Bubble Tea – What is it, and why do we like it?

By: Seoulful

Bubble Tea. It's a drink, it's a snack, and it's fun for all! For those of us who have uncovered its delicious and convenient qualities, it is certainly a favorite. But to many, Bubble Tea is a mysterious drink they have yet to encounter. Here, I will explain the properties of Bubble Tea, and tell you why you should make it a point to drink this sensational beverage more often.

The Tea

Bubble Tea, like any other tea, can come in all sorts of delightful flavours. Fruits and other foods add a surprising kick to the tea. Because bubble tea can go bitter, sweeteners such as honey or sugar syrup can also be added. The tea can be served hot or cold, smooth or frozen, with milk or without! This makes Bubble tea the perfect drink for any weather and any occasion. Hot bubble tea will be the perfect drink for your winter months, sitting by the fire, or walking outside in the snow. Cold bubble tea makes those summer heat waves much more bearable! Frozen bubble tea will make a new and exciting treat for you and your pets. With so many tea options, bubble tea is sure to please!


The Bubbles

But what really make bubble tea so special are the bubbles! Bubble tea is essentially tea with smooth, spherical tapioca pearls, or "bubbles" at the bottom. These pearls are the size of a marble. They are normally brown with a neutral taste, but can now come in a variety of colors and flavours to please Neopians with different likings. The tapioca pearls are a bit like a gummy or chewing gum, and provide a unique contrast to the sweet, silky texture of the tea. It may seem strange at first, but before long, you will become addicted to feeling of the chewy, squishy pearls. Bubble tea is served with an unusually large, wide straw so that one or two pearls accompany every sip of yummy tea! And after one bubble tea, you'll feel as if you had a refreshing drink and a delicious snack all in one!

Here in Neopia, we enjoy seven different flavours of bubble tea. Read below to find the right bubble tea for you!


Bubble Tea

This is the classic bubble tea, made of black tea and the original tapioca pearls. For those who like black tea just plain, this is a good bubble tea to try first! I occasionally enjoy Bubble Tea in the mornings when I walk to the National Neopian Bank. It is far more exciting than my morning coffee, and has just as much caffeine as regular tea. Bubble Tea is perfect either hot or cold, depending on the morning weather. I prefer this tea hot, as its strong tea taste is comforting when warm.


Milk Bubble Tea

Milk Bubble Tea contains black tea with the added creaminess of dairy. Those who enjoy milder tea, this is the Bubble Tea for you! This drink when cold is the perfect partner for chocolate chip cookies, and delicious with biscuits when hot. In the summer, frozen Milk Bubble Tea makes a healthy alternative for milkshakes and ice cream! It is a favourite in my neohome as an after-dinner dessert.


Lychee Bubble Tea

Lychee is subtropical fruit that has the consistency of a grape, but tastes a bit flowery and much sweeter. Both the tea and the bubbles are lychee flavoured. This is a classic bubble tea and is enjoyed by fruit lovers who like to challenge their palette. I quite enjoy Lychee Bubble Tea in the spring when I watch the rain showers from my window. Try it today for an adventurous fruity experience!


Flatfruit Bubble Tea

Flatfruit is a swirly purple fruit found in the tropical regions of Neopia. Pets who love sweet Bubble Tea will want this flavour of bubble tea every day! The flatfruit-infused tea tastes almost like fruit punch with a pleasant tea aftertaste. The juiciness of the flatfruit gives the tapioca pearls an extra oozing feeling that is very fun to eat. Flatfruit Bubble Tea is perfect for outdoor picnics and summer parties! I would substitute any fruity cocktail with this delicious drink. Its bright purple color makes it look extra striking and intriguing. You will surely want to try this bubble tea.


Banango Bubble Tea

Banango is a tropical fruit that tastes very much like a Lutango. The characteristic tanginess of the Lutango gives this bubble a kick that will surprise your taste buds. This is a favourite Bubble Tea of Lutaris, as the Lutango is only found on Lutari Island. Drinking this tea will make you think of vibrant, exotic lands of the island, perfect for any sunny day or evening bonfire on Mystery Island.


Chokato Bubble Tea

This Bubble Tea is a favourite in Neopia, due its feature of everyone's favorite tropical veggie: the Chokato! Chokatos make incredible bubble tea because of their chocolatey flavour. When served warm, I find it to be the perfect substitute for Hot Chocolate in the winter. The added addition of marshmallows is a bonus, as the marshmallows can be sipped through the straw with the tapioca pearls. Yum yum!


