07 May 2009

Goodbye, Bubble Tea

I am not a coffee drinker. I can say no to soda (most of the time). Not into juice. Not really big on tea either. I like my water.

BUT if someone offers me bubble tea (other names: boba, 珍珠奶茶, pearl milk tea) she becomes my BFF.

I think I had my first bubble tea around the time I first moved to Hong Kong, over 10 years ago. It's them tapioca balls that done me in. Not so much the tea itself, which is nothing special. I think I've tried pretty much all the different types of bubble tea available and I've found my favorite: Honey green tea with pearls. Technically, honey green tea with pearls does not exist. It is not on the menu. But I'm such a regular customer at this shop that they will add the pearls to honey green tea if I ask them really nicely. And I do. Because I want my honey green tea with pearls. Lots of pearls, please. Cold, but hold the ice. And please don't make it too sweet. Yes, a large order, please. I'll have it to-go, but no need for the plastic bag.

Over the years, it's been my feel-good drink. There is something comforting about the oh-so-chewy tapioca balls. I still have not found where I can buy these tapioca pearls, so that I can make my own bubble tea. Maybe I haven't really tried hard enough, because it's so convenient to just pop down and get a glass of bubble tea from the shop.

But last week, when Chris and I drove by just to pick up a couple of glasses, we found our favorite bubble tea place all boarded up. Gone. Just like that.

The shop is part of a chain that makes the best bubble tea in Hong Kong, in my expert opinion. Says the self-declared bubble tea connoisseur. They used to have shops all over town. I went online just now to check where else I could go to get my poison and noted that they only have four shops left, and only one on the Hong Kong side. The rest are in Kowloon and in the New Territories. Ugh.

Maybe it's just as well. In my research into where I could get the same tapioca pearls that are used in bubble teas, I found that these bubble teas are very fattening. Mainly because of the condensed milk that they use in the milk tea. But I don't drink milk tea. My bubble tea of choice is honey green tea. Still. "A one-way ticket to Obesity Boulevard" was how the writer of the article put it. Enough said.


Veronica Lee said...

We are big fans of bubble tea and lately Hong Kong 'Char Chan Tangs' are sprouting all over the country like mushrooms.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

I'm a fan of boba too. I don't drink it often, probably only once or twice a year, but I do really enjoy it. I'm glad I haven't found that article yet because it sounds like it would break my heart lol.

Lindy said...

Oh my gosh. If I ever walked by a Starbucks that was boarded up - well, I'd die a little inside.

DawnS said...

I've never heard of bubble tea, but it sounds like something I would enjoy too much :) No need to add any other temptations to that "Obesity Boulevard" it's cluttered enough as it is!

Kim @ Everything Etsy said...

Oh my gosh, that sounds so good!!! My husband is a big fan of tapioca, so I think he would like it too.

Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities. I wish I could live there for a year and really get to know all the streets!


Jaime said...

Oh, I'm so sorry they closed your tea place. I've never had bubble tea, but ever since I first saw someone drinking it, I knew I wanted those tapioca pearls.
And, as long as condensed milk is on that journey to Obesity Boulevard, I'm in! I love that stuff.

Whitney said...

LOL--I have yet to try a bubble tea--but the thought of the tapioca pearls has me shivering in rapture...Apparently you can buy them on the internet, although I haven't tried. One of these days I'll drive into Vegas (an hour drive) and head to Chinatown (which is such a misnomer!) and get a bubble tea, and look for the tapioca pearls...

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