Bubble Tea Explained – Tea Types and How to Order
Even if you haven’t had the privilege of tasting it for yourself quite yet, it’s undeniable that the bountiful empire of bubble tea has extended far past its humble Tawainese beginnings to add a dose of delight to drinkers across the world.
Also known as boba, this sweet treat is our specialty at Baroness Bubble Tea. So much so, we put it in our name. That’s how much we love it!
Boba tea is an integral part of our story. Its countless variations give us more room to experiment and grow and harness the unique ingredients to create our own distinct homemade recipes.
With our sheer abundance of bubble tea flavors, you’re sure to find something to tickle your tastebuds!
If you’re curious as to what exactly bubble tea is, you’re in luck! Today, we’re going to outline the fascinating story of boba, where it comes from, its various forms and how to order it.
We’ll also delve deeper into the Baroness Bubble Tea story and what inspired us to share our love for this delicious beverage with customers like you.
What Exactly is Bubble Tea?
Bubble tea was invented in Taiwan in the early 1980s.
Also known as boba, boba tea, and pearl milk tea, bubble tea’s name will likely vary based on location. For example, in the United States, it’s mostly called bubble tea on the East Coast, whereas people on the West Coast refer to it as boba.
Regardless of the name you choose, its basic ingredients are the same everywhere. Traditionally, the drink consists of black tea, milk, sweet sugar syrup, fruit or other flavourings, and charmingly chewy tapioca pearls.
The tapioca pearls are made from tapioca starch extracted from the cassava plant, which came to Taiwan from Brazil during Japanese rule between 1895 and 1945. The tapioca pearls are made using only a handful of simple ingredients: tapioca starch, brown sugar and hot water.
While they start as flavourless dough, once cooked and mixed with brown sugar, they take the form of the dark, gooey tapioca pearls we all know and love!
These ingredients are then shaken together and served with a fantastically fat straw to accommodate those tasty tapioca balls that gather at the bottom of the cup.
While the basic black tea form is a beloved and nostalgic favourite, bubble tea shops worldwide have taken this recipe and built on or altered it to generate a broad range of different flavours and consistencies.
For example, while we offer both options, at Baroness Bubble Tea, we encourage our customers to try our various bubble tea flavours with oat milk instead of regular for an extra delicious dose of sweetness and creamier consistency. Not to mention, it’s lactose-free!
That’s just one of many features that make our story unique.
The Baroness Bubble Tea Story
What’s our bubble tea story? It all began when Aki first had the idea of sharing his passion for storytelling and delicious drinks. When he embarked on his journey, he had no idea that it would take him from his home all the way across the Pacific.
Steeped in tradition and love, Aki founded Baroness bubble Tea in Nanjing, Taiwan, in 2017.
His aspiration was for it to be a storytelling drink shop. He wanted to take the pleasant tradition of drinking tea around a table with friends and family and translate it into a warm and welcoming bubble tea shop, inviting people to come and share treasured conversations and make new and lasting memories.
Aki built Baroness Bubble Tea as an extension of his whole heart based on the belief that drinks shouldn’t just be an invitation to tell stories but should be stories in themselves, too.
Baroness prides itself on using healthier ingredients that taste delicious while making our customers feel good from the inside out. We use gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly oat milk as the foundation for all of Baroness Bubble Tea’s drink series.
It’s an ingredient grounded in Aki’s philosophy of encouraging anyone and everyone to partake in sharing stories.
Using unique flavours, homemade ingredients and handcrafted toppings, Baroness strives to create a bubble tea experience that will make you fall in love with bubble tea all over again.
The Many Types of Bubble Tea
As we said, while there is a sweet and familiar nostalgia surrounding traditional boba, part of the fun of the drink as a whole is how versatile it can be.
Below are just a few examples of some of our favourite recipes!
Classic Milk Tea
You can’t go wrong with a classic. It’s literally in the name! Classic milk tea is the drink that started it all.
Created using delicious black tea, frothy milk (or oat milk!), crushed eyes, and a generous helping of smooth and sweet tapioca balls, classic boba milk tea is a drink that never fails to satisfy!
If you’re looking for a unique spin on this traditional classic, we highly recommend giving our Roasted Milk Tea a try.
Brown Sugar Bubble Tea
Also known as brown sugar milk tea, this tasty treat substitutes the black tea and milk infusion of classic milk tea and replaces it with milk, dark brown sugar syrup and brown sugar-infused tapioca pearls.
With only three ingredients, each element brings its own unique component that makes the overall drink greater than the sum of its parts.
It’s true when they say that simple is best!
Taro Bubble Tea
Taro is a tropical root vegetable originating in Eastern and Southern Asia.
When blended into this delicious beverage, you can indulge in vibrant flavours of creamy vanilla that will transport your tastebuds to another dimension.
When fresh taro root is combined with our suite of fresh oat milk and house-made toppings, you get a drink that’s indicative of the rich history, tradition, and love that taro enjoys around the world.
Don’t let the name fool you. No one is serving you up a block of cheddar with sweet tapioca balls.
Instead, cheese tea is a unique bubble tea flavour that’s topped off with a lovely layer of fluffy cream cheese foam. What many love about cheese tea is that it’s the ideal balance of sweet and savoury.
So, if you’re looking for something that satisfies both cravings, cheese tea is the best of both worlds!
Wintermelon Milk Tea
While the name may conjure up images of snowballs and icicles, its association with winter ends there!
Instead, wintermelon milk tea is a unique and classic flavour that can be seen peddled throughout the streets of its native Asia.
Mixed with oat milk, black tea and brown sugar tapioca pearls, our wintermelon milk tea is refreshing and sweet, with relaxed, subtle flavours that are sure to please!
The fun and playful thing about a Special Series is that it doesn’t incorporate one single flavour. Rather, it allows tea shops to flex their creative muscles and test out creating new and exciting flavours that serve to intrigue and entice your palate.
At Baroness Bubble Tea, we are passionate about respecting the traditional stories of all of our bubble tea flavours while adding our own unique elements to make them a part of our story, too.
We achieve this by experimenting with a vast assortment of flavours and distinct textures to create a wide range of unique beverages that we are proud to share with you.
Examples of a few signature drinks we have available include:
- Purple Rice Smoothie + Organic Milk
- Vietnamese Coffee Bubble Tea
- Purple Yam + Organic Milk
- Uji-Matcha Latte
- Thai Iced Tea Bubble Tea
We would love for you to come in for a visit and show you how we have taken these classic ingredients and put our own modern spin on them to make them a part of our story!
How to Order Bubble Tea?
Now comes the fun part. When it comes to bubble tea, you can either stick to the popular, tried and true choices or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try something new!
The choice is yours and, once you’ve had a taste, you’ll likely come back for more (or at least, we hope you do!). So, there’s plenty of room for testing out different flavours.
But once you’ve selected your drink of choice, how do you order?
We’ll show you!
First things first, you determine which size you want and whether you’d like your drink have regular milk or our signature oat milk. Then, if you’re ordering for more than one person, you state how many drinks you’d like!
From here, things become more personalized.
You can choose the percentage of sweetness (sugar) you’d like as well as your desired amount of ice.
We have a bunch of different tasty toppings to choose from, including:
- Brown sugar pearls
- Grass jelly
- Taro ball
- Coconut jelly
- Fresh taro
- Cheese foam
- Aiyu jelly
We outlined a majority of these above but if you’re curious about Aiyu jelly, it’s essentially a jelly made from the seeds of the ‘awkeotsang creeping fig’ in Taiwan! It has a delightfully sweet and light lemon flavour.
Try it for Yourself!
With so many different bubble tea flavours to choose from, the possibilities are endless! What was once a traditional Taiwanese street food has transformed into an international beverage sensation enjoyed by millions every day.
Whether you’d like a Classic Milk Tea or want to try experimenting with new flavours like our Uji-Matcha Latte, we’d be happy to whip something up for you. We encourage you to come to visit us at Baroness Bubble Tea at 2790 W Broadway, Vancouver, and try some of our unique bubble tea flavours for yourself!
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