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Technology

Boba Milk Tea And Tamale Emojis Are Finally Arriving

Photo Courtesy of Emojipedia & Apple

There have been hundreds of afternoons where a quick pick-up of some refreshing honey milk tea with boba was desperately needed to fuel the occasional sleepy colleague and I. While an emoji wasn’t necessary to express our bubble tea cravings, it would have been more than welcome had it existed. 

Now it does.

Last Friday was World Emoji Day, and with it came the announcement of a new emoji update for Facebook, Google, and Apple scheduled to launch in the latter half of 2020. 

The new emojis revealed included a new ‘Bubble Tea‘ emoji and ‘Tamale‘ icon, reports Social Media Today

Hopefully, once this pandemic’s over and you’re trying to get some boba or tamales with friends, you’ll be able to express your excitement in emoji form. In the meantime, I’ll be working on a tamale boba truck concept. That sounds so fire right now. 

Categories
Cravings News Now Trending Opinion Sweets

The New York Times Just Discovered Boba, And They’re Getting Ravaged On Twitter

UPDATE: The New York Times apologized for their embarrassing boba gaffe, and pretty much changed most of the article. It no longer sounds like they think boba is finally “going mainstream,” instead focusing on the boba shop owners they interviewed.  The headline, now changed for a second time, reads “Bubble Tea Purveyors Continue to Grow Along With Drink’s Popularity.” The tone of the article now reads more like it’s trying to emphasize how boba is trying to be pushed “further into the mainstream.” That’s probably how they wanted the article to sound in the first place, but their latest version doesn’t exactly amount to page views quite like the previous version did. 

I keep reading this New York Times piece over and over, hoping that it’s labeled as satire, but they’re seriously trying to make it sound like they just discovered boba.

Surely we can’t expect everyone in the U.S. to know what boba is, but The Times put out a story Wednesday with a headline that read, “The Blobs in Your Tea? They’re Supposed to Be There,” and it was a bit ridiculous. You have to wonder why The New York Times would take an approach that makes it seem like boba is something new, like if there’s not a shop on every corner in the greater Los Angeles area.

They quickly saw the error in their ways and edited their headline, but it didn’t sound much better, as the second time around they claimed that boba is now, “mainstream.”

It’s baffling that the New York Times would approve such an angle for their story, with every paragraph sounding like they just discovered a new trend, especially when less than a year ago, they put out an article where the headline started with, “Bubble Tea? So 2002…”

It seems that The NY Times were at least somewhat aware that people have been sipping on those little tapioca balls for years, and even acknowledged that it was an old trend, yet they had the audacity to publish this garbage.

The internet was not amused, and as quickly as this story went up, it got torn down by Twitter users, especially within the Asian community, even creating a hashtag called #bobagate:

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It almost feels like we’re in the Twilight Zone, with the story incorporating quotes from the president of the Tea Association of the U.S.A., saying things like boba “hasn’t hit anybody’s radar in terms of the next big trend,” and “Innovation is important to any product category.”

What? Boba hasn’t hit anybody’s radar? There are close to a million Instagram posts involving boba! Granted, some of them involve Star Wars character Boba Fett, but I think it’s safe to say that boba is on quite a few people’s radars.

It’s a bit of a shame that this article went up the way it did, because there was actually some boba history attached, along with some pretty kick-ass photos of the popular beverage, but it all gets lost behind the terrible, out-of-touch premise that this boba thing might catch on some day.

Even if you want to argue that they were trying to cater to an audience that might not be too keen on the boba concept, at the very least hammer home that it is a popular trend that’s been around and didn’t suddenly turn “mainstream.”

Hey, New York Times, I know what it’s like to try to grab the reader’s attention with a headline. In the age of digital media, you absolutely have to have an element of clickbait, but at least be accurate with it.

Much love to your experienced food writers who are trying to keep journalism alive, but in this specific instance, you played yourself.

 

Featured photo by @Foodwithmichel

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#foodbeast Culture Drinks FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss

Why Does Boba Tea Receive Such Negative Criticism While Starbucks Drinks Get Praised?

Depending on where in the world you live, you call the drink either boba or bubble tea. Whatever you call it, there seems to be a living trend of news articles that creates a negative outlook on boba (lets just call it boba, I’m west coast) as a major health risk.

In an article by VICE’s Celeste Yim, she addresses White America’s demonization of boba as a drink you could definitely do without. In her piece, she continues to explain America’s rising health trend and vilification of all things unhealthy.

In truth, we all know that boba is by no means a healthy drink, but that isn’t the issue. The problem is the overall tone of how it is portrayed in media. In some cases it has less sugar and caloric levels than your favorite Starbucks Frappuccino, yet there are hardly any articles about how you shouldn’t be going to Starbucks anymore.  Do a quick Google search on their “Unicorn Frappuccino” and I will bet all the boba stamp cards that I’ve been racking up, that you will see a headline that reads along the lines of “This is the Cutest, Most IG Worthy Drink Ever” rather than “There’s a Shit Ton of Sugar in this Drink.” The bottom line is that we, as contemporary American media praise Starbucks and similar companies for serving us “sugar water” that look great on camera, but crucify “sugar tea” popularized by an Asian population.

When you compare a cup of Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino and a milk tea with boba both at 16 oz. (grande) you’ll find that the standard frap contains 420 calories with 66 grams of sugar, while the tea is just 212 calories with 42 grams of sugar, plus another 200-250 calories with boba added.

The main issue is this: The same people that glorify the sugar cult of America’s leading thirst quenchers are the first critics of boba’s insurgency.  Praising the grandeur of “Freakshakes” while denouncing a simple honey milk tea with boba is where their arguments fall apart.  The hypocrisy is ridiculous.

These demonizing articles that Yim sources have gained enough headway that even the popular NY/SF boba chain, The Boba Guys addressed “the rumors about their balls,” citing comparisons between popular cafes and juicers.  They react with similar acclimations—that their drinks are no worse than the leading American joints.  Let me repeat that: they are NOT worse.  In fact, according to Harvard Medical School, drinking tea has been linked to certain health benefits such as being an anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants.

So the next time you decide to quench your midday thirst this summer, consider your options a little better.  Remember the sugar content of your drinks can always be adjusted to your liking, and you can substitute the tapioca pearls for pudding, grass jelly, or chia seeds (because they are less caloric).

And don’t forget that free stamp card.  It’s crucial for free boba.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss Video

Watch Irish Folks Try Boba For The First Time

Bubble tea, also known as boba, comes in so many flavors and combinations that it may take a lifetime to try them all. In fact, fellow Foodbeast Molly, has an entire Instagram account dedicated to trying as many flavors of the bubble drink as she can.

In the latest Facts video, a group of Irish youths try various incarnations of the beloved drink. These feature either the staple black tapioca pearls or bursting pearls. This includes the original Honey Milk Tea, Pomegranate, blueberry, matcha, and mint.

While this is a typical Milk Tea Monday for our Orange County-based office, it’s fascinating to see other cultures experience something so common that we take it for granted here in California.

Check out their reactions to the popular Asian beverage in the video above.

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#foodbeast

Inappropriate Bubble Tea is Inappropriate

boba-balls

Picthx reddit

Categories
Fast Food

McDonald’s Hong Kong Offers New Black & White Burgers + Matching Bubble Tea

mcdonalds-hong-kong-black-white-burger

McDonald’s Hong Kong is suiting up with limited time “Black and White Burgers.”

The Black Burger features a bun fashioned from black squid ink with white sesame seeds, two beef patties, mashed potatoes, lettuce, bacon and truffle sauce. While the thought of truffle sauce on a Mickey D’s burger may be surprising, don’t let this faux-bougie business fool you. The truffle sauce is most likely made from truffle oil (a synthetic product) meant to merely mimic the aroma of actual truffles.

The White Burger is less exciting, consisting of a white bun topped with sesame seeds with a crispy chicken patty, mashed potatoes, lettuce, bacon and pepper mushroom sauce.

Although, the concept of this monochromatic promotion isn’t new. McDonald’s black and white burgers first debuted in China where they were sold in sets of two mini-burgers. However, Hong Kong’s versions are full-sized, can be bought separately and feature a layer of mashed potatoes in both burgers.

Both the black and white burgers will run you at about $17.60 HK ($2.27 US) each. The Black Burger touts the tagline, “Dare to be dark,” while the White Burger boasts, “Dare to be plain.” Clever, guys.

mcdonalds-hong-kong-milk-tea The fast food chain also offers new Black and White Caramel Sundaes and Black and White Bubble Tea containing black and white tapioca balls. Ah, color-coordinated meals — the next big foodie trend after this whole kale nonsense is over.

H/T + PicThx Brand Eating

Categories
Health

Study Reveals Boba Tapioca Balls May Cause Cancer

Or: How to Give a High School/College/Any Kid a Heart Attack in Eight Words or Less.

Sad, but true: German scientists may have just effectively killed another Asian-borrowed college student eating staple (the first being ramen), with a new study revealing the “presence of PCB-like substances” (said to strongly increase one’s risk for cancer), in a sample of tapioca boba balls.

The samples in question came from one milk tea shop from an unnamed nationwide German chain, whose spokesperson claimed to receive their tapioca balls from a mass producer in Taiwan. Thus far, it is unclear whether the PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) can be traced to any specific batch from the distributor or even what the level of toxicity was, though the scare has been enough to prompt at least one environmental spokesman to call for regular PCB testing in stores.

According to the New York Daily News, this tragic news comes to us now as Europe, which has stronger food safety restrictions than we do, has just started to catch onto the tapioca milk tea trend–researchers there perhaps bringing to light information which here might have until now been deemed negligible or inconsequential, at least according to our own FDA.

Not that this news is likely to change things stateside. Thus far, there have been no reported boba-related accidents (bobaccidents?) due the presence of PCBs and until one arises (or someone invents a satisfactory boba substitute), I for one will continue to enjoy my chewy-laden Taiwanese milk tea in ignorant bliss.

Boba on?