World Taiwan finds diplomatic sweet spot in bubble tea

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    Taipei, Taiwan - Ordering a bubble tea is not exactly straightforward. First, there is the choice of tea base, then whether to have it milky or fruity, and the amount of sugar or ice to add, but most important of all is the kind of boba - the signature chewy tapioca pearls that make the drink utterly unique.

    None of that has prevented the tea's meteoric rise in popularity.

    Somewhere between a dessert and a drink, bubble tea is an industry that was worth $2.4bn in 2017, and is forecast to reach $4.3bn by 2027, according to one market research firm.

    In three decades, bubble tea shops have appeared from Taipei to New York, and from Singapore to London, and the drink has become shorthand for the self-ruled island of Taiwan. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu shared a bubble tea with the Japanese representative Hiroyasu Izumi. President Tsai Ing-wen served the drink during national day, and this year bubble tea was at the centre of a Twitter spat with Chinese internet users when Taiwanese joined an online "milk tea alliance" with the drink's fans from Hong Kong and Thailand.

    Bubble tea found popularity initially because boba tea shops not only offered a place to hang out at night and play cards, but something different from Taiwan's existing tea culture, said Po-Yi Hung, an associate professor in the Department of Geography at National Taiwan University.

    Read more here. (Aljazeera)

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