Bubble tea (also known as pearl milk tea, boba-milk tea or yung-marc) is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in Taichung in the 1980s. Most bubble tea recipes contain a tea base mixed/shaken with fruit or milk, to which chewy tapioca balls and fruit jellies are often added. The first noted "bubble tea" consisted of cold tea and a sweetened tapioca pudding, known as fen yuan. The inventor was trying something new with her drink and desserts, and everyone fell in love with the taste and the fun! Since then, many variations were created, and bubble tea is served either cold or hot (warm). As the bubble tea drink evolved, the tea base has frequently been replaced. Although originally created from a black tea, it evolved into using green jasmine tea, and has now incorporated fruits, fruit syrups, and cream flavored powders being mixed in with ice and water.
Bubble tea comes in a variety of different flavors, the most popular being the fruity and creamy ones. Some widely available fruity and creamy flavors include strawberry, green apple, passion fruit, mango, lemon, watermelon, grape, lychee, peach, pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, banana, avocado, coconut, and kiwi. Other popular non-fruity and creamy flavors include taro, chocolate, coffee, mocha, black milk tea, thai tea, lavender tea, and rose tea. Some cafes and shops offer non-creamy drinks by using fruit pulp syrups like passion fruit, honeydew, strawberry, and lychee. There are now 250 varieties of flavors and choices of a bubble tea drink.