While bubble tea has been around for years, the tea has become globally accepted in recent years. Being one of the most instagrammable beverages around, Gong Cha's recently got an emoji.
Also called pearl tea or boba tea, the Taiwan-originated drink has spread out across Asia and in the U.S, where it's experiencing a sales surge.
In an interview with Achal Lamba, CEO, Gong Cha, attributes the surging sales to people getting more exposed to bubble tea.
"When a new product hits the market, it either becomes a big hit like the boba or it remains in limbo, " Achal says. "I believe boba tea was such a product because when manufacturers first introduced it to the United States, the drink was already popular in Taiwan for decades. In these years, many Taiwanese have moved to the U.S, and finding their favorite drink which they only thought was available in their country was a dream."
"As time goes on, many people became assimilated to bubble tea, and everyone wants to give it a try, but they have no idea what it is precisely, " Achal Added.
What is bubble tea, according to Achal?
Simply put, the drink is a shaken milk and tea drink that has boba or pearls, floating at the base. Chefs serve the drinks with a fat straw that can be used to sip the boba.
"Many people usually confuse bubbles as the small tapioca pearls at the cup base, but the term bubble comes from the tea shaken with milk and is then released foam bubbles after you pour it into the cup, "Achal explains.
Boba is gotten from tapioca starch, who comes from the roots of cassava. Tapioca starch is naturally white, but boba contains vanilla and caramel, to give them a black color, Achal says. The chewy pearls come with a sweet flavor since they are usually infused with syrup.
What Kind Of Tea Is Used To Make Bubble Tea?
The bubble is made with a variety of teas: oolong tea, jasmine green tea, earl gray-black tea, and more. "Hands down, taro milk with tea is the most popular bubble tea flavor, " Achal says. "It perfectly combines creamy and sweetness. Mixed with purple taro powder that most bubble tea stores add to shape up the tea, it delivers the delightful purple color that's so instagrammable."
Lighten Up Your Boba
Many bubble tea allows you to have your orders customized with nondairy milk, like almond or oat milk, and sweetness like brown sugar or cane sugar, Achal says.
For health purposes, you can order plain tea without milk or sweetener, according to Nguyen, bubble tea enthusiasts from New York.
"But, understandably, many of my friends often say that I've stripped the enjoyment out of my boba tea. " To keep your sweet tooth satisfied and not overindulging, simply opt for the lowest sugar level. Alternatively, you can order frozen fruits to give the drink a natural sweetness and add to your everyday fruit intake. Remember, Bubble Tea is a drink and not a thirst-quenching drink.
By Priya Navani
Posted on April 15, 2020