HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Bubble tea

I don't understand the hype about bubble tea? I don't see what's so great about it; it's just a blend of tea, juice or milk, with tapioca pearls on the bottom. I'm Asian and I just appreciate a good cup of whole leaf tea instead of bubble tea. Any feedback on this?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
      1. for me it's a nice alternative to an iced latte, I enjoy the many variations and combinations that are possible, and I find the boba balls to be fun, especially when nice and fresh !

        1 Reply
        1. My family has been making pearl tapioca desserts for at least 30 years, so this boba tea fad is quite amusing.

          And no, we aren't Asian at all.

          I do enjoy boba tea as an occasional treat. Especially the uncommon flavors--rose and lychee being my faves.

          1. It's the tapioca pearls! The texture - they are chewy and squishy, with a little resistance. They are fun - you suck them up in the fat straw. To me, it's such a happy treat.

            2 Replies
            1. re: elise h

              YES! I think these "chewy and squishy" little tapioca pearls taught me to have a sense of humor about it all! Elise, you are absolutely right -- I am almost giddy when I am chasing them with my straw! This can NOT be a serious activity!

              1. re: elise h

                agreed! There was a ton of bubble tea places by my high school (in Chinatown in Houston) and I miss having the convenience. It's just so fun to eat :D I'm Asian but everyone in my school loved it :D

                My big brother and sister-in-law get it at least once a week!

              2. Oh, the tapioca can be very filling though! I dont quite like them, but like you say, its a novelty. I'd only have it if I can share a drink with someone, 'coz its just too filling for one person.

                The drink itself is really just a powdered drink.. I'd rather have loose leaf tea, yes. Or something thats just more real.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jennjen18

                  These can also be made with real brewed tea. Here in Philly, I can get reak brewed bubble tea(green, black, or jasmine) at Bubble Tea house in West Philly, or Great Tea Interntional on Sansom. They are so filling that I have them as my lunch sometimes. Thank you.

                2. Bubble tea with tea is very good. I don't like the artificial flavors. I don't see any point to those.

                  1. I suppose it's an acquired taste, but I love bubble tea...especially if it's lychee flavored. It's unique and satisfying. Try it before you knock it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Schveinhund

                      Schveinhund -- I, too, love lychee anything! Sometimes, however, the tea drinks are too sweet. I love to order a green tea slush with no sugar (and if the green tea is freshly brewed, that's a HUGE bonus!) and then add a little lychee jelly for sweetness! Really good lychee jelly has a burst to it -- when you bite into it, it explodes with flavor!

                      I know this is a little much, but it is one of the cherished pleasures of summertime for me!