Contemporary Bubble Tea traces its roots back to Taiwan. Legend
has it that a particular Tea establishment attracted young customers
by combining fruit juices with chilled Tea. The concept proved
to be such a success that in a short time the drink became ubiquitous
So how did this amazing drink develop? First we must travel
back to Taiwan into the early 1980's. Taiwan was, and still
is, known for its "Night Market." This hot spot for
cheap goods and snacks saw one very inventive man come up
with the idea of giving consumers a nice soothing drink for
the hot summer nights. He decided to combine the popular shredded
ice and tea. Tea was chosen for a number of reasons. Tea is
definitely part of the Asian culture and goes back hundreds
of years. Tea also has a nice light taste and allows fruit
flavouring to mix into it to create a refreshing drink. This
turned into a big hit. Well, why Bubble Tea? To create this
tasty drink you must shake it first in order to give an even
taste. When all was mixed it was poured into the famous cup,
but if you look closely small bubbles would form in the Tea.
Thus the original "Bubble Tea" was born.
Shrewd entrepreneurs took this new type of Tea to the next level by introducing Tapioca Balls into the beverage. The Tapioca Pearls also looked like bubbles. Hence, the drink was reinforced as "Bubble Tea". Bubbles at both sides of the drink! By this point, Bubble Tea earned its signature straw, which permitted the avant-garde Tea drinker to consume Tea and "Bubbles" in a leisurely fashion.
Today, Bubble Tea is spreading quickly from Taiwan to other parts of Asia and to North America. One man in the Philippines was able to establish 100 locations in two years. Areas of concentrated Asian populations in North America are already cozy with their local Bubble Tea establishments. However, "Bubble Tea" history is still in the making as this outrageous beverage is further introduced into mainstream North America. Additional variations to Bubble Tea have yet to hit the market.