Posts Tagged ‘bubble tea’

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice has launched massive expansion outside Taiwan borders. Their tapioca filled milk teas used to be the best kept secret of tea industry – only available in Taiwan. This is not the first time that we write about Taiwanese bubble tea companies, which try to expand outside Taiwan borders. It starts to look like the secret is out and more and more local Taiwanese companies are looking abroad for growth.

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice company's tapioca milk tea drinks and fresh juices will be widely available in few years.

REAL TASTE YES CANE SUGAR The taste of tapioca pearl milk tea will charm you off your feet. Chewy tapioca teamed with soft milk tea is a fascinating blend. One could think it as a mix of Coca-Cola and BigMac, but that would be just plain awful. Howcome this combination of tapioca and milk tea works so well? My guess is that it works so well, because it is a drinkable food or eatable drink – simply magical product and therefore you just have to try it out by yourself. If you can’t get your hands into bubble tea where you live I’m writing an article on how to cook it up all by yourself. It all starts with tasty afternoon black tea so buy some for yourself while waiting for the article.

IS IT HEALTHY? Juices are often healthy so you can drink them from CoCo’s menu with a clear conscious. However the bubble tea is not so clear cut issue. Bubble teas are often mixed with milk powder and artificial food additives to produce different flavours. Sweeteners as well as real sugars make the drink tasty, but bad for your stomach girth. Anyhow, as with any tiny vice, bubble tea is harmless if consumed in moderation. If you don’t believe it, see it for yourself – even Jodie Foster likes her tea with bubbles.

Actress Jodie Foster was spotted on a bubble tea break. As you can see, the answer is celebrity association. Now, the Taiwanese bubble milk tea has it made because it is tasty, sweet, possibly vegetarian, non-fattening, soft, milky and chewy – a perfect drink and cake combined. Has anyone else seen a celebrity trotting around with one of these cups?

Tea Time's Sydney Hurstville Shop

As has written in this post, the most representative tea drinks in Taiwan – bubble tea (Pearl Milk Tea), has found its way to many Taiwanese people’s heart through years. Those like me who live abroad always can’t wait to get our hands on bubble tea as soon as arriving at our home land. During the past years bubble tea has started to be available also in some other countries such as US and Canada.

According to the CNA news in Taiwan, recently a Taiwanese tea chain – Tea Time, has successfully expandning in big scales to mainland China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macao, Vietnam, USA, and Australia. Especially in Australia, six branch stores have opened in a short time span in responding to the demands and locals’ high interests in franchising this concept.

Tea Time has already opened seven branch stores in Hong Kong before 2010 and two new ones are opening this month. A briefing occasion for those who want to join the franchising plan is to be held in Hong Kong tomorrow, Jan. 9.

Honestly, the news surprises me and arouses my interests right away. I just briefly checked Tea Time’s website and noticed that there are eight Tea Time stores in Taipei city where I come from, though I have never heard of it before. Well indeed I only visit Taipei shortly each year, but while asking my friends randomly from Plurk (a social media network favored by many in Taiwan), not all of them know about this tea chain. Among those who have visited Tea Time, some do give good comments on certain particular drinks.

So why such an internationally “relatively well-known” Taiwanese tea chain is not especially heard of by many in Taiwan? (at least among my random Internet friends)

My guess is: there are already so many well-established tea chains in Taiwan, naturally Tea Time is not necessarily everybody’s favorites. The fierce competition in this field also make it harder for newer brand to stand out in people’s mind. (Tea Time’s brand history in nutshell: it is the 3rd generation store of its predecessor Cha-Tai house (since 2005) and is officially established in 2008 in Hsinchu instead of in Taipei)

Although not at the moment being the most popular tea chain n Taiwan, Tea Time seems to be doing extremely well in its international expansion plan. I am curious to follow its development on this aspect and for sure this will be one of the tea places I have to drop by in my next visit.

More info: (in Chinese)

If you ask any oversea Taiwanese: what drink they miss most from home, I bet more than half of them will say: bubble tea. / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bubble tea is a tea beverage originated in Taiwan in 1980s. Nowadays it can be found in many East Asian countries as well as in Canada and the States. Since a few years ago it also started to be available in a small tea house in Paris, opened by Taiwanese of course. Drinking bubble tea has been such a huge trend in Taiwan that nowadays it is not especially “trendy” any more as everybody drinks it and takes it to their heart as a natural part of daily life. Bubble tea has even been considered as one of the “innovations” from Taiwan and no doubt as one of the most representative food/drink from the island.

So, back to the essential question: what is bubble tea? In short, it is black milk tea mixed together with boba balls (made from a mixture of tapioca and carrageenan powder). Sounds weird for those who never tried it, but as long as you try it, you will love it!

Nowadays bubble tea has so many variations. For example, boba balls can differ in sizes, tastes, ingredients, in addition, tea type can also be replaced. Some add green tea instead black tea with popular variations such as jasmine infused bubble green tea. Different spices and fruit taste can be added into the tea, so you could easily find coconut bubble tea, banana bubble tea, mango bubble tea, peach bubble tea, green apple bubble tea, passion fruit bubble tea, kiwi bubble tea etc, just to name a few. For those who prefer non-fruit flavors, taro bubble tea, pudding bubble tea, barley bubble tea, sesame bubble tea, ginger bubble tea, almond bubble tea, lavender bubble tea etc. are common choices. With bubble tea, sky is the limit.

It is also noted that bubble tea can be served cold or hot. I myself prefer hot ones but cold bubble tea was the one that originally got its unique status in Taiwanese tea scene.

There will be more posts about Taiwanese Bubble Tea here in the future. So stay tuned.

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