Monday, May 24, 2010

Drink Connoisseurs

I know there are people who can taste (and probably smell) the difference between Coke and Pepsi. They refer to themselves as cola connoisseurs. There are also coffee, wine, and beer connoisseurs, too.

Beverage connoisseurs are people who know their drink so well they can be almost snobbish about it. They may even become easily insulted if you throw in a substitute for their preferred beverage or they may smile from ear to ear, shower you with kisses and hugs, as well as share their “ahhhhhh” sound of satisfaction when you cater to their taste bud desires.

I was surprised to learn there are also BUBBLE DRINK snobs, too. If you are like me, you may not have even heard of a bubble drink so let me bring you up-to-speed.

According to Wikipedia, this drink was created in Taiwan in the 1980’s and eventually spread to the USA Chinatowns and college towns along the West Coast. This drink is non-alcoholic and non-carbonated. The tea is sweet, though has less sugar than a typical soft drink. The drink includes fruit (or fruit syrup) and/or milk. In addition there are marble-sized sago balls or "pearls" (made of tapioca) that are present and sit at the bottom of the cup and has a consistency like gummy candy (soft and chewy).

The drink is called bubble tea because of these marble-sized sago balls or "pearls" that are present and sit at the bottom of the cup and can look like bubbles.

We recently discovered an authentic Taiwan-style bubble drink location only a few blocks from where I live!

We had a cool waitress (with a slight Kansas accent) who brought us our bubble drinks and then started to speak some Japanese. I believe this change of dialect was due to all the menus at this place were in Kanji. I had no idea what she was talking about, nor did I care. I was busy sucking up my own big tapioca balls from a tiny straw and getting a kick out of this new beverage experience.
The taste test from our own "Bubble Drink connoisseur" was a joyful thumbs up and I think I even heard an "ahhhh" sound coming between the sucking sounds from the straw! It made me smile.

I like it when you can hit the mark with a drink connoisseur and get to share their little moment of pleasure and satisfaction when they sip their beverage. Ahhhhhh.


Amander said...

Mmmmm...I love some delicious bubble tea. I tried some in Taiwan and didn't love it, but I do love the American version :)

Kathy G said...

I've not tried bubble tea yet, but that's because there's not a place by me. It's DEFINITELY on my list of things to do!

AnotherQ said...

The place we had the bubble drink looked like we were in kidding, but the drink was pretty sweet, so maybe we really did have the AMERICAN bubble drink.

Kathy G,
It was like having a surprise within your drink...kind of like finding a toy in a box of cracker jacks but this was in liquid and edible. :-)

Sam said...

Thank you for the adventure, Beth! Makes me thirsty just reading your post. Maybe next time we'll get *really* crazy and taste test the fried squid balls or the grass jelly dessert. Or not :)

AnotherQ said...

I thought we had been "really" crazy with the bubble drink! lol. OK, let's try the squid balls and grass jelly next. :-)

ack said...

I haven't had a bubble tea, but i've gone with a friend of mine a few times. They make a popcorn chicken-like thing at these places usually that's pretty nice. I haven't had some of that in quite a while now and am missing it. I just need a few more things so I can try a recipe I found in the paper. (mostly kitchen tools as I have all the spices now.)

and I can tell the difference between diet coke and diet pepsi by taste. :-)

AnotherQ said...

does this mean you are a COLA SNOB?? :-)

LazyBuddhist said...

Despite having my friend introduce bubble tea to me by describing the tapioca balls as "snot balls", I really came to enjoy a good bubble tea. There used to be a place near Pleasanton that was really good and I would treat myself to one on hot Fridays. Yeah, I need to find me a new source.

Kasey said...

I recently overheard a conversation between two people about how to make the best Kombucha tea. I didn't know what it was, so later I googled it. Let's just say, I won't be drinking that now that I know how it's made. Yuck!

ack said...

I suppose I am a cola snob. Pass the diet pepsi and no one gets hurt. :-)