2021 State of the Industry Tea’s versatility, healthfulness appeals to the masses 2021 tea articles 2021

In Beverage Industry ’s June eMagazine, New York-based Nielsen reported $70 billion in tea sales for the 52 weeks ending April 17, an 11.3% year-over-year increase. Among the sub-segments, liquid tea notched $3.4 billion in dollar sales ; RTD tea saw sales of $142 million ; and kombucha, $597 million .
Canned and bottled teas, the largest subcategory, generated year-over-year dollar sales of $4.1 billion, representing a 5.8% increase, IRI reports. Other subcategories with strong growth were refrigerated teas with sales of $1.8 billion and tea bags/loose-leaf teas saw sales of $1.3 billion .
In June, Bigelow Tea, Fairfield, Conn., added two new Bigelow plus Vitamin C bagged teas to its portfolio. Available in 18-count multipacks: Bigelow Green Tea with Elderberry Plus Vitamin C, is a smooth green tea with a slightly tart berry flavor and a smoky finish, and Bigelow Lemon Echinacea Black Tea Plus Vitamin C, is a robust black tea with tart lemon and earthy Echinacea.

The pandemic and the shuttering of cafés and restaurants, however, has impacted on-premise tea sales. “The consumption of foodservice tea in the U.S. has experienced a downfall of approximately 40% in 2020,” Mamtani explained.
Each 15.5-ounce slim can contains real brewed yerba mate, which provides the same amount of caffeine as an 8-ounce cup of coffee, 13 grams of sugar, 1% juice and 60 calories. Honest Yerba Mate is available at select grocery retailers nationwide including Publix, Fresh Direct, Hannaford, Dave’s and Whole Foods Market.
In fact, tea is the second most preferred beverage in the world after water and is found in more than 80% of households, noted Kritika Mamtani, senior research analyst for chemical, materials and food at Global Market Insights, Selbyville, Del., in Beverage Industry ’s June eMagazine.
2021 State of the Industry Tea’s versatility, healthfulness appeals to the masses 2021 tea articles 2021
2021 State of the Industry Tea’s versatility, healthfulness appeals to the masses 2021 tea articles 2021
“Rising consumer awareness regarding the health benefits of tea along with the availability of variety of flavors has increased the sales of hot tea more than 15% in the past five years,” she said. Between 2017 and 2019, wholesale tea sales in the United States generated incremental growth of $12.5 billion, $12.66 billion and $12.67 billion, respectively, she added.
In the June eMagazine, Global Market Insights’ Mamtani suggested tea manufacturers focus on developing innovative tea products to attract new and existing consumers in the market. “The demand for tea is driven by major factors such as convenience, variety, easy availability, health benefits, and introduction of unique flavored and high-end specialty tea,” she explained. “Tea manufacturers should consider the above-mentioned factors to maintain sales and attract customers in the market over the forecast period.”
Design, CMS, Hosting & Web Development :: ePublishing
Sponsored Content is a special paid section where industry companies provide high quality, objective, non-commercial content around topics of interest to the Beverage Industry audience. All Sponsored Content is supplied by the advertising company. Interested in participating in our Sponsored Content section? Contact your local rep .
Although black tea remains the No. 1 tea varietal, with about 85% of U.S. imports in 2019, green tea is surging in popularity because of its “good for the body and mind” health halo. Green teas are the least oxidized when processed, contain less caffeine, have the most flavonoids — plant-based antioxidants — which could improve fat burning, brain function and help prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, experts noted in the June eMagazine.
Barbara Harfmann, managing editor of Beverage Industry , visits beverage companies for cover stories and facility tours, and writes and edits for the magazine’s print and online components. tea articles 2021 She also represents the magazine at trade shows and events. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications and Public Relations from Illinois State University.
In multi-outlets and convenience stores, the RTD tea/coffee category grew 10.2% for the 52 weeks ending May 16, according to data from Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. . This equates to $7.5 billion in sales.
Yet, there’s no shortage of new product development in the flavorful, functional tea market. Designed for consumers who crave iced tea, Lipton, through the Pepsi Lipton Partnership with PepsiCo and Unilever, introduced caffeine-free, RTD Lipton Herbal Teas in Strawberry & Mint and Orange Blossom flavors. The 16.9-ounce bottles are packaged in 12-packs and are available at major retailers including Walmart, Target, Publix, Food Lion, Giant Eagle and Meijer for a suggested retail price of $5.99.
Indigenous to South America, yerba mate is derived from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the holly tree, Ilex paraguariensis . Looking to capitalize on the use of its USDA certified organic yerba mate and Fair Trade Certified ingredients sourced from Brazil, Honest Tea, a brand of The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, launched Honest Yerba Mate in three organic flavors: Strawberry Pomegranate Matcha, Peach Mango Green Tea and Lemon Ginger Black Tea.
Roger Dilworth, senior analyst at New York-based Beverage Marketing Corporation , suggested that matcha could continue to grow, but likely will not evolve beyond a niche segment. “There could be a mild upturn in tea due to yerba mate,” he noted.
“The United States faced the largest drop in tea consumption of any Euromonitor-researched market in 2020,” Matthew Barry of Chicago-based Euromonitor International wrote in a July 15, 2020, blog post. “Sales of bagged and loose tea are expected to fall 13% and ready-to-drink formats are projected to fall 11%. This is a sharp reversal of the recent past, in which tea growth was modest but consistently positive.”
search Search search close search cart facebook twitter linkedin youtube Beverage Industry logo eMAGAZINE eMagazine Contact Advertise Contact Us Subscribe Newsletter NEWS Top 100 Beverage Companies State of the Beverage Industry Soft Drink Report CATEGORY FOCUS Carbonated Soft Drinks Bottled Water Juice & Juice Drinks Sports Drinks Tea and Coffee Energy Drinks & Shots Alternative Drinks Beer Beer Market Report Craft Beer Report Wine & Spirits Cannabis Beverages Plant-Based Beverages R&D Beverage R&D Features Ingredient Spotlight Beverage R&D News PACKAGING Packaging Material Packaging Equipment New Packages The Packaging School OPERATIONS Plant Focus Distribution Fleet Graphics Award Supplier News PRODUCTS New Products Product Poll New Product Submission Form DIRECTORIES Annual Manual eBook Take a Tour Contract Packaging Guide MORE White Papers Market Insights Market Research Store Classifieds Events Polls The Beverage Forum BevOps Fleet Summit Sponsor Insights MEDIA Videos Image Galleries Podcast Interactive Product Spotlights Webinars Sign In Create Account Sign Out My Account Home » 2021 State of the Industry: Tea’s versatility, healthfulness appeals to the masses Tea and Coffee 2021 State of the Industry: Tea’s versatility, healthfulness appeals to the masses Four in five consumers drinking tea, Tea Association says In June, Bigelow added to its portfolio of bagged teas featuring 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, giving consumer a simple and delicious way to help the body’s defenses. July 1, 2021 Barbara Harfmann KEYWORDS Bagged tea / health and wellness / herbal teas / Ready-to-Drink Tea Order Reprints No Comments On any given day, more than 159 million Americans are consuming and enjoying refreshing, flavorful, functional tea. In fact, four in five of consumers drink tea, further cementing its status as a go-to beverage for the masses, states the Tea Association of the USA, New York. Because of its popularity and healthy attributes, the tea and ready-to-drink tea category is hitting all the right notes as it offers a multitude of options for every style and taste, including bagged, bottled, loose-leaf, hot, iced and cold brew.
From a much smaller base, kombucha post-fermented teas didn’t fare as well with a 25.8% deceleration , while single-cup tea posted sales of nearly $77 million, a 7.7% decline. However, some brands continued to shine bright, including Better Booch with triple-digit growth of 183.3% and Celestial Seasonings, which posted growth of 63.3% and sales of $5 million.
In addition to RTD teas brewed with yerba mate, other tea styles include herbal, fruit, white, chai, oolong, rooibos and kombucha, along with hard tea varietals