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Bubble Tea in London

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by Evelien van Rhijn (subscribe)
A music/art/culture/loving sociology student, interested in a fair bit of everything and nothing
Published September 12th 2012
When tea gets a bit old, try this
So here's something new: bubble tea, an exotic treat originating from Taiwan. It was created in the 80s, and is a drink consisting of tea, fruit juice, ice, and sometimes milk. The most characterising (and surprising) part of the drink is the addition of tapioca pearls, boba, and jelly. Let me explain.


Tapioca is a starch extracted from cassave, and has the texture of a somewhat tougher form of jelly. Bubble tea usually comes with black sugar tapioca pearls, although sometimes there is a choice in different flavours.

Boba, or also called popping boba, is a pearl filled with a fruity juice that pops in your mouth.

Jelly is quite a straightforward concept. It comes in tiny bits and just like the tapioca pearls and boba there are all kinds of flavours.

So now the fun part: composing your bubble tea. Start by choosing between milk tea and fruit tea. Both are juices mixed with either (soy) milk or black or green tea.

Second step; what flavour do you want? Usually there is a range of fruity flavours and for those who are not that much into fruit there are other options like chocolate, mocha or coconut.

Third, the additions. The black sugar tapioca pearls usually come standard with the drink and you can choose whether you want them in a different flavour and whether you want to add jelly or boba.

The drink is served with a large, wide straw so that the pearls, jelly or boba can be eaten at the same time you drink. Quite inventive.

By now you must be wondering where to get this wonderful stuff. I must admit I have only been to two different companies; Bubbleogy in central London and Aobabo in Kingston upon Thames.

Bubbleology has a range of seven milk teas and six fruit teas and for a regular cup you pay 3.45. You can find them in Soho, Knightsbridge and Notting Hill. For details, check out their website.

Aobaba has a range of nine milk teas and 12 fruit teas (or as they call it, refresh teas).Their normal price is 3.50, but if you come at a certain time of the day you can get a drink for only 1.50. Aobaba is currently located in Kingston upon Thames and Shoreditch and Wood Green. Have a look at their website.

If you know a place where you can purchse bubble tea, leave us a comment.
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Where: Because normal tea can be a bit boring
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