If you recently had your first bubble tea (congratulations and welcome to the club), you may have wondered why it’s sealed with a plastic cover. Isn’t the unique beverage supposed to be made fresh to order?
You’re not wrong. Going through the trouble of sealing up something that’s mere moments away from being slurped down might seem odd. Still, there’s a logical purpose for this increasingly common practice. It allows the person enjoying the drink to shake it up for maximum enjoyment. It also keeps your special bubble tea straw in place.
Why Is Bubble Tea Sealed?
When you shake bubble tea, it stirs up all the tiny pearls that have settled at the bottom of the cup and distributes them more evenly throughout the mixture. The result is a creamy, pleasantly sweet, thoroughly delightful treat that delivers a burst of tapioca flavor in every sip. That explains why bubble tea is popular.
What Are the Other Advantages of Sealing Bubble Tea?
For one thing, slapping an airtight cellophane cover on a freshly made beverage helps to preserve its flavor and consistency until you’re ready to drink it. Just like fountain drinks can go flat or become watered down in transit, bubble tea tends to lose some of its appeals when it sits uncovered for too long.
Secondly, it prevents spills. It’s bad enough to overturn a giant container full of liquid on your car’s console (or worse, in your lap) without factoring dozens of sticky, squishy lumps of tapioca into the cleanup equation. Take our word on this one.
Stabilizes the Straw
The plastic top on bubble tea allows a place for you to place your straw. The straw comes with a pointy end that can be stuck through the plastic and stabilized so you can drink without a mess.
Convenient For Stacking
One last, somewhat unexpected benefit of sealing is that it allows cups to be conveniently stacked. The ability to place containers on top of one another without worrying about leaks or loose lids is beneficial for bubble tea vendors that go through a lot of products in a short span.
How to Drink Sealed Bubble Tea
Believe it or not, there’s a “right” way and a “wrong” way to enjoy bubble tea that’s under wraps. If you simply peel off the cellophane seal and start chugging, you’re bound to have an underwhelming experience.
As mentioned, the best tapioca pearls for Bubble tea will have sunk to the bottom by the time you get around to drinking your boba. So, all you’ll get is mouthful after mouthful of milky tea until you reach the bottom of the cup. You’ll then have a mass of wet, gummy spheres to contend with, which can be a bit much all at once.
Instead, shake the container up and down vigorously for a few seconds before piercing the seal with a special boba straw (the café where you get your bubble tea should provide you with one). These extra-wide-mouthed straws are designed to make sucking up both tea and pearls a cinch.
Keep in mind that the pearls will eventually settle again, so you’ll need to give your drink another shake every so often to liven it back up. For this reason, you don’t want to remove the seal altogether.
By treating the seal as a helpful tool rather than an obstacle, you can protect the flavor and texture of your beverage. As a result, you can appreciate your bubble tea for the wonderfully complex concoction it is. Bottoms up!