Fans of bubble tea consider their favorite beverage an everyday drink, but a local purveyor's seizing the opportunity provided by the Chinese New Year to expose more potential customers to the trendy tea.
Chill Bubble Tea, a Chicago-based company with four locations nationwide, is partnering with the Crow Collection of Asian Art to sponsor a variety of events this year. First up's the museum's Chinese New Year Celebration this Saturday, at which Chill will offer complimentary samples of green vanilla bean tea and conduct a "Bubble Tea 101" program.
A manager of the Dallas store says the vast majority of North Texans still aren't familiar with bubble tea, despite its surging popularity on both coasts.
"I would say 80 percent of people don't know about it," says the manager, who didn't want her name used.[jump]
The informal class at the Crow will focus on appreciating the flavors and textures of bubble tea -- typically a blend of milk, tea and chewy tapioca balls -- and understanding "just where it came from," the manager says.
Bubble, or boba, tea was invented in Taiwan in 1983. The fad traveled from the tiny tea shop where it originated to mainland China, Canada and, finally, California. There are now dozens of bubble tea shops in greater Dallas, with many of them concentrated in Asian neighborhoods.
"People are learning," Chill's manager says.