What Are The Bubbles In Bubble Tea?

Bubble tea has been growing in popularity significantly over the years thanks to its tasty and unique nature, with a significant amount of that uniqueness coming from the titular bubbles.

But what exactly is bubble tea, where did it come from, and – arguably most importantly of all – what on earth are those bubbles?

What Are The Bubbles In Bubble Tea?

In this article, we will be looking at everything you need to know about bubble tea and those aforementioned bubbles. Let’s get started.

What Is Bubble Tea?

Originating in Taiwan, bubble tea is a simple and tasty drink that is made up of a tea base that is blended with milk – and other ingredients such as fruits and fruit juices depending on the flavor – and those all-important bubbles. 

The Popularity Of Bubble Tea

Bubble tea has skyrocketed in popularity all over the world in the last decade or so, with the unique texture and variety of flavors that bubble tea offers making it a favorite among many people.

The drink has also become popular among younger generations, who enjoy the social aspect of bubble tea.

Many bubble tea shops are designed to be a place for people to gather and hang out, and this social aspect has contributed to the drink’s popularity.

Bubble tea’s popularity has also been driven by the growth of bubble tea chains and franchises, which have made the drink more widely available. 

In recent years, the popularity of bubble tea has been on the rise, with new shops and flavors popping up in many places around the world.

The trend for the drink shows no sign of slowing down, as people continue to enjoy the unique taste and experience of bubble tea.

What Are The Bubbles In Bubble Tea?

The bubbles in bubble tea are what makes the drink so unique, creating a very specific look as well as a certain taste. These bubbles are small balls of tapioca that are also known as “boba” or “pearls”.

The bubbles will float as they are shaken before they settle at the bottom of the drink, which is served in a transparent cup so that you can see them sitting. 

Bubble tea is served with a particularly fat and wide straw due to these bubbles, as their width would make it impossible for them to be consumed via a normal straw.

The wide straw allows you to suck up the tapioca bubbles as you sip your tea. You can then either chew on the pearls or swallow them along with your tea. 

The name bubble tea comes from the tapioca balls floating in the drink when they are shaken around by the blending process, looking like bubbles.

They will usually come to sit at the bottom of your cup as you continue to drink, creating that iconic look. 

What Are The Bubble Tea Bubbles Made Of?

What Do The Bubbles In Bubble Tea Taste Like?

Bubbles in bubble tea have a chewy texture and a neutral taste. They are often sweetened with syrup to enhance their flavor. Some people compare the taste to gummy bears or mochi.

What Are The Bubble Tea Bubbles Made Of?

As mentioned, the bubbles in bubble tea are made of tapioca, which comes from the starch that is extracted from the root of the cassava plant. 

How Are Bubble Tea Bubbles Made? 

Let’s have a look at the steps that are involved when it comes to making bubble tea bubbles!

  • First, the starch is extracted from the root of the cassava plant. The starch is then mixed with water and other ingredients such as sweeteners, flavorings, and coloring if desired.
  • The mixture is then formed into small pearls, usually by passing it through a sieve or a small hole to create small droplets. These droplets are then shaped into small pearls by rolling them between the palms of the hands.
  • The pearls are then cooked in a pot of boiling water for several minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pearls and the desired texture.
  • After cooking, the pearls are often soaked in a syrup or sugar water solution to help keep them moist and give them added flavor.
  • Finally, the pearls are drained and cooled before they are ready to be used in bubble tea drinks.

Some larger-scale manufacturers use a machine to make the pearls, but the process is similar to the one described above, the machine will shape and cook the pearls in one process rather than manual labor.

What Are The Most Common Flavors Of Bubble Tea?

There is a wide range of flavors when it comes to bubble tea, with different establishments serving different kinds of bubble tea to cater to a huge variety of tastes(see also: What Does Bubble Tea Taste Like?).

That being said, some flavors are seen more prominently than others. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and common flavors when it comes to bubble tea. 

  • Milk Tea
  • Matcha
  • Taro
  • Strawberry
  • Mango
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee

These are just examples, and there are many other flavors available, such as coconut, lychee, passion fruit, and many more. Some shops also offer seasonal or limited-time flavors.

Final Thoughts 

Bubbles, or boba, in bubble tea, add a unique texture and taste to the drink.

The bubbles provide a contrast to the smoothness of the tea (see also: How Much Caffeine In Bubble Tea?)and milk, and it is one of the main characteristics that has made the drink so popular. 

The popularity of bubble tea has been on the rise worldwide in recent years, with people enjoying everything about the drink,  including its taste and look, as well as the social aspects of bubble tea. 

The unique tapioca pearls – or bubbles – have become a staple in the drink and have contributed to the growth of the bubble tea (see also: What Is The Difference Between Boba And Bubble Tea?)industry, which shows no signs of slowing!

Joanne Baltimore
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