“But ALL Asians love bubble tea!” a friend of mine (also Asian) insisted the other day, when I confided that I wasn’t really into one of the greatest Asian phenomena after Psy. Trust me, I really, really want to like bubble tea, and the last couple of years I’ve tried it at several different places in many different countries. There has been a slight progress, but the big break through never came. Not until yesterday, when I went with friend and bubble tea buff Meera to The Mad Hatter Bubble Tea Emporium at Skt. Hans Torv in Copenhagen.
As I’ve explained earlier, my main objection against bubble tea concerns the chewy, bland-tasting tapioca pearls, so when we arrived at Mad Hatter, I asked the guy behind the counter (who turned out to be one of the owners), if there was a way around them. It’s probably like asking a sushi chef if there’s a way around raw fish, but he just smiled and told me about popping boba, which is another kind of bubble tea pearls. They are usually fruit-flavored and a very thin membrane surrounds the liquid core, so they “pop” when you bite them.
“Well that doesn’t sound that bad”, I thought, and picked my tea (passion fruit) along with a mix of litchi and mango popping bobas, while Meera chose her favorite: Green matcha tea and regular tapioca pearls.
The bubble tea was served in large plastic cups with fat straws (you need fat straws to be able to suck up those slippery little suckers) and tasted like most Asian ice teas i.e. very sweet and refreshing. And the pearls? Not bad at all! They were a bit like fruit-flavored salmon eggs, and getting them from the glass to your mouth without choking was quite challenging. You suck and you suck and then suddenly, when you least expect it, a pearl finds its way up the straw and is thrown towards the back of your throat cough and guttural sounds
Anyway, Meera’s creamy-green drink looked really delicious, so after evaluating the risk of losing my newfound liking for bubble tea, I asked her for a sip. It was so good! I had to stop myself from emptying the cup! Even the tapioca pearls were tasty! I can’t believe I’m writing this, but better late than never: I like bubble tea!
Since then I have had a lot of bubble tea, and the best one I have tried so far is the Fire Tiger Milk at Seoulcial Club in Bangkok