Taiwanese Bubble tea hits Bournemouth

A year ago bubble tea was relatively unknown in Bournemouth; however, the drink has become famous because of two Taiwanese entrepreneurs.

A layer of jelly-like bubbles settles at the bottom of the drink, this is not rubber but the material which makes it is well-known – tapioca balls.

the Tapioca Balls.
the Tapioca Balls (Photo: Casper Hsu)

Kevin who tries his first bubble tea and said it is a unique drinking experience.

“Is interesting, this is the first time I have had tapioca balls and the texture is really nice, it adds more substantance to the tea.”


The drink can sell hundred cups a day in summer time. Ms. Pan who introduced the drink is also the owner of the teashop – YOBU said this is the magic of bubble tea.

“Bubble tea is a fairly new concept to the UK, However, in Asia where I come from it is a hugely popular product, such an interesting and fresh product, also bubble tea originated from Taiwan which is my home country.” Ms Pan said.

She said from the logo to the drink people will be curious to know where it came from, this is a good way of introducing the country too.

She added that bubble tea is usually severed with tapioca in Taiwan, however, she realized that something more special needed to be introduced for UK people to entice customers, the brightly colored juice ball with fruity flavours became another option to add to the tea.

YOBU Bubble teashop
YOBU Bubble teashop (Photo: Casper Hsu)

The same strategy was applied by another bubble teashop. But they have another secret weapon – wheel puffy cake.

Tealith Bubble teashop
Tealith Bubble teashop (Photo: Casper Hsu)

Lisha Wu, co-founder of Tealith, is from a Taiwanese and Italian mixed family. When she spend time in Taiwan, she loved this drink immediately and decided to open the bubble tea shop with her partner in this tourism town – Bournemouth, because she wanted to use the drink to promote Taiwan.

“I think Taiwan is underrated in the UK and Europe, however, there are so many positive aspects from the food, from bubble tea and also the culture. I would really like to support, even in my little own, part of Taiwan. So I have tried to advertise it because I think it is a beautiful island. There is so many aspects people don’t know about.” she said.

With this unique drinking culture, she wants to show Taiwanese philosophy to the UK, even Europe.

Customs drink through a thick straw, it is a mouthful of tea and chewiness – both a drink and a snack,

(Shaking the tea Photo: Casper Hsu.)
Shaking the tea. (Photo: Casper Hsu)

Both shop founders said that this drink is one of most represented food from Taiwan and tells the world where the country is.

Bubble tea storms from 1980s Taiwan. Nowadays, bubble teashops are everywhere in the country. Originally, the “bubble” refers to the foam on top of the drink, which comes after shaking the tea to mix the flavour.

It also is known as pearl tea drink, boba ice tea, boba, boba nai cha, zhen zhou nai cha, pearl milk tea, pearl ice tea, black pearl tea, tapioca ball drink, BBT, PT, pearl shake and QQ (which means chewy in Chinese).

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