The History of Bubble Tea

Chun-shui Tang 春水堂

There is not a definitive history written on the topic of bubble tea but most would agree that Taiwan was indeed the birthplace of this innovative drink. In 1983, the teashop alchemist Liu Han Chieh, experimented with his teas by adding tapioca balls to them in his Chun Shui Tang teahouse in Taichung. We could use the classic ‘and the rest is history’ were it not for the fact that Liu Han Chieh’s bubble tea, although popular with Taiwanese customers, remained relatively unknown until a Japanese television show opened it up to the world. By showcasing this quirky new drink on their show, a growing interest developed amongst the viewing businessmen propelling Chieh’s small time drink into a big time industry that began to spread to the surrounding Asian countries. 

By the 1990’s bubble tea was brewing in the majority of East and South East Asia and today it is impossible to turn a corner in places like Taiwan or Hong Kong without being confronted by an alluring tea shop/stand that offers a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of a thriving city.

With the establishment of Asian communities overseas it was only a matter of time before the spread of bubble tea reached the shores of Canada and America. Initially dismissed as a fad, a one time novelty experience that was to die out once everybody had drank their share, the success of bubble tea has proved that it is here to stay. Although bubble tea has not yet reached the lofty heights of Starbuck's fame (not shocking - Starbuck's is contagious), this is more of a reason to direct your attention to bubble tea as a business. With an establishment in every continent, bubble tea is fast making its mark on the beverage world and with the continued service of the bubble tea pioneers, the mainstream market may soon become afloat with tapioca pearls.

Bubblelicious Tea

Established in July 2010, the Bubblelicious Tea team have built our reputation up in the UK and Europe as having superb quality products with a customer service reputation to match. Now with more clients springing up internationally, we strive to ensure we always keep one step ahead of the trend. Our research and product sourcing has already taken us all around the world from the USA and Canada to Hong Kong and Japan that you can read about in our personalised blog - come and join us on our bubble tea adventure!

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