more specifically, Taiwan in the 80's. The original bubble teas are iced, creamy, milk-based teas that are frothy on both the top and bottom. What makes it fun is the pearls that sit at the bottom!

Let me describe plainly, the appearance. The tea comes in a plastic cup with a dome, similarly to what you might get a Starbucks Frappuccino in. Filled in your cup, will be a shaken loose-leaf tea that is always a fun color, depending on the flavor you’re having. At the bottom, is where your pearls sit. The pearls are tapioca (Boba), or popping jellies. Don’t worry! I’ll explain later. In order to retrieve this flavor boosting, jelly sensation, you will need a jumbo straw.

Let’s talk flavors. When you order this drink, you can choose from many flavors, ranging from fruity tea to more original flavors. The most popular flavors are the milk-based flavors over the water-based flavors. My favorite, and a popular Asian flavor would definitely be Taro. Yeah… I had never heard of taro until I had bubble tea. The fascinating thing about taro is definitely its beautiful purple color. Like, purple tea???? Taro is actually a vegetable. Simply, it is a purple yam. This root is indigenous to South India and Southeast Asia, though it is naturalized in many other parts of the world. Honestly, if I knew taro was a purple yam, I probably wouldn’t have tried the tea. Taro tea is just so sweet, you would never guess! Other popular flavors are Thai Tea and Chai Tea. Some of the more simplistic teas for first timers would be flavors like mango or strawberry. If you’re feeling adventurous, try mango-strawberry. These are just popular flavors, this is not the end of the flavor spectrum!

Soo what exactly are these edible “pearls” I speak of? Typically, with the creamier teas, you would get tapioca. Tapioca is used as a thickening agent for the tea and has a neutral flavor. They are good when slurped up with the tea but don't have any taste when eaten alone. You might be a little grossed out, but it’s not as bad as the description, I promise! Tapioca is a starch that is made of sweet potato powder, potato powder, or plain jelly. It sounds a lot grosser than it actually is. The popping boba is a different story. The popping boba are tiny round jellies normally filled with a fruity juice. If anything enhances the sensation of your bubble tea experience, it’s this. My first timers might wanna start with popping boba.

Long story short, just try it! It’s such a fun experience. If you don’t like the first thing you try, try something else next time and you will be sure to find your true tea love. My favorite place to get bubble tea from is Tiny Bubbles Tea Bar in my home town, Marietta, Georgia. Every bubble tea place is different because every place has their own twist. Some may be thicker than others. You gotta find the bubble tea-rista that’s right for you!