(Photo courtesy of http://www.examiner.com)
(Photo courtesy of http://www.favim.com)
Of course, what has to go with food? Drinks, my friends, drinks. Just when you start wondering how in the world I became a bootlegger, I was just going to say that I am an arduous, monstrously arduous lover of coffee and tea. But of course, we all know that Starbucks is the best thing ever created on this Earth and then you have Team Starbucks and Team Everyone Else, blah blah blah, but I’m going to take a stroll into the Eastern side of the world.
What’s all the rage in Asia?
No, people do not miraculously put hordes of actual bubbles in your everyday breakfast tea (come to think of it, that would actually really tickle). Anyway, bubble tea is a general term for smoothies, slushies, flavored teas, etc. with black tapioca balls added to them. They’re served in the classic tall plastic cups with plastic coverings where you have to stab expertly with your straw to make a hole. You can also substitute rainbow and fruit jellies instead if you’re not a fan of tapioca. It can be served both hot and cold too, but I always order it cold because 1) it tastes like summer and 2) I just like all looking at all the tapioca dots up close.
Asian teens crave this drink. I mean, when people say, “Hey, anyone wanna hit me up for a bubble tea run?” immediately all their friends start clamoring to go. And it’s not just among Asians–people all over the world are becoming more and more attracted to the humble bubble tea.
I find it funny how it’s risen to such fame because to be honest, bubble tea is pretty simple. Pick a tea, pick a flavor, perhaps make it iced, add the bubbles, and boom, done. There’s not a whole ton of work involved, no careful skimming of milk or espresso machine art. Making lattes is definitely more sophisticated. Yet I love bubble tea, and I’m sure that many of you would agree. It brings me to my happy place. Something about the simple deliciousness and goodness is just awestrucking. I admit I find that munching on the tapioca is strangely therapeutic. And the tapioca offers a bit of a bitter yet sweet taste that transforms the tea/smoothie into a better drink than just a “tea” or “smoothie”.
My favorite location for bubble tea in Portland is Bubble Bubble. There’s one in Beaverton Town Square and Fubonn Shopping Center on the East Side. Washington Square also has Braganza Tea in the food court, and I’m sure that if you sniff around at Asian restaurants everywhere there’ll be bubble tea on the menu.
Beaverton Town Center
11723 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.
Beaverton, OR 97005