How to choose the right bubble tea supplier?
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Bubble tea, also known as milk tea, is a Taiwanese drink that first became popular in the 1980s. It consists of tea, milk, and tropical pearls. Some variants consist of fruits as well. However, throughout the 1980s, it remained native to Taiwan only. It was only in the 1990s that it became famous in Japan and Hong Kong. From then on, it gained international popularity, especially in North America.
There is a national bubble tea day held every April 13. This was first celebrated in 2018. Bubble tea consumption these days is almost equivalent to coffee, soda, and other beverages worldwide.
How many types of bubble tea formats?
Globally, bubble teas are sold in many different formats and variants. However, there are a handful of variants that have become widely popular all over the world. We will cover them below.
1. Milk tea:
Bubble Milk tea is the classic combination of milk with bubble tea. It is one of the oldest variants of bubble tea.
2. Fruit tea:
In this bubble tea variant, milk or milk powder are usually replaced by fruits concentrate or fresh fruits. So, the overall taste of bubble tea is enhanced and also quite differently.
Of course, the fruits can vary. You can opt for mango concentrate, strawberry concentrate, and so on. Therefore, under this variant, the options available are quite a lot, and the looks of the fruit tea are very colorful and attractive.
3. Bubble smoothies:
Usually, bubble smoothies are much colder, and dairy-based can also be based on f
ruit-based blends. The smoothies' excellent taste is why they have become so famous. It can be the tropical pearls at the bottom & fruit smoothies at the topping or milk bubble tea bottom with fruit smoothies topping.
4. Salted cream:
Most bubble tea variants are sweet. However, if you're looking for a salty variant, y
ou can choose this one. On top, this one consists of savory foam. Usually, the ingredients of the foam include cream cheese, Himalayan salt, or sea salt. The salt is what makes the entire drink taste a bit salty.
5. Taro Milk tea:
The generic name of Taro milk tea is purple bubble tea because of its distinct color. That is because it uses the Taro root crop. The taste of this root crop is very similar to that of sweet potato. It adds earthiness as well as nuttiness to the drink. Also, the flavor of Taro milk tea is similar to cookies and cream. The problem is this bubble tea variant is not available widely.
6.Other unique mixed forms of bubble teas/fruit teas are also available.
There is no shortage of innovation in bubble tea; Normally there is a new type of bubble/fruit tea will be innovated everymonth.
What is normally a bubble tea shop menu?
The usual items in a bubble tea shop menu includes:
Fruit tea(sometimes Fruit Yogurt tea)
Matcha bubble tea
Blended ice bubble tea
Ice-cream / dessert
Under each of these categories, there are quite a few options available. However, when you visit a bubble tea store, these are the usual categories from which you have to choose.
What a bubble tea ingredients include?
We will now highlight the most common ingredients of bubble tea. Not only that, we will highlight the significance of those ingredients.
Tea, of course, is the soul of any bubble tea variant. It is what provides the refreshing taste to do any variants. The quality of tea used in making the beverage matters a lot. In early stage of Bubble tea, it did not add any tea liquid inside the bubble tea, only milk powder with tropical pearls. Then Bubble tea upgraded with adding tea liquid inside, which made the whole taste of bubble became thicker, silkier and more complex.
2. Milk/milk powder
Usually, fresh milk is used to make bubble tea. However, if you're looking for an easy solution or want to use supplies that are not that perishable, you can also use milk powder.
Both milk & milk powder have its unique advantage usage in bubble tea. If use fresh milk or pure milk, it has more healthier benefits than milk powder; but milk powder can provide thicker & more flavor taste than fresh milk. So normally bubble tea shop would choose the one suitable for their products strategy or mix them both in using in their bubble tea.
3. Different taste syrups
When the flavor needs to be added to the bubble tea, the stores often do not use fresh ingredients. For example, syrups like passion fruit, strawberry, or chocolate are used.
Usually, it is added to bubble tea when you need a distinct taste or a special aftertaste.
Normally below syrups available.
Pure fruit syrup(fructose)
Pure sugar can syrup(sucrose)
Pure rock sugar syrup
Different fruit flavors syrups
4. Tropical pearls
Tropical pearls are the most recognizable ingredient of bubble tea. These are made from Tapioca which is nothing but a starch derived from cassava root.
Normally below forms of tropical pearls are available with normal size from 0.5-1.2cm diameter ball size
Black tropical pearl (no flavors)
Brown tropical pearl
Black sugar tropical pearl (black sugar flavor & taste)
Fast-cooking tropical pearl
Sakura tropical pearl(with pink color and light sakura taste)
5. Other toppings
Some other toppings used in bubble teas worldwide include coconut, chia seeds, leafy greens, pineapple, peanut butter, honeydew, and so on.
6. Different jams/fresh fruit
Fresh fruits are certainly one of the most popular additions to bubble tea. Almost any type of fresh fruit can easily be added on top.
Wherever fresh fruits are not available, jams can be added as well. Jams have a longer shelf life; therefore, many stores prefer adding jams rather than fresh fruits.
How to choose a bubble tea supplier?
The bubble tea's taste depends mainly on the quality of the tea used and syrups. Instead of going with trading companies to get the best quality tea, it is a good idea to choose a tea factory directly. There are a few reasons for selecting the tea factory:
Simply put, a tea factory can supply you with good quality tea at affordable prices. That is because the tea factory directly manufactures or produces and supplies those teas to the clients. There are no other middlemen involved.
Before packaging the tea, the factories extensively test the quality and taste of the tea. Those tea factories mainly produces tea for bubble tea shops/chains, always have their own R&D department.
This R&D department normally includes two sectors; One sector is the tea-research & testimonials, which needs to test the tea quality & blend first; Only after those teas are qualified with required thickness, astringency & bitterness, then the tea-research sector will pass the teas to bartender; The bartender will follow tea-researcher’s guidelines on brewing & water temperature to innovate new trends’ beverage.
After above these, tea factories will launch new drinks every month or quarter. The their customers can buy their teas directly and launch new trend drinks easily. So customers will never experience substandard quality when choosing a tea factory. In turn, your customers will be satisfied as well.
New variants are launched regularly:
The bubble tea industry is changing at a rapid pace. Every quarter, you will notice new flavors and variants of new style of bubble teas. For traditional trading companies, it isn't easy to follow such trends rapidly. Then bubble tea shops will lose some of their customers who always like to try new things. However, for the tea factories, it is easy to launch new flavors every month. That is why, when directly dealing with a factory, you will have the option of bubble tea flavors every month. That way, you can consistently offer something unique to your customers.
Customized blends available:
Some stores offer stronger bubble tea, whereas others like the subtle flavor. This customization level is impossible when you're sourcing bubble tea from trading companies. However, the tea factories will be able to help you with customized variants of bubble tea gladly based on your syrups and milk/milk powder.
The factories have stringent quality checks. Because of the same, you will always get consistent quality every time you buy bubble tea from a tea factory.
Normally for bubble tea shops/chains stores, first they will choose the right teas, then they will choose the right syrups & milk/milk powder to opt for their teas to enhance the total beverage’s taste.
Then after these, they will choose the toppings.
However, if you have above 2-3 bubble tea shops or many bubble store chains, it is better to buy everything directly from factories, such as tea, syrups, mil powder, toppings. But if you only have one bubble tea shop, at the beginning, probably it is better to buy directly from local trading company to save cost from international shipping, etc. However if you focus on quality first, even if you have one bubble tea shop, probably it is also better to source from factories. It all depends on your strategy & requirement.
Hope these above information is helpful for you to choose right bubble tea supplier when you plan to open bubble tea shops or change your suppliers.