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The bubble factory

The bubble factory

Nothing says fun more than bubble tea. Having originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s, it’s a trend which is currently growing at a rate of 8% annually and it’s easy to see why.  

These quirky and, often, colourful beverages can be served hot or cold, and always in a transparent cup to show off their unique contents. They feature floating tapioca balls, known as ‘pearls’ or ‘boba’, which have a chewy consistency – making it a refreshing drink and snack in one hit! 

Any type of tea can be used, from green and black to fruit infusions, and they can be made with or without milk depending on the type of tea used. Milky teas are generally served with caramel or honey bubbles, whilst fruit and green teas can be paired with a variety of fruit flavoured bubbles. 

Bubbling over with fun

As a result of its huge popularity, bubble tea has inspired a variety of bubble tea-inspired snacks such as bubble tea ice cream with brown sugar boba and bubble tea candy bars. 

Unsurprisingly, boba pearls are popping up in cocktails, and being used to add additional texture to desserts. Savoury versions are also being used to adorn starters and mains. 

Straw poll

Serve your bubble tea with an oversize straw, often referred to as a boba straw, to ensure all of those lovely bubble pearls don’t get blocked. 

The science behind the pop

Henley Bridge development chef Samantha Rain explains the process of making bubbles. 

“To achieve the effect is a process called ‘reverse spherification’. It is a reaction between gluconolactat and alginate (both available in our Sosa range). First, add the gluconolactat to the liquid which you want to make into the ‘pop’. Then lay a spoon or syringe into an alginate bath. The reaction causes the outside of the pop to start turning into a jelly layer. The longer the pop is in the bath the more it jellifies, so I would recommend leaving it in the bath solution for 1 to 1½ minutes then remove and place into plain water to stop the reaction.

This process can be done with a number of liquids, from alcohols to sauces, to create a theatrical experience in food and drinks.”

Bubblicious flavour combos

• Dilmah blueberry & pomegranate tea with strawberry bubbles 

• Dilmah rose and French vanilla iced tea with almond milk and caramel bubbles 

• Dilmah Moroccan mint green tea with mint bubbles 

Tomato/Oolong tea with honey bubbles 

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