Bubble Tea: The Taiwanese Invasion
Malaysians immediately went on a bubble tea frenzy when we were first introduced to the likes of Chatime, Ochado and Gong Cha. While Malaysians started to get hooked on these tea-based drinks – that are topped with chewy tapioca balls (also known as ‘Pearls’) – in the 2000’s, these highly addictive drinks have actually been around since the 1980’s. Bubble tea was invented in Tainan and Taichung, Taiwan with a generic recipe that included several kinds of tea, milk as well as sugar. Although the ‘pearls’ are what makes the bubble tea a fun drink to devour at any time of the day, patrons are treated to an array of toppings such as fruit jelly, grass jelly, agar jelly and puddings too! Bubble teas also fall under two categories: teas without milk and milk teas, with both varieties having further choices of additional flavours like fruit or non-fruit base. Be that as it may, the oldest known bubble tea consisted of hot Taiwanese black tea, small tapioca pearls, condensed milk with a dash of honey syrup. Today, patrons are treated with a wide range of flavours that are no less highly addictive than the classic Pearl Milk Tea. In fact, according to Business Insider, Malaysians order an average of three cups of bubble tea per month. With such demand, it’s no wonder that more and more brands are popping up like mushrooms, such as Tiger Sugar, 12oz for Platform Café, Moojicha, Yumcha and The Alley. While the original inventor of bubble tea is unknown, we would like to give our thanks to the genius behind the drink for crafting the glorious cup of joy!