When someone mentions green tea/history of tea, my thought immediately jumps to Chinese emperors sitting cross-legged and drinking tea from beautiful little cups.
You might have also tried matcha, a Japanese tea with ground green tea leaves. This method traces its origins to the Song Dynasty (CE 960-1279) in China, where grinding tea leaves before brewing was a common practice.
And interestingly, tea is known (and pronounced) as tea/cha in different regions depending on how they traded tea with China. Initially brewed with just tea leaves in hot water, it is fascinating to see how it has taken a form of its own in different regions over the years.
From Britain adding milk (and sweetener) to tea and India taking it one step further with spices (like we do for most food) to Taiwan introducing bubble tea in 1986 by adding tapioca balls to tea, tea/cha with a milky twist has had quite a journey.
Now, not only do we have a diverse range of tea, but we have so many offerings in bubble tea as well as the bubble/boba! You not only get tea varieties, but also have the option of fruit juices/hot chocolate for non-caffeine folks.
However, some people took their love for bubble tea a bit too far. Southeast Asia saw boba being added to literally every kind of food there was! Wonder who actually tried a Boba Chilli Crab?!
Bubble tea is much loved and almost every other young person we’ve met wanted to open a bubble tea store. Although that might not be a good idea (it is a highly competitive business) – bubble tea can be found in a variety of retail channels nowadays. Apart from your neighborhood stores, there are also kiosks, large storefronts, petrol stations, etc.
If you would like to know more about the bubble tea industry and how the different Southeast Asian countries fare, you can download a complimentary copy of our ‘Bubble Tea Report’ here.