Chinatown shamelessly mixes the old and the new. Traditions are often re-imagined by new waves of immigrants. Tea originated in China, and now "bubble tea" is the newest incarnation of this ancient drink. The defining element of bubble tea is tapioca, or, in East Asia, yam starch pellets which rest at the bottom of the cup and are called pearls. The drink originated in Taiwan as a variation of Taiwanese black tea with tapioca pearls, condensed milk, and honey.
Credits: Hosted by Amy Chin. Video by Judy Lieff. Edited by Jamie Yuenger. (1:44)