Bubble Tea is a refreshing tea based drink that originated in Taiwan in the 1980s and has since successfully made it's way across the world- China, USA, Australia, Europe and now South Africa. Bubble Tea takes either the form of a fruity ice tea or a non-dairy 'milkshake' tea. The unique and attractive aspect of this drink is the topping which can be either a choice of vast flavored Popping Bobas- filled with pure fruit juice and covered with sodium alginate and calcium lactose (essentially seaweed)- that burst in your mouth or Tapioca pearls that are extremely yummy, chewy and are simultaneously a source of Iron, Calcium and Vitamin C. The topping is sucked through an extra large straw and is a guarantee of a whole new experience.
Two shops claim to be the creators of bubble tea. One is Chun Shui Tang teahouse in Taichung, Taiwan, where Liu Han Chie experimented with cold milk tea by adding fruit, syrup, candied yams, and tapioca balls in the early 1980s. Although the drink was not popular at first, a Japanese television show generated interest in it among businessmen, according to the contested originator from Taichung. The drink became well known in most parts of East and Southeast Asia during the 1990s. Although not everyone in Taiwan knows which teahouse the famous drink came from, most know of its origin being Taichung, Taiwans center-most city.