What the heck is Bubble Tea, & why is it popular?

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A classic Asian drink has become one of the US’s fastest-growing refreshments — creating a global food export stranglehold for Taiwan, its place of origin.

Bubble tea, also known as boba, is named for the chewy, rubbery tapioca balls that give the sweet beverage its unique mouthfeel, commonly known among boba addicts as “QQ.”

Its popularity has surged around the world in the last two years, particularly in America — 2022 trade data shows that these pearls are now US’s biggest food import from Taiwan, a rare pandemic-era success at a time when consumers everywhere cut back on discretionary spending and food outlets struggled to stay afloat.

Its leap into the mainstream has been fueled by the rise of influencers who sip the drink while on short-video platform TikTok. The global boom of Korea’s entertainment industry has also helped, with its pop idols and TV characters fans of the beverage.

Read more at Bloomberg.com

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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!