Last week many of my students arrived at our centre with bubble tea cups in hand, most of them gushing over how awesome they are.
So if, like me then, you’re not in the know about this trend, this is what wikipedia has to say:
Drink recipes may vary, but most bubble teas contain a tea base mixed with fruit (or fruit syrup) and/or milk. Ice-blended versions of the drinks, similar to slushies, are also available, usually in fruit flavors.
One of the famous categories of bubble teas is “pearl milk tea” (also known as “boba milk tea” in parts of America), which contains small chewy balls made of tapioca starch, called “pearls” in Chinese (also known as “fenyuan 粉圆” or “zhenzhu 珍珠”). Pearls made of tapioca are also available in many places.”
In their opening week, Solingen’s shop selling the “tea”, located in the town centre on Kölnerstraße, had its customer’s lining up on the street for a beverage.
What for, I asked myself.
I had to see what all the buzz was about, so tonight I went there and checked it out.
After lots of contemplating, I ordered a small yoghurt grape “tea” with passionfruit bubbles.
The buying of the drink itself was an adventure.
Hubby and I stared at the three (!) ladies it took to mix the drink. One was pouring milk into a cup, the next one was measuring some grape sirup into a small cup whilst the third was engaged with a weird metal machine. After a few minutes and some more mysterious goings-on a label was coated to the top of my cup, which was then handed to me. Quite unceremoniously, as I might add, concerning all the brouhaha it took to make the drink.
Oh dear. The “tea” itself tasted nothing like grapes and a lot like Red Bull, making me question the amount of chemicals I had just swallowed.
I had to build up the balls to chew the bubbles, and making them pop was a rather unpleasant experience, with their somewhat milky and slick content spilling into my mouth. Blech.
After a few sips I decided that it wasn’t for me. How to dispose of the rest of the drink, I’m not sure yet. Does it classify as toxic waste?
The only pro I see in bubble tea are the rather cute pictures on the cups’ labels, like these two:
This is definitely the first and last time I’ve bought a bubble tea.
I don’t think so!