Bubble Tea: Check out the new Chai in Town!
Bubble Tea: Check out the new Chai in Town! | Credit: Myrecipes

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Bubble Tea: Check out the new Chai in Town!

Dec 24, 2018

Chai or Tea Latte is something more than a morning beverage for Indians. The strong tea decoction mixed with thick milk or cream and sweetened with a generous amount of sugar drives almost the entire population of the country to fall head over heels in love with the beverage which has nothing much to do with its rich history. Anyone with half-decent information about the history of the country would know that the beverage intruded into the routine of Indians from the Chinese through the British. The sweet, hot drink has become so common and it can be found almost anywhere in the country at a very cheap price.

Just like Chai, there is another drink that it finding its place among the favourites of urban Indian population, especially the people of Mumbai. Bubble tea!

Doesn’t the name sound interesting? Surprisingly, there are no bubbles in the tea. It is not completely made of tea, either. But it features something that makes people crave for more. The drink has a base that is extracted from tea, fruit or milk. The best part of the drink is the chewy pearls at the bottom which is generally sucked with a fat straw. 

Indians borrowed this refreshing drink from Taiwan which was invented in early 1980’s.
Indians borrowed this refreshing drink from Taiwan which was invented in early 1980’s.

What is bubble tea?

It is a fruit flavored milk tea, served piping hot or chilled with small balls of tapioca or fruit jelly at the bottom. A thick straw is provided to suck the natural tapioca balls and chew them as you relish the drink.

Indians borrowed this refreshing drink from Taiwan which was invented in early 1980’s. A beverage company decided to drop those chewy, yummy pearls into the sweetened drink. Though many companies claim to have invented the recipe, Chung Chai tea house has been recognized as the first company to introduce the drink.

Dr Bubbles Chai Specialist, a popular Mumbai based café and restaurant has given an Indian twist to the Taiwanese bubble tea. It has included fruit jelly and poppers to milk and fruit tea to attract Indian tea lovers.

Situated at Mumbai's Hill Road, Bandra, the Dr Bubble Chai Specialist Outlet imports its ingredients from multiple destinations. Tapioca balls brought from Taiwan, the bubbles are from United Kingdom and the jelly is from Thailand.

There are many versions of bubble tea. The latest variety that has received a lot of lovers is the blend of its flavors with green coffee. Bubble coffee is caffeine free without the characteristic bitter taste. The drink is served as green tea, masala tea, black tea etc according to the requirements of the consumer.

Why is called bubble tea?

The froth of milk that rises up while shaking the drink gives it the name “bubble tea” while it is assumed that the chewy, bubble like pearls made of tapioca stacked at the bottom has made people call it so. 

These are present more for their jelly-like structure
These are present more for their jelly-like structure

The bubbly sweetened tea is available nationwide, in all sophisticated cafes, mall food courts etc. It has become the recent favorite of the Mumbaikers.

How does it taste?

The cooked tapioca pearls that go into the glass of fruited tea are generally tasteless. These are present more for their jelly-like structure. However, once they are soaked in the liquid, they borrow the taste from the drink.

There are many bubble tea variants that contain grass jelly, custard pudding or even aloe gel instead of the typical Taiwanese tapioca balls. If you are looking for a classic bubble tea experience, it is better to start the regular bubble tea.

Is the bubble tea healthy and diet friendly?

Whenever there is a discussion about new foods, the first question popping out is from the weight watchers. The tapioca pearls are not high in calorie. But the real energy is from the sugar that sweetens the drink.

Some medical experts suspect the tapioca balls to contain carcinogenic chemicals called as polychlorinated biphenyls. But,people are trying it out with curiosity and loving it.

Without getting deep into the nutritional content of the drink, let us simply grab a glass of this sweet, energizing and flavorful version of tea and say cheers!!!