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First Taste: Bee & Tea

Bee & Tea:

Chicago Restaurant, Bee & Tea bao and boba

(Bee & Tea bao and boba)

 

I’ve always said that I’ll eat anything on a bao bun. There’s just something about those tender, doughy pockets that make my heart pulsate and my tongue salivate. Wicker Park newcomer Bee & Tea put that theory to the test with its menu of bao-centric eats and boba-focused drinks. The new concept from the folks behind Forever Yogurt skew Asian for their next venture, the first of many planned offshoots for what will likely become a mini chain on par with the fro yo chainlet. An ardent lover or both bao and boba, I swung by the brand new shop to give it a whirl.

Bee & Tea, The Concept

While Forever Yogurt hinges on DIY frozen yogurt combinations — something I am NOT a fan of, seeing as I apparently can not control myself from mixing.…………CONTINUE: 

 

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For more about Chicago Steaks see:

CHICAGO BEST STEAK.COM

Bubble tea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea or boba milk tea, is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in Taichung,Taiwan, during the 1980s.[1] The term “bubble” is an Anglicized imitative form derived from the Chinese bōbà (波霸), meaning “large”, slang for the large, chewy tapioca balls commonly added to the drink. These are (粉圓, fěnyuán), also called “pearls” (珍珠, zhēnzhū). Most bubble tea recipes contain a tea base mixed with fruit or milk. Ice-blended versions are usually mixed with fruit or syrup, resulting in a slushy consistency.[2]

There are many variants of the drinks, and many kinds of types are used and ingredients added. The most popular bubble drinks are bubble milk tea with tapioca and bubble milk green tea with tapioca.

 

Description

Honeydew-flavored bubble tea

Bubble teas are typically of two distinct types: fruit-flavored teas and milk teas. However, some shops offer hybrid “fruit milk teas”. Most milk teas include powdered dairy or non-dairy creamers, but some shops also offer fresh milk as an alternative. Other varieties are 100% crushed-fruit smoothies with tapioca pearls and signature ice cream shakes made from local ice cream sources. Many American bubble tea vendors sell “milk smoothies”, which are similar to bubble tea but do not contain any tea ingredients. Some small cafés offer sweetener substitutes, such as honey, agave, stevia, and aspartame, upon special request.

The oldest known bubble tea consisted of a mixture of hot Taiwanese black tea, small tapioca pearls (粉圓), condensed milk, and syrup (糖漿) or honey. Many variations were created, the most common of which is served cold rather than hot. The tea type is frequently replaced. First was bubble green tea, which uses jasmine-infused green tea (茉香綠茶) instead of black tea. Big tapioca pearls (波霸/黑珍珠) were adapted and quickly replaced the small pearls.[3] Peach or plum flavoring appeared, then more fruit flavors were added until, in some variations, the tea was removed entirely in favor of real fruit. These fruit versions sometimes contain colored pearls (and/or “jelly cubes” as in the related drink taho), the color chosen to match whatever fruit juice is used. Flavors may be added in the form of powder, fruit juice, pulp, or syrup to hot black or green tea, which is then shaken in a cocktail shaker or mixed with ice in a blender. Cooked tapioca pearls and other mix-ins (such as vanilla extract, honey, syrup, and sugar) are added at the end.

Today, one can find shops entirely devoted to bubble tea, similar to the juice bars of the early 1990s. Some cafés use plastic dome-shaped lids, while other bubble tea bars serve it using a machine to seal the top of the cup with plastic cellophane. The latter method allows the tea to be shaken in the serving cup and makes it spill-free until one is ready to drink it. The cellophane is then pierced with an oversized straw large enough to allow the pearls to pass through.

Today, in Taiwan, it’s more common for people to refer to the drink as “pearl milk tea” (“zhēn zhū nǎi chá”, or “zhēn nǎi” for short). “Pearl milk tea” is also used by English speakers and overseas Chinese and Taiwanese speakers, but it is usually called “bubble tea” or “boba tea” by English speakers, with the former seemingly more common in locations with less Chinese influence.