• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Skie

Bubble Tea

110 posts in this topic

I would like to see how far Bubble Tea could go in the USA in a city without an Asian community.

I don't know.. bubble tea is pretty popular here among the non-asians. but maybe its only temporarily popular, since its somewhat faddish.

I had my first taste of bubble tea about a month ago. Very filling, mine was a fruit juice bubble tea, with probably about 20 pearls at the bottom of the drink. BTW, I looked those suckers up and they are ~100 calories for 7 pearls. We're talking calorie bombs when you consider all the fruit juice in those things. I couldn't finish my drink, I was full when it was only 1/2 gone. yowza!


Born Free, Now Expensive

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just saw Bubble Tea a couple of weeks ago - unfortunately it WAS at one of those food court Chinese places. But it looked REALLY COOL and I HAD to try it - I went for Honey Dew yuck yuck yuck yuck yucky :wacko:

I Did think the 'bubbles' were cool though. A bit scary though since they were black. Why are they black? Are they soaked in tea? is this what makes the drink 'TEA'?

I will have to try the recipee and see if it is more palatable. Thanks for posting it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried bubble tea at the SCAA conference (Specialty Coffee Association of America) and found it somewhat unpalatable. I did not like the mouth feel. However I have learned that there is no middle ground with bubble-tea - either you love it or hate it. Count me in the "hate it" column. I also found the black tapioca balls rather unappealing.

Cheers!

Coffeetaster


"Wine give rise to dreams: Coffee to thoughts"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I love the concept of bubble tea and have begun to see variations in the slightly more "haute" realm...

One that comes to mind... At a benefit in Chicago earlier this year Grant Achatz of Trio did a "bubble tea" consisting of, I believe, cucmber juice, green tea, a little crème fraîche, a dill ice, and salmon roe as the "bubbles". The whole was served in a cordial glass, straw and all. Cute, and sounds tasty too (didn't get to sample it).

I also like the juices/teas with little cubes of flavored agar jelly. Overall, the ones I've sampled have been cloyingly sweet or obviously not made with highest quality product. Like I said, the concept...!

If you're in Chicago, I'd like to suggest a trek to JoyYee in Chinatown (a long way from Trio in many ways;-). First rate ripe mango (both pureed and diced) is the main ingredient in their Mango Coconut Green Jelly Tea. Yum. With a few bubbles :smile: Also highly recommended by the friend who introduced me to the restaurant - the Taro with tapioca freeze. JoyYee's drinks are similar, he says, to Halo-Halo, a dessert in his native Philippines, usually consisting of local fruits like langka, jack fruit and other sweet things over or under shaved ice. And then topped off with a drizzle of yet another sweet liquid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone else had this stuff? Who came up with the idea? I just had my first today - Green tea flavor - and boy it was weird. :blink:


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know people who are addicted to the stuff. Personally, I find it kind of nasty. Whenever I've had it (twice now) the "bubbles" are flavorless or bitter; not very appealing at all. I'd rather just dump a bag of gümmi bears in a cup of iced tea...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Has anyone else had this stuff?  Who came up with the idea?  I just had my first today - Green tea flavor - and boy it was weird. :blink:

It's all over Chinatown in NYC. In my experience, there is tremendous variation in the quality of the underlying tea, which makes a big difference in the final product.

I assume that one or more groups are hard at work trying to Starbuckize it for the mass market.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The boba make a difference too.

It's hard to cook. The center is supposed to be soft but not too mushy...

The tea makes a difference too, some places use better leaves. You get what you pay for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Vancouver the drink is extremely popular among asian youths. Personally I've found some to be very good, and others to be poor. The quality does vary a great deal from merchant to merchant, as was previously mentioned.

Some people prefer coconut jelly in lieu of bubbles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out this previous thread for other thoughts on the topic:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...5&hl=bubble+tea

This was huge in Japan a couple of years back, but haven't seen it anywhere for a year or so. Maybe it is seasonal (everything here is!) and will be back in summer.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when i first saw the bubble tea in chinatown, it reminded me of a soft drink i used to enjoy:

08orbitz.jpg

orbitz was like juice, but with little gel balls floating in it. i thought it was ace at the time (i was about 12 or so..) but now the thought is a little revolting... needless to say, orbitz has been discontinued. did anyone else ever drink this? i think bubble tea is a definite step up! tapioca pearls taste better than jello spheres. trust me...


"Things go better with cake." -Marcel Desaulniers

timoblog!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the tapioca balls are something to try at least once. I don't happen to like them, but I do like the flavored teas without them. I'm particularly fond of Taro Green Milk Tea at Saint's Alp in Manhattan, either the branch on 3rd Av. between 9th and 10th and the branch (now called Tea & Tea) on Mott St. in Chinatown.

Yes, the quality varies between bubble tea shops, and not every flavor will be to everyone's taste, just as is the case with coffee lounges and such-like that offer a variety of coffees.

Frankly, I hope that the flavored-tea shops, by any other name, are here to stay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Check out this previous thread for other thoughts on the topic:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...5&hl=bubble+tea

This was huge in Japan a couple of years back, but haven't seen it anywhere for a year or so. Maybe it is seasonal (everything here is!) and will be back in summer.

I swear I searched for a previous thread... :angry:

Thanks!


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This drink is from Taiwan, specifically Tainan.

My favorite is jasmine milk tea or passionfruit green tea.

In the summetime I like to get mango slush.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A great bubble tea place in Seattle is Ambrosia, where the proprietor supposedly studied with a tea master in China before opening her shop here. I actually prefer the milkshakes to the teas - my favorite flavors are honeydew and canteloupe. I've been to Pochi in the U-district, and found it was a little too creamy and rich. Those shakes do pack a wallop of calories, especially since you get so much. I love the gizmos that heal seal the tops to the cups - they're very practical, and the Hello Kitty type images on them are very cute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am completely addicted to the stuff. I just discovered it this summer. My favorite is vanilla and mango. Can you get the bubbles at Asian markets?


True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I Did think the 'bubbles' were cool though. A bit scary though since they were black. Why are they black? Are they soaked in tea? is this what makes the drink 'TEA'?

They're supposed to be tea flavoured, but they usually have such a mild flavour that they don't taste like anything at all.

One place in Winnipeg makes bubble tea smoothies. They use a bit of half-and-half along with the powdered flavourings and blend it with ice so it's thick and rich. I always get the ones made with real fruit--mango, young coconut, or avocado. Those are the best. The ones made with just the powdered flavourings are pretty horrid (in my opinion).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see bubble tea more and more on dim sum cart around the country. Frankly, I don't see the point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to cook the tapioca out in a chocolate-anise milk. The tapoica units sucked the flavor right up.


cook slow, eat slower

J.Chovancek

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can you get the bubbles at Asian markets? -- hillvalley

Yes. At the Asian mart near me they have both black and 'rainbow', though I can't tell a difference in flavor. A bag of dried boba costs about $2, and is enough to make more bubble tea than I'll consume in this lifetime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i've also seen, at a korean market in nyc, bubble tea "kit". you can throw a bubble tea party at home :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My bubble tea place has the kits as well. I think they are expensive though :sad:

Does anyone drink hot bubble tea? I have craved one ever since I found this thread, but it is too cold right now to even think about it.


True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

based on the texture of the tapioca, i think that a hot tea might be pretty dangerous! imagine getting that thing stuck on your tongue :blink: . also, tapioca's starchy qualities are brought out by heat...it could get gummy :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.