There’s one drink on every influencer’s lips as of late, and it’s not the latest super expensive alcohol brand launched by some celebrity. It’s (usually) less alcoholic, almost always a lot chewier, and it’s something that people of all ages are getting into: bubble tea. But why is it so popular, exactly? Let’s dip our spoon into our question to find out.
The cultural flavour
It might seem like it’s all the rage right now, but the truth is that bubble tea, aka boba tea, has been a thing since the 80s. It originated and grew popular in east and southeast Asia decades ago, and has been growing ever since. Of course, the origins of bubble tea are a little contested, with some saying that it grew out of milk tea which was already popular in Taiwan, and others saying that modern bubble tea drinking grew out of other countries. Either way, it spread to the US, Australia, and otherwise, becoming a multiculti phenomenon, often thanks to the Asian diaspora living across the world.
The experience of drinking it
One of the things that are so special about bubble tea is that it’s not just a drink. It’s part fancy drink, part tasty snack (thanks to the balls, which are most often made of tapioca but can be made of jelly and other things, too), and part experience. People go to grab a bubble tea so that they can have the fun of walking around with the cup, sipping and spooning at it with their friends. This made it more of a social thing to enjoy with friends, but plenty of people still grab a cup solo.
The sheer variety of tastes
Of course, bubble tea isn’t just one thing. It’s a very wide genre of beverage snacks, some of which don’t contain tea at all, and some of which don’t have the balls that are often called the “boba,” as the bubble in bubble tea can refer to the bubbles that form at the top, too. Take a look at some of the bubble tea recipes out there to get an idea of just how wide-ranging a taste sensation you can enjoy from these cups. From kumquat to strawberries and cream, there are all kinds.
Is it healthy?
While there are plenty of teas that are good for you, the truth is that bubble tea should be treated as a luxury food item. There’s a lot of sugar in there and there are plenty of carbs for energy, but they don’t exactly have the health benefits of a lot of tea drinks. There are ways to make it healthier, of course, if you’re a little conscious about what you’ve been eating as of late. However, the best way to enjoy bubble tea is to simply go with it and let yourself indulge.
Whatever the explanation, the bubble tea trend doesn’t look like it’s slowing down any time soon. If you haven’t tried it, it might be time to see what all the hype’s about.