Beginner's Guide to Bubble Tea

by Jadeeyah Abang

A pitcher of milk being poured into a glass of bubble tea.

Here’s a beginner’s guide to bubble tea: the very aesthetically-looking drink that everyone love. If you are someone who is about to try bubble tea for the first time but would like to know more about it first, then you have come to the right place. 

In this guide, you will not only learn what bubble tea is, but you will also discover its popular flavors and even get a few recommendations on what foods are the best bubble tea partners!

What is bubble tea?

Bubble tea is a tea-based drink that originated in Taiwan around the 1980s and was spread around the globe a decade later by Taiwanese migrants. Traditionally, the drink is basically made of tea, milk and chewy tapioca pearls also known as boba pearls. In modern times, bubble tea could also be found with more ingredient variates such as fresh fruits, coconut jelly or even cream cheese. 

It can be served hot or cold making it a very versatile drink so that people can enjoy wherever they are in the world, regardless of the climate they are in. Because of its worldwide popularity, it is known in many names like boba nai cha, boba tea, pearl milk tea, tapioca tea, and more.

Fun fact - the word “bubble” in “bubble tea” refers to the air bubbles created through shaking or mixing of the milk tea and over time, people conveniently associate bubble with the round tapioca pearls in the drink.

What are popular bubble tea flavors?

Long ago, the tea used in bubble teas were usually brewed black tea, but throughout the years, options of tea expanded to green tea and oolong tea (heard of charcoal roasted oolong tea?) . Brown Sugar, Taro, Banana and Wintermelon are just some of the many flavors of bubble tea that are very popular today.

As you are reading a guide to bubble tea, it’s important for you to note that bubble tea doesn’t always have milk—there are bubble tea options with only brewed tea, sweetened up with fruit flavors, real fruit bits, boba pearls and popping bobas.

What food goes well with bubble tea?

Like coffee and good old regular tea, people can drink bubble tea as a stand-alone drink or as an after-meal dessert drink. Since this is a bubble tea guide, here are our top food recommendations that you might want to pair with bubble tea:

  • Crispy Popcorn Chicken
  • Egg Waffle
  • French Fries
  • Gyoza
  • Melon Pan (Japanese Bread) 

Does bubble tea have health benefits?

Bubble tea is not all bad. In fact, if you pick the right ingredients and avoid adding excess sugar to your drink then bubble teas can actually be good for your health! There are healthy alternatives that allow one have a completely guilt-free version of this delicious beverage: 

  1. Use plant based milk instead of cow’s milk, this will cut down on calories significantly while retaining the creamy texture required in recipes; 
  2. Use freshly brewed tea using high quality tea leaves, this will ensure the most amounts of polyphenols or antioxidants for consumption. 

What we do makes us who we are. Whether it be with friends or in the great outdoors, time spent outside can have a significant effect on your mood and well-being! When you're feeling down, reach for some bubble tea to get back onto track because drinking this delicious drink has been proven as an effective way of improving both mental health and physical fitness simultaneously.

Where can I get good bubble tea in Zürich?

If you are looking for great bubble tea in Zürich to enjoy your first ever boba drink, drop by Bubblish and check out our wide option of bubble teas. Our bubble teas are available in hot and cold, with and without milk. Most of all, most of our bubble teas are vegan-friendly, if not, can be made vegan friendly!

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