Friday, June 25

The End of Starbucks

Three cups of bubble tea
It has come to my attention that some of our readership is unaware of the existence of
Bubble Tea
, a.k.a. Pearl Tea. Invented in Taiwan twenty-odd years ago, Bubble Tea is a catch-all term for a tea-based drink, often fruit flavored, invariably sweetened, with some lumps (the bubble part) thrown in, sipped through a large diameter straw. The lumps are made of tapioca, or taro, or even seaweed jelly. The drink can be hot or cold, may not contain tea at all (you can get coffee), and the lumps are actually optional. As with most fads, of course, some people are quite devoted to this drink.

Being the custard pao1 that I am, I'm quite fond of the stuff. For our ang mo2 readers who are willing to try it, here's a list of locations. One popular Bay Area spot I can recommend is the Fantasia Cafe in Cupertino Village on Wolfe Road.

Starbucks hasn't yet figured-out that over 10% of California's population is East Asian. Fifteen years from now, when Fantasia buys Starbucks, remember you heard it here first.

[1] "Custard pao": private family idiom (pao=bun), a.k.a. hard-boiled egg; the opposite of banana.

[2] "Ang mo gwee": Hokkien (Chinese dialect) idiom for Caucasian; literally "Red-haired devil".

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