Boba Tea: The Yummy Drink for Today’s Generation
In the food industry, trends come and go. There were times when unicorn-colored desserts, glazed cakes, and avocado toast were all the rage. But only a few are able to stay and establish themselves as staples. For the younger generation, the equivalent of coffee or fizzy sodas is boba tea.
This drink has been popular in many Asian countries for the longest time, but it’s slowly cementing itself in Western cultures. You’ll find new boba tea shops sprouting on every corner and people posting their drinks of choice on their social media accounts. So, what’s behind the hype? Read on to learn more!
History of Boba Tea
Boba, or bubble tea, first emerged in Taiwan in the 1980s. Tea stands would compete to create the best-selling drinks, and one of them started selling cups flavored with fruits and other sweets. It was an instant best-seller, and the practice started to emerge in other areas like Hong Kong and Thailand. New additions and tea flavors were introduced as the drink became famous in each country, leading to the wide variety of boba teas available today.
Why is it called bubble tea then? Well, it’s because of the appearance of tapioca. These additions are also called boba or pearls, and their spherical shape makes them look like bubbles at the bottoms of the cup.
How Boba Became Trendy
The internet and social media helped propel boba tea as the most recent drink trend. And the momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. So what is it about tea that makes it so popular?
Most people like the aesthetic appeal of the drink thanks to its many colors and translucent liquids. The pearls also add a distinct look that adds to the beverage’s novelty. In the age where looks are just as important as taste “for the ‘gram,” tea remains a strong contender in the younger generation’s list of obsessions.
Boba Tea: Here to Stay
The biggest factor contributing to boba tea’s longevity is how versatile it can be. Unlike coffee, you can make so many variations to boba tea and discover the next hit flavors. Since the base ingredient is a neutral, mildly flavored tea, the number of additions and flavors you can incorporate is almost unlimited. So as new food trends emerge, boba tea shops can easily add them to their menu.
Common Ingredients of Boba Tea
The wide assortment of tea flavors makes it the perfect go-to drink for any preference! However, here are some of the most common ingredients you’ll find.
Base Liquid: The base ingredient in any boba tea is the liquid, and it can be in the form of teas, milk, or crushed ice. Some are ideal for specific flavors, such as tea for citrusy fruits. Sweeter ingredients are a great complement to drinks that use milk as the base.
Sweetener: Sweeteners like sugar, honey, and molasses add more flavor to the tea and can help balance the bitterness.
Flavoring Syrups: These can come in the form of juice concentrates or powders to add fruity flavors.
Tapioca Pearls: It won’t be a boba tea without the iconic tapioca pearls! These soft and chewy pearls offer an additional texture that elevates the drink.
Other Additions: Flan, coconut shavings, gelatin, and red beans are great additions that make for a fun and playful drink!
Boba tea is the iced coffee of the younger generation, and it looks like it’s here to stay! Give it a try, whatever your age. There’s no gatekeeping for this refreshing drink. Try out some new flavors and see what tickles your tastebuds!