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Taiwanese bubble tea The origin of Taiwan Milk Tea dates back to the milk tea produced by the Dutch. In July 1604, Holland colonized Taiwan. From the year of 1636, Dutch businessmen started to use Taiwan as the location to transport their teas to Iran, India, and Indonesia. At the same time, the milk tea was imported to Taiwan as well. The market of Tea in Taiwan also grew as the planting techniques improved. Taiwan turned into a haven of various kinds of teas Taiwanese bubble tea, also known as ‘boba’ tea, is a highly caffeinated drink made of milk tea with tapioca peals and syrup. The tea has its roots in 1980s. Bubble tea was invented at the traditional tea store Chen Shui Tang, where owner Liu Han-Chien sold his high mountain oolong tea. He got his first experience of people drinking cold coffee. Inspired by the cold coffee, he experimented by putting traditional milk tea in a cocktail shaker with ice. Taiwanese people thought he was crazy, but the young people were a big fan of the chilled tea because of the hot weather. Then Mr. Liu set up a challenge for his staff to add something new to the chilled milk tea, to make it different. His product development manager brought her favorite desert to work with Fen yuan, which are tapioca balls (also called: ‘boba’). Just for fun, she poured the tapioca to her tea and that created the bubble tea. The name bubble tea described the layer of foam that forms on the top of the drink after it is shaken. The addition of the pearls, gave the name ‘black pearl’ to the drink, which is how the tea is known in Taiwanese.    The drink is served cool, with the tapioca pearls sitting on the bottom of a transparent cup. The drink can be made with fresh fruit, milk, and crushed ice. It can also be made of powdered flavoring and creamer. The pearls can be either black or white. The white pearls are made of starch in the natural form, and the black pearls include the cassava root, brown sugar and caramel. The consistency of the pearl is described as a gummy bear texture. Due to the tapioca pearls, it is not just a drink but really something you can eat. Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava root. The starch consists out of sweet potato powder, potato powder, or jelly. By adding different ingredients, tapioca balls can be made to vary in color and in texture.  Lines of customers wanting to get their hands on the highly caffeinated drink, can reach a far distant. People are willing to wait for their bubble tea for one hour. Stiff competition in the drinks market boosted the quality of bubble tea and the number of flavors offered. The all-time favorite of the HTH students is made with pure cream instead of milk, and pearls blanketed in a thick brown-sugar syrup.

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LAURA VAN VEEN

Profile for Hotelschool The Hague

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Last April, a group of 20 students and 4 lecturers from Hotelschool The Hague travelled to a special gastronomic destination for their Gastr...

Gastronomy Abroad Taiwan Magazine | Hotelschool The Hague student project  

Last April, a group of 20 students and 4 lecturers from Hotelschool The Hague travelled to a special gastronomic destination for their Gastr...