Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tea Cup: 珍珠奶茶 Bubble Milk Tea

Tea, as most of you know is a staple in Asian culture and milk tea even more so. Forget coke and fanta. Grab me a bottle of tea!

Part 1 of local supermarket shelf

Part 2 of local supermarket shelf...the same shelf

Matter of fact, juice bars are making mad profits from this culture wave. My block has at least 10 juice bars, with the only competition being the 9 hair salons in between.

And the main item for sale is Milk Tea. It's black tea, the Lipton looking one, (they call it red tea 红茶 though) mixed with milk and sweetener, be it honey or sugar. To keep it interesting, floaters such as pudding, red beans, cake, oreos and whipping cream and ice cream are available, but it's the sinkers that I love. Behind door number one, black pearls or bubbles or boba.

They are made of tapioca (yay cassava!) and sometimes a little red bean paste. They're chewy, googy and a balance to the sweet, creamy tea. At first, I thought it was inedible and just for decoration but then they wouldn't stop climbing that fat straw the guy gave me. Hot or cold they are available all year round which is where it beats soda. Because unless you're sick, you're not drinking a hot coke.

Although it started in Taiwan, I read it's a craze all over the world. Wonder when it will hit the Caribbean?! Definitely looking forward to that day!