National Bubble Tea Day

April 30, 2021 – Adrianna Holt, Adult Services

There seems to be a national anything day every single day of the year, but here’s another one for you: National Bubble Tea Day. Why would someone put bubbles in their tea? Would it not get sudsy? This is not the case, so do not be alarmed. Tea has been around for the last 5,000 years, originating in ancient China. There is a legend that Emperor Shen Nung discovered the wonderful creation of tea, when leaves fell from a tree into the boiling water that he was drinking. Since then we have made some more discoveries and there are roughly 20,000 different kinds of tea today! One of my favorite teas besides chai, pumpkin, or earl grey, is Bubble Tea.

Fads come and go, but people are always coming up with interesting ways to shake things up. In Japan’s business community in the 1980s it became popular to drink Cold Chinese tea or coffee. It was also popular to drink shaken tea or milk drinks. Then a Taiwanese teahouse product development manager, Lin Hsiu Hui, who worked for Liu Han-Chieh at the Chun Shui Tang teahouse, was at a business meeting when she dropped a few balls of pudding with tapioca in them into her cold tea and the result was bubble tea.

Like many inventions, there’s always one who gets the credit and someone who says they created it around the same time too. The other claim to bubble tea fame is asserted by Tu Tson, owner of the Hanlin Tea Room in Tainan, Taiwan, who says he invented “pearl tea” in 1986. He says that his inspiration occurred when he saw white tapioca balls at the market and they looked like pearls. When Tson added some of these white tapioca balls to his cold tea, it resulted in the first “pearl tea.” Experimentation is always a neat part of creation, so he mixed brown sugar into the recipe which darkened the normally white tapioca balls to black. Pretty colors and different things will always excite people.

This particular drink developed a real cult following for the youth of Taiwan and quickly spread throughout Asia. Eventually, this drink became so popular that it naturally drifted to different countries, such as our own in the 1990s. It first appeared on the West Coast at our universities, college campuses, and/or local Asian restaurants with the appearance of Taiwanese students. This drink resonated with Asian American youth who called it “boba” and it became a way to feel culturally cozy when away from home. Soon shops started opening everywhere in response to the thriving popularity of the drink. In 2021, Cape Girardeau has its very own “Boba” or Bubble Tea shop in our little college town called Bubble Crush Tea Studio.

It has tapioca balls or bubbles in tea, but what really is it? It really has branched out since its creation so this drink can be made with fresh fruit, milk, crushed ice, various flavors, creamers, etc. The tapioca balls can be white, transparent, or black, the ingredients involved in the balls result in the variation of color. Black tapioca balls are the way they are because of the starch in tapioca but also because of what’s added: brown sugar, caramel, or cassava root. White or translucent pearls mean that it’s just the tapioca starch added in. Due to the starch content in these delightful little marble-sized pearls, they sink to the bottom of the clear cup that they come in. How are you supposed to eat them then? Just down the cup? Nope! The drink usually comes with a wide diameter sized straw just sized so you can slurp up these little globs. They have an interesting consistency that’s somewhere between jello, gummy bears, or chewing gum, but still tasty!

Our Very Own Bubble Tea Shop:

2143 Independence St. Suite 105, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

I’ve only been to their wonderful little establishment a handful of times since it opened in the last year. A couple things that I have tried at Bubble Crush is their Aurora Starry Night, which has this kind of carbonated strawberry flavor with cute little strawberry heart jellies at the bottom of this quaint little drink. Miracle Mocha was a delicious caffeinated drink with coffee, black tea, whipped cream, boba, and I don’t know what else but it was sooo good!

Here are things I like about it:
• They offer different kinds of boba: the regular tapioca and fruity flavors, such as strawberry, mango, and lychee, that pop!
• They do offer delivery or pickup, but you can also just chill there and their interior is super cute.
• Other things they offer a choice of in their drinks: sugar level, cool or hot, different sizes, ice amount, different types of milk, and lots of different toppings (you can select up to 19 toppings)!

Try new things and support local businesses!

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