Bubble Tea: Back to Basics

Over the past years, “Boba Tea” or “Bubble Tea” has been gaining popularity in North America. We're seeing an influx of independent shops appearing across the continent. So where did Boba Tea originate? Why does it taste so good and what's in them? 

It’s hard to say where exactly in Taiwan bubble tea first originated but there are 2 telling origins from 2 different cities, both in the 1980s.

1. The first story occurs in Taichung, Taiwan by the founder of Chun Sui Tang Teahouse, Liu Han-Chieh. He first came up with the idea of serving tea cold after seeing coffee served cold in Japan. Han-Chieh had one day added sweet tapioca balls to some milk tea and served it during one of the tea house's meetings and the rest was history.

2. The second story occurs in Tainan, Taiwan by Tu Tsong-He of Hanlin Tea House. Tsong-He added white tapioca to his milk tea and the white appearance made the balls look like "pearls" and was thus called "pearl milk tea." 

In its most basic form, the drink consists of black tea, milk, ice and chewy tapioca all served with a thick straw to accommodate the chewy tapioca balls. The drink has evolved over the years to include various types of teas, fruit infusions, milk alternatives such as soy milk, almond, or coconut. 

A couple to get you started:

1. Signature Milk Tea 

Back to basics. This is how most people get started drinking milk tea. It's a black tea base mixed with brown sugar, boba and creamer. There are different versions of it and you can substitute boba for a different topping or omit it altogether but the basics are the basics.

Brown Sugar Milk 

Where the Classic has a tea base, Brown Sugar Milk’s base is milk. Its simply a mixture between milk and brown sugar tapioca but don’t the simple ingredients fool you. The tapioca is boiled and steamed over an hour in the brown sugar to give you the thick, sweet chewy taste you’ll come to love with Brown Sugar Milk.  


If you want to make your own bubble tea at home, check out our products and start with our drink kitt. Stay tuned to learn more about the different tea types that can be used when making your own bubble tea!