bubble tea
n. A frothy mixture of iced tea, milk, and fruit juice, served over tapioca balls.
Called bubble tea, this strange, yet tasty, Taiwanese beverage has proved an enduring craze among Asian teens in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver.
—Lean McLaren, “Zeitgeist: Hips sips,” The Globe and Mail (Canada), November 27, 1999
But the most exotic drink of all is a Taiwanese import called bubble tea.

Essentially, it's flavoured tea spiked with little balls (bubbles) of tapioca. Some like it hot, but most bubble tea afficionados drink it cold.
—John Mackie, “No tiny bubbles in this Taiwan tea,” The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia), November 28, 1998
1993 (earliest)
Bubble tea is hot tea cooled with ice and shakened like cocktails to create a foam. It is made up of novel blends like Whisky Red Tea, Honey Peppermint and Yam Shake.
—“Another draw is the foamed tea,” The Straits Times, September 24, 1993
Filed Under