My Introduction to Bubble Tea

I know, I'm late to the party on this one, but I tried bubble tea for the first time today. Some of our Her Campus team went to a bubble tea place near campus, so I had a golden opportunity.  I've heard a lot about it, so it was pretty exciting.

Image taken by Rebecca Enright

Before going, I incorrectly thought that bubble tea was one specific drink, as in you go up to the counter and say "one bubble tea, please." And I mean, you could say that, but you'd probably get a weird look. Now I think it's more like a family of drinks. There are so many different kinds! Basically you have all the normal teas, but you add bubbles. I think.

Let's talk about those bubbles. The best description I can think of, at least for the ones I had, is an extra-squishy black licorice fruit snack. Except, there was another flavor with the licorice that I couldn't identify. And they weren't so squishy that they were easily chewable; you need to bite them a few times before they break up enough to swallow comfortably (i.e. without fear of embarrassingly choking in the middle of the bubble tea shop). I ended up sucking on them like a mint for the most part. I wouldn't recommend doing that for too long though. Eventually you suck out all the flavor and there's just this unpleasant lump of tasteless gelatin in your mouth. From what I've discovered recently via the internet, there are a lot of different types of bubbles too, with all kinds of flavors and colors, and some of them pop in your mouth! That's the kind I want to try next, explosions of juice.

The cups are clear plastic, so you can see all the cool bubbles. Since the bubbles are usually a lot darker than the liquid, they offer a nice visual contrast. When you drink it, you use a really wide straw so you can get the bubbles through. The only problem is that a bubble still takes up the whole straw, so the actual tea-drinking goes pretty slowly, at least if the bubble-to-liquid ratio is as high as the one I had.

That's my only complaint though. Overall, I had a great first bubble tea experience. The shop was really nice, a cute little place with bright colors, and the tea was great. I definitely want to go back and try another new drink. Hopefully with popping bubbles!