Rainbow Bubble Tea

Last but never least is Rainbow Bubble Tea! While it tastes like your regular herbal tea (perhaps with a hint of Chamomile), the rainbow bubbles make this tea extra special. The bubbles are all different colors, and when sipped individually will dye your tongue a new color each time! The youngest pets love this drink, and who wouldn't? Adults also take great fun in this colourful beverage. If you see a pet with a bright green tongue, there is a good chance he or she just had a bright green tapioca pearl, only found in the Rainbow Bubble Tea! Next time you order this cheerful beverage, see if you can find a pink tapioca bubble – they are the rarest ones of all!


Tips for Enjoying Your Bubble Tea

There are so many ways to enjoy your bubble tea; every bubble tea offers a chance to have fun while feeling satisfied. Try these tips below and make every bubble tea an amazing tea experience!

  1. Have a contest between friends or your pets and try to see who can get the most bubbles in one sip! Recommended for cold tea only, don't burn yourself with the hot tea!
  2. Your pet is bothering you again, eh? Sip up a bubble in your straw and blow it back at whoever is taunting you! It won't hurt them, and will make for a good laugh. (And possible future bubble battles!)
  3. Try chewing a mouthful of bubbles at once! Flatfruit bubbles taste delicious, and Rainbow bubbles will give your tongue a colorful, swirly pattern!
  4. Want some entertainment? Use a clear straw for your bubble tea and watch those tapioca pearls travel up the straw with every sip.
  5. Need even more bubbles? Add a splash of your favorite Neocola to get some fizzy bubbles in with your tapioca pearls! My favorite combo? Flatfruit Bubble Tea and Raspberry Neocola.

And there you have it, folks! The trendy, entertaining drink that it sweeping Neopia is not as odd as it seems! Stop by the Coffee Cave to buy your first (or one hundredth – who's counting anyways?) bubble tea, and you will get addicted before you know it. Try it today, and join us crazy bubble heads who go nuts for this tea!



The top 5 new Bubble Tea in Toronto

New places to drink bubble tea in Toronto include a lot of the big international chains that finally made their way to North America. No longer do our bubble tea options only include simple milk teas with tapioca but now our expectations of bubble tea have been refined with unique drinks and ingredients that give the drink a whole new appeal.


Here are my picks for the top new bubble tea shops in Toronto.

The Alley
This Richmond Hill bubble tea destination holds the distinction of being the fledgling chain's first ever overseas store. Originating from Taichung, they specialize in hand-crafted beverages like the colourful Morning Dawn and Northern Lights ($7.50 each) and others that come with handmade flavoured tapioca. Don't miss the Oreo-infused Garden Milk Tea ($6.50).

Happy Lemon
This cheerful-sounding bubble tea shop in Pacific Mall is actually store #992 of this vast worldwide chain that originated in Shanghai. A much more health-oriented bubble tea chain, they only use fresh and natural ingredients. Try the Salted Cheese series - either the Chocolate or the Matcha Latte with Tiramisu versions ($5.20).

Funky Munky
Bet you'd never thought you can order bubble tea in a vintage automobile-themed cafe did you? Eschewing the cutesy approach preferred by most bubble tea places, this independent cafe goes for a more urban-retro feel. The FM Style Tea ($3) is nice take on the classic HK-style tea, while the simple Cold Jasmine Milk Tea ($3.90) is surprisingly addictive and light.

Surely you've seen your Instagram feed flooded by pictures of bubble teas inside cute lightbulb-shaped containers? Royaltea is almost single-handedly responsible for all of them, and this small chain from Jiangmen serves up various unique takes like the Osmanthus Oolong with Durian Mousse ($5.80) and the Matcha Lightbulb Tea ($5.80).

Matcha Tea & Dessert
Toronto's been on a bit of a matcha craze lately, so never has a store name been so apt. The Chinatown newbie serves a ton of matcha-inspired goodies as well as honest-to-goodness classic bubble tea like the Roasted Milk Tea and the slightly more unique Red Bean Milk Tea ($5.25 each).

Posted by Darren "DKLo" Susilo. When not writing for blogTO he can usually be found tweeting here or delaying mealtimes indefinitely by posting pictures here. Photo of The Alley by Hector Vasquez.


United States : WWW.BUBBLETEA.US

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