I joined other recent hires for an evening out that ended up at a bubble tea shop. I ordered taro bubble tea with tapioca. Someone asked me what taro was, and I paused as I tried to describe it to people who had never had taro before.

For me, taro bubble tea is wrapped up in all sorts of memories: standing in long lines to bubble tea shops as the craze swept through Manila, finding out that one of my university teachers was in a car accident because he jaywalked to buy a cup of bubble tea, going to Quickly with my sister and poking the thick straw through the taut plastic that was just added by their special cup-sealing machines, rolling my tongue around the spongy tapioca that took me back even further to innumerable glasses of sago’t gulaman quenching childhood thirsts.

I remember copying my sister after she ordered taro with large tapioca pearls. Years later, it’s still the flavour I return to.

“Taro?” I said. “They’re roots.”

  • Rick Innis

    My wife describes it (and I agree) as tasting kinda like an Oreo cookie. I like your description too!

  • I liked this. The way it was told created beautiful pictures of moments in time and the connection at the end gave a feeling of warmth and personality to an everyday object, flavour, or word.

    Well done.

  • Rick, I would never have thought about that, but now that you mention it… I’ll just have to have another cup of bubble tea to check!

    Richard, thanks for reading!

  • Now you’ve got me thinking about a Taro milk tea from the popular EasyWay Tea franchine here in Sydney! Taro milk tea is definitely my favourite.