I’ve decided that there will be posts about the different foods I’ve had since moving here. I’ve already introduced you to the Red Bean Paste Bun (or Azuki bean), and to mochi. Today, we travel to the exotic world of Tea.
Now, I know I’ve posted on here about tea before and it’s not something that a very many people think about being unique. However, most people that I know in the states have never experienced Bubble Tea. Or Pearl Tea. And even the concept of Milk Tea is slightly foreign. So, let’s start with the easy one.
Milk tea. Sounds fairly simple right? It is. Think of your favorite iced coffee with cream. Now, make it tea instead of Coffee. Fascinating right? A thought that never really would occur to most Americans, but there it is. Tea with milk and sugar is a hot beverage, not a cold one. But for the longest time I thought that about coffee. Until I had a properly prepared iced coffee. It’s the same way with Milk Tea. It sounds strange, until you have it. And then, somewhere in the back of your mind, it clicks and you realize that this is good. And how in the world had you not thought of this first?
That brings us to Bubble Tea. Or Pearl Tea. Now, it’s easier for me to describe Bubble Tea once you’ve seen a picture of it. So, here we go.
Now, that is standard milk tea. But those black things in the bottom? That’s the Bubbles. Of tapioca.
Got it? Ok, we’ll move on.
now, I’ve had Bubble Tea before, when I went to DC to meet E for the first time, we went out to a teashop and they had bubble tea for sale. I tried some and I was, confused by it. We had some the other night, tried it, and I was still confused.
The tea comes in a plastic cup with a plastic seal on top (at least to the place we went to) and you get a really BIG straw and you stab the plastic seal in one easy swipe, and then you sip. And as you sip the tapioca pearls travel up the straw and into your mouth.
Now, I’m sure you’ve had tapioca pudding and you know that odd gelatin type texture that is on the tapioca pearls. these pearls are much larger. Much larger. I would say smaller than a dime, but not by much. And the pearls do come in smaller and larger shapes as well. But the ones that we had the other night were about dime shaped.
And they’re gooey and sticky and jelly-like and it just feels odd. The tea itself is usually quite good, a bit hard to describe really because you’re so focused on the fact that you have this odd sphere of goo in your mouth, but good.
Can I heartily recommend Bubble tea as much as I did Azuki buns and mochi? Not necessarily. I’m still out on Bubble Tea. I’m hoping to find a shop around here that offers the smaller pearls so I can try again.
But I can definitely endorse Milk Tea and highly highly recommend that you try some yourself. A great way to cool off in summer’s heat. I personally would suggest jasmine, mint, or lavender flavors as they lend themselves quite well to the lightness of adding milk and the cooling effects needed on a hot summer’s day.