Is Boba bad for you

The bubble tea pops up again!

There is currently an unmistakable sign for foodies and trend scouts: If long lines of people form in front of a restaurant and people document what they have picked up on their mobile phones before they take their first bite or sip, then there is street food there, which is just causing a little hype .

Queuing these days means, for example, in Krugerstraße and Goldschmiedgasse, both in downtown Vienna, or in Ungargasse in the third district (see below). There is bubble tea everywhere. A little older semesters will be surprised that there is a good deal around it. Because the black or green tea, which comes from Asia, foamed up like a milkshake and mixed with syrup and tapioca pearls (in turn filled with sweet liquid), was already considered the city's hipster drink ten years ago. Several branches opened, the newspapers printed headlines like: "Bubble tea floods the city centers". After almost two seasons, the hype was over. Why this revival now?

Without preservative substances

Jacky, 22-year-old managing director and founder of Tea Plus, one of the new bubble tea contact points in Vienna, says: "Our target group is between 14 and 20 years old. Most of them cannot even remember the trend a few years ago . For them, bubble tea is something completely new. " In fact, bubble tea is a typical thing for young people: colorful, sweet, bubbly. As soon as you take a sip, it gurgles and foams, the colors change. So it doesn't get bland while you soak up the tea syrup through a drinking straw.

Nevertheless, there is one fundamental difference with the Revival: This time, coloring and preservatives are largely avoided. With good reason. In 2012, the wave of success of the bubble tea in the German-speaking area suddenly broke off after more and more media reported on the abundant unhealthy and sometimes even carcinogenic additives. Of course, the tea from Taiwan remains sweet and high-calorie - even if it is now offered in different degrees of sweetness and optionally even with organic ingredients or as a vegan variant.

Homemade pearls

At Tea Plus in downtown Vienna, the founders Jacky and Kimmi even roll their pearls from the starch of the manioc root (tapioca) by hand. Boba pearls, which are made from the artificial gelling agent alginate, are not used in the brew for the two cousins.

In 2018, they traveled through China for three months to drink tea and better understand the background of the drink. Back in Vienna, they opened their first Tea Plus branch. With success: after branches in the first and sixth districts, two new branches will soon be opening in Millennium City and in Shopping City Süd. You are not the only ones who are currently expanding in the bubble tea milieu: With the Amo tea, a German supplier recently opened its first Austrian branch in Vienna; the Ichiban has now expanded from a small insider tip in the third district to four branches.

Tiktok is the driving force behind success

Although "Milk", the variant sweetened with condensed or soy milk, is the bestseller, strawberry, mango or the more adventurous varieties "Oreo biscuit", "Dango Cheesy Matcha" and "Tropical fruit tea with rainbow jelly" also suit the taste the predominantly young target group.

This can be reached with the brightly colored trendy drink mainly via social media, primarily via the Tiktok video portal. "One of our videos about making a six-liter bubble tea went viral and had an incredible 5.8 million viewers," says Jackie. Thanks to this clip, Tea Plus currently has around 95,100 followers on Tiktok, some of which have mutated into regular customers. And the Ichiban also has quite a respectable 11,500 fans.

The short clips also made customer Chiara Lapper aware of the fact that bubble tea is now conquering Vienna: "I only knew it from my former home in Singapore - but it tastes strikingly similar." (Nina Wessely, 7.5.2021)

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Tea Plus

The cousins ​​Jacky and Kimi opened their first branch in 2019. Today they offer variants from Bubble Milk Tea with strawberries, coconut and matcha to oreo biscuit bubble tea in the first district on Krugerstraße and in the sixth district on Stumpergasse in Vienna. They make the tapioca pearls in the tea themselves. The businessmen will soon be opening their early 20 branches in Millennium City and in Shopping City Süd. www.tea-plus.at

Tea amo

In the midst of the pandemic, the German bubble tea supplier Tee Amo from Stuttgart ventured into the Austrian market. The branch in Goldschmiedgasse in Vienna's first district is doing well. The offer ranges from fruit teas to Raffaelo Bobo shakes with pearls. There are also options here, from blueberry boba (the pearls in bubble tea) to "tapioca jelly". The next branch will soon open in Wien Mitte. www.teeamo-vienna.at

Ichiban

Within a very short time, the provider Ichiban has blossomed from a small insider tip for bubble tea and desserts in Ungargasse in the third district to a Tiktok star and operator of two further branches in Lugner City and, for a few days, also on Graben in the first district. The stylish carrying device with which the bubble tea dangles like a smart bag on the wrist certainly made a contribution to this. @ichibantea

La Chá

Making tea that makes you happy is the mission that Le Chá in the Schottenfeldgasse near Mariahilfer Straße and now also in the Danube Center has attached itself to the flag. Your "Next Level Boba", as bubble tea is also called, is created without artificial ingredients and with freshness as the main principle. The syrups are homemade, the tea is made from leaves and not from powder. www.le-cha.at