Bubble tea, a drink that originated in Taiwan and is today sold throughout China and parts of the American west coast, is a sweet milk tea beverage containing tapioca pearls. In China, it is usually sold in small street shops where tapioca pearls are mixed with ready-made milk tea in a plastic cup and served immediately, warm or cold.
Recently, bubble tea has become available in supermarkets. The brand Xiangpiaopiao offers prepackaged versions of the drink in five different flavors – green tea, black tea, chocolate, coffee and purple yam.
Xiangpiaopiao recently also introduced to the market a new version of the drink that leaves out tapioca in favor of nata de coco, a translucent jelly made from coconut water. To make it easier for consummers on the go to sip through a straw, the nata de coco is cut into thin strips. As nata de coco is high and dietary fiber and lower in fat and cholesterol than tapioca , this innovation might make the beverage more popular among young Chinese who are increasingly concerned with their health.