I hate bubble tea


Mali Downing

Mali giving bubble tea a thumbs down because it is bad. Image by Mali Downing.

Mali Downing, Staff Reporter

It started out as a lovely day. It was my first time going to Chinatown, and we had traversed up and down the blocks, looking through fun knick-knacks and foods throughout the stores. I had one key task on the agenda left: to try bubble tea. I absolutely love all types of tea– green, chai, matcha ( especially after reading an article about matcha), earl grey, you name it. I’m also pretty open to trying new things and usually end up loving it (or at least end up being grateful that I tried it). I thought bubble tea would be one of these instances. I can say with utmost certainty that it was not. 

I took a sip, and it was a great experience— for the first few seconds. The actual tea portion was delicious, a dainty green milk tea. Then I tasted the first piece of tapioca. A disgusting, slimy little pearl with an awful gummy texture coming to disrupt my pleasantries.  

It was unnaturally sweet and shifted around in my mouth uncomfortably. When I tried to chew, it wouldn’t separate– it would spring back into its original spherical shape. And that was only one of them. When there’s multiple of the little demons flooding into your mouth, you’re essentially forced to swallow it whole and just power through. It was a truly awful experience. It essentially ruined a perfectly good cup of milk tea. 

But I figured maybe it was an issue with the cafe I went to. I was willing to give bubble tea a second chance. There was always the possibility that the place I went to didn’t make it correctly.  

A few days later, I went to a different cafe. With hesitation, I ordered bubble tea for a second time. Maybe I didn’t hate it as much as I remembered. Maybe this was all an overreaction on my part, and I would find bubble tea to be a nice, refreshing drink to enjoy. 

Reluctantly, I took the tea and had a sip. Just like last time, the actual tea was a delight. Then came in the first tapioca pearl, for a second time. If I expected anything different, I was very, very wrong. They invaded the seemingly nice cup of tea, overpowering the originally sweet earthy taste with a nauseating slippery texture. I felt like I was going to be sick.

Perhaps bubble tea is just an acquired taste. Even so, I’m fine with sticking to tapioca-free tea from now on. All in all, you could say the entire thing just wasn’t my cup of tea.