Taiwan classic bubble tea

Introduction; Bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea or “珍奶” (zhen nai) is a beverage that combines the richness of milk tea, with the delightful addition of tapioca pearls. Within Taiwans culture of bubble tea this drink holds a place as one of the iconic and cherished treats.

The Composition of Pearl Milk Tea; Pearl milk tea is a captivating beverage made with oolong tea blended with milk or fruit flavors sweeteners and the unique addition of chewy tapioca pearls. These pearls are often referred to as “QQ ” highlighting their bouncy texture that adds an element to the drink.

The Name “Pearl Milk Tea”; Originally the term “珍珠奶茶” (zhen zhu nai cha) or pearl milk tea was coined based on the bubbles formed when shaking the drink than specifically referring to the pearls in the beverage. This drink is known by names, like “珍珠茶” (zhen zhu cha) “boba茶” (boba cha) and “木薯茶” (mu shu cha).

The history of pearl milk tea is associated with two shops each claiming to be the creators. According to one account Mr. Liu Hanjie, the owner of a foam tea shop called “草蜢” (cao meng) began experimenting with milk tea in 1983. Another version credits Mr. Tu Zonghe, the owner of Hanlin Tea House, in Tainan, who was inspired by seeing tapioca pearls at a market in 1987. Regardless of its origins pearl milk tea quickly gained popularity. Became a beloved choice among Taiwanese people.

One notable characteristic of pearl milk tea is the use of tapioca pearls measuring 7mm or more in diameter. Although smaller pearls are occasionally used they may present challenges in terms of texture and mouthfeel. Nowadays pearl milk tea shops typically offer sizes for their pearls to ensure consistency.

During the 1990s pearl milk teas popularity skyrocketed, in chain bubble tea shops like “小歇” (Xiao Xie) which became a favored hangout spot for students and professionals alike. As time went on its presence expanded to areas such, as night markets and school surroundings.

Over time bubble tea has gained popularity as one of Taiwans beverages. Has expanded its reach globally through various bubble tea chains. Its distinct combination of flavors and the delightful tapioca pearls it contains have captivated tea lovers worldwide. The beverage has become deeply embedded in Taiwans drink culture thanks, to its marketing strategies that encompass both chain stores and street vendors. With its origin story and delicious taste pearl milk tea has become a timeless favorite for both locals and tourists

For those in preparing black pearl tea at home here’s a simple cooking method; Start by taking one kilogram of pearl balls in any color of your choice. In a pot bring 10 liters of water to a boil. Only add the pearl balls once the water is boiling to avoid them dissolving into powder prematurely. Maintain a heat. Stir the mixture with a strainer for about 15 20 minutes (adjusting the time as, per desired softness). Afterward cover the pot. Allow it to sit for a 15 20 minutes to enhance the chewy texture or until all the pearl balls turn translucent. Once done carefully scoop out the pearl balls. Rinse them with water.

Start by placing the pearl balls in a bowl and stirring them well with sugar to soak. Allow them to soak for 30 minutes. In a pot heat 500 mL of water. Stir in 750g of sugar to create a sugar syrup measuring about 22oz (638 mL) (you can also opt for honey instead).

For the milk tea recipe (500 mL) you have the option to use either green tea. To prepare the tea steep one tea bag of green tea, in 125 mL of hot water. Let it steep for around 2 minutes until it becomes strong. Then add milk measuring 125 mL into the tea. You can adjust the ratio of milk and tea based on your preference. If its summertime incorporate 230g of ice cubes; if its winter add 230g of water accordingly. Lastly sweeten your milk tea with honey or sugar based on your desired taste.

When making tea milk tea follow a method as, with black tea milk tea. However keep in mind that you should pay attention to the water temperature when brewing tea.
It is recommended to use boiling water at a temperature of 100°C and add 1/10 of the water volume, as mineral water (which would be around 250 mL in total). Allow the green tea to steep for 6 minutes without stirring. Stirring can result in a taste and loss of aroma. Once the steeping is complete you can proceed with the remaining steps as you would with tea milk tea.

For Osmanthus Milk Tea;

Ingredients; One teabag of tea 1 teaspoon of osmanthus flowers 100 mL of milk, rock sugar and water as required.
Place the osmanthus flowers and black tea bag in a teapot. Steep them using water.
Add rock sugar and milk to the teapot. Stir well.

For Small Pearl Milk Tea;

Ingredients; Special base red tea for milk tea milk powder, fructose, cooked pearls and ice cubes.
Put the pearls into the serving cup.
In a shaker combine milk powder and base red tea. Stir until dissolved.
Fill the shaker with ice cubes until its full.
Add fructose, to the shaker cover it securely and shake well.
Pour the shaken milk tea into the serving cup containing pearls.


You have options to customize your drink according to your preferences.In Taiwan pearl milk tea is an highly customizable beverage. Along, with the options of green and milk tea there are various specialty drinks available at most shops. You’ll find a range of flavorings like plum (Suan Mei) and Yakult (a yogurt based drink) in flavors such as tea or green tea. Additionally there are syrups like ginger syrup. Pomegranate syrup to add some extra taste. If you’re looking for something you can try teas like lavender milk tea. To make your drink more exciting there are ingredients like coconut jelly pudding, grass jelly (Xian Cao) or love jelly (jelly cubes that bounce). You also have the option to choose your desired sweetness level. Sugar, half sugar, less sugar or no sugar all. If you prefer your drink colder or warmer you can select the amount of ice. Ice, less ice or no ice. Some customers even request milk, for a taste while others opt for a thicker drink by asking for no water added. The best part is that you can experiment with combinations to find your blend and enjoy the delicious and refreshing experience of pearl milk tea! It’s fascinating how milk tea has gained significance over time with the rise of “Boba” milk tea.

The pearl milk tea known as “Boba ” originally created in Taiwan has gained popularity across the United States. The term “Boba” refers to the tapioca pearls used in this beverage. Over the two to three decades Boba pearl milk tea has become a part of Asian American lifestyles.
Every evening, after 9 p.m. Factory Tea Bars serve as gathering spots for college students and professionals. True to their name these tea bars specialize in offering tea with ice, milk and those iconic “Boba” pearls imported all the way from Taiwan.
Tiffany Porter, a individual explains that “Boba” pearls hold a special place in Asian cuisine. If you’re looking for an Asian style refreshment experience she recommends visiting places that serve Boba milk tea. Sociologist Oliver Wang refers to todays Asians as the “Boba generation ” encompassing those from the two decades and even his own generation.
According to Wang there have been transformations in the American lifestyle in Southern California over the past few decades. He recalls his youth when being Asian American, in the United States often meant going unnoticed or invisible.
We achieved success but Asian culture didn’t hold as much significance, in the cultural hierarchy of universities or communities. However there has been a shift over the two to three decades.”

We are now seeing representation of faces on local and even national television programs. According to Wang the stereotypes of Asians in society are gradually fading away as shown by Chinese American rapper and comedian “The Fung Brothers.”

The Boba culture in Southern California doesn’t just include Chinese Americans; it also encompasses Asian Americans from countries. Lena Yao, an Indonesian American enjoys socializing at Boba milk tea shops. Says, “We like to unwind have conversations and savor our drinks here.”

Andrew Fung from “The Fung Brothers” notes that you can find faces on every college campus, Chinese ones. Every campus has a Boba milk tea shop that all Asiansre familiar with.

For Americanized Asians Boba milk tea shops have become a symbol of transformation. They allow individuals to stay connected, to their roots while fostering a sense of pride.

Milk tea has gained its value and offers us an entirely new experience.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}