In 2001, Thea started up in Gays Arcade (Rundle Mall) as a bubble tea shop. It was a rare attraction back then. However, bubble tea has grown to be comparable to a latte these days!
Some interesting facts and stories about bubble tea - if it may interest you!
Why is it called 'bubble' tea?
The 'bubbles' are essentially little balls made of anything from tapioca to fruit jelly.
They are a highlight to the tea (and milk and flavour).
How did it come about?
The roots of bubble tea can be traced back to the 1940s.
After working as a mixologist in an izakaya in Taiwan under Japanese rule during WWII, in 1949 Chang Fan Shu opened a tea shop selling unique shou yao (hand-shaken) tea made with cocktail shakers. The result was a rich and silky iced tea with fine air bubbles on top - dubbed foam tea in Taiwan. Today, shou yao is an essential bubble tea element. No shou yao, no bubble tea.
Where did it originate from?
Invented in the 1980s, bubble tea (also called "black pearl tea" or "boba tea") is a beloved Taiwan classic.
How is it made (back then)? Though there are dozens of different variations, at its core it's a combination of tea, milk and the 'bubbles'.
How is it made (today)?
It has become quite a sight these days to look at bubble tea menus! It has certainly evolved from the classic milk teas with bubbles, or the milk tea with caramel brown sugar, into a whole variety of different others!
But no matter how funky you get with the recipe,
the soul of the drink should be the tea!