Taro bubble tea is a popular beverage that originated in Taiwan in the 1980's later gained popularity throughout Asia. More recently, the tea has become available in the U.S. The base of the beverage is usually a tea of some flavor mixed with milk, to which taro, tapioca pearls are added. The small tapioca pearls or "bubbles" is where bubble tea gets its name. You can find bubble tea at local shops that make it fresh each day or make it yourself with an easy at-home recipe.
Taro is a starchy, fibrous plant found in the Asia-Pacific region. The root or stem of the plant is harvested, and broken down for consumption.
When used in the taro bubble tea, the taro gives it a purple color and a light taro taste. Its fibrous content thickens the drink, making it like a milkshake. In essence, taro bubble tea is a beverage food.
Taro bubble tea gets its name from the bubbling effect that occurs as the beverage is prepared and vigorously shaken to get the right consistency for the drink. Typically, tapioca is added to the drink, for whimsy and texture, and are called the "pearls" of the taro bubble tea. Sometimes people associate the tapioca balls with the reason why it is called bubble tea.
Taro bubble tea has four main parts. The first is the tea base, although it is also prepared with just plain water. The tea is preferred, which may be a black tea or another variety, as it gives the drink a very rich and deep base flavor, adding to the unique flavors of the drink.
Flavors and Sweeteners
Taro gives the beverage its flavoring, although some may prefer to add additional flavors. Flavors may be added from fresh fruits or in the form of syrups or powders. The taro bubble tea may be sweetened with sugar or honey.
Another dimension of the taro bubble tea is the texture, in addition to the thickness gained from the added taro base. Some people look forward to chewing tapioca or coconut as they drink this fulfilling beverage. By the last sip of this hearty drink, the taro bubble tea reduces both hunger and thirst of its drinker.