Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, has become a worldwide sensation, but how did it go from its humble beginnings in a Taiwanese tea store to the global obsession it is today? Bubble tea was first introduced to the world in Taiwan in the 1980s and soon became a great hit. Immigrant groups extended the trend across South Asia and, subsequently, North America. The popularity of the drink has been aided by social media.
What is bubble tea, exactly?
Some believe the term derives from the frothy foam on top of bubble tea, which is generated by the thorough mixing involved. Others claim the drink's name comes from the unique tapioca pearls that settle at the bottom of the drink, giving it the appearance of being full of big bubbles. The tapioca pearls are added after the tea has been blended with milk and fruit juices. Some variants contain a lot of sugar and are prepared with condensed milk. It can be served hot or cold, and it must always be consumed with a straw in order for the pearls to be sucked up and chewed while drinking. It's also frequently served in a transparent cup so that the contents may be seen.
When it comes to bubble tea, where is it most popular?
Bubble tea has become a worldwide phenomenon, although it is particularly popular in South Asia. In the region, orders for the beverage grew by 3000 percent in 2018, while the number of sellers increased by 200 percent. South Asians drink an average of four cups of bubble tea per month as a group, and Thailand takes the top place, with each individual drinking six cups of bubble tea each month. Despite having the largest market share, growth is strongest in the Americas, where people are still discovering the drink. In the 1990s, bubble tea made its way to the west coast of the United States. It became ingrained in Asian-American society, and its popularity lasted for many years within that group. Bubble tea's mainstream popularity in North America only truly took off in the early 2010s, when more locations began to appear.
What made bubble tea so popular?
The rise in popularity of bubble tea was aided in great part by social media. Bubble tea establishments sparked a fad by making beautiful beverages and encouraged consumers to share artistic photos of their unique beverage online. Bubble tea is a unique phenomenon in that it has maintained its appeal rather than going away, as other trends do.
Whether or not boba is your cup of TEA, there is a flavor for everyone! Make sure to try it out sometime, you won’t regret it.