Something’s a ‘bubblin’ in Bangor
A brand new business, like no other in Bangor is well and truly settling itself into the Bangor way of life. Over the last month locals and students alike have been delving into the craze, which has swept over the whole of Asia and is now beginning its journey into North Wales: the bubble tea craze.
Bubble tea was born all the way back in the 1980s in Taiwan on a tiny tea stand and has now spread across the whole of Asia. It has even made it on to the menu of McDonalds’ restaurants in the likes of Germany and the USA, so really the UK is behind the times!
The Bubble Tea Family opened its doors in a grand opening earlier this month and has become the first café in North Wales to serve the mysterious Bubble tea. The owner, former Bangor business student Kala Krishnan, who has started the business along with her family, is here to solve the mystery and prove that bubble tea is more than just a ‘novel-tea’ with big ambitions for the future.
The big question is, what actually is bubble tea? I have sampled it in South Korea but always struggle to answer this when attempting to explain to my perplexed friends.
Bubble tea is a whole new tea experience as it takes your average favourite tea and adds a whole new twist to it, the bubble dimension. Bubble tea offers you the opportunity to make your dream tea. You can choose from a wide range of milk and fruit teas and then top it off by choosing your bubbles in the form of chewy tapioca pearls, fruit popping balls or refreshing jellies.
That explains your tagline ‘chew in a cup’! How hard is it create bubble tea and this intriguing chew?
The staff here at Bubble Tea Family have officially become science whizz kids, they have mastered the careful art of converting the raw form of tapioca into the chewy pearls that make up the tea. All the staff came to the job with no prior experience, so it has been great to see their new found passion for making bubble tea.
Cue, the look of cluelessness as I have to ask what actually is this tapioca malarkey you are putting in your drinks?
Tapioca is a starchy substance formed from the root of a cassava plant, it comes in a powdery ball form before it is transformed into glorious bubbles. They are certainly not your average supermarket purchase as they come all the way from the far off lands of South America.
Bubble tea seems a pretty unique product then, where did the idea for making it originally come from?
Being from Singapore, bubble tea is old news to us as it has been around for years but shockingly I hated it at first! That is the thing with bubble tea, you need to give it a few chances. I ended up loving it in the end and wanted to combine this with our passion for starting a business so saw this as the perfect venture.
For all those budding entrepreneurs out there how did you bring your idea to life?
We went all the way to the home of bubble tea, Taiwan, and took a 3 week course to submerge ourselves in the bubble tea making process to fully understand the product we were selling and to gain the all important passion you need when selling a product.
That sounds like great fun and explains your clear enthusiasm! How have you made your bubble tea even more unique?
As mentioned before, we give customers a range of bubble choices, which go beyond the traditional tapioca pearls and we have a huge range of flavours on our menu. Our staff have also become inventors! Every day they come up with new flavour combinations like the Bangor Bubble, a mixture of apple, passion fruit and kiwi.
You must have been nervous joining the busy café market in Bangor but how has bubble tea been received so far, in particular with students?
Everywhere you go there is competition but we have been overwhelmed by the number of customers we have had, and we love seeing people’s reactions when they first try bubble tea. We have had lots of students through the doors, as well as having B-enterprising on board, but we also get many locals, old and young, coming in to try. We even had the local MP Hywel Williams come to our grand opening!
As a fellow lover of bubble tea it is great to hear you have had a successful first month here in Bangor but what are your ambitions for the future of Bubble Tea Family?
We hope the café here in Bangor will be the start of a whole chain of Bubble Tea Family Cafés, with our next stop being Liverpool.
So watch this space for a Bubble Tea Family coming to town near you soon! Now one final question, it must be hard to choose as you have so many but what is your favourite flavour bubble tea?
That’s easy, Taro milk tea with tapioca bubbles, it’s the most traditional bubble tea!
Bubble Tea Family really have put the excitement back into tea! Every day they are adding new flavours so look out for some fiery creations in time for bonfire night. To find out what everyone has bubbling with excitement about head on down to 76 High Street where you will be greeted by the very friendly bubble team and join in with the weird and wonderful tea experience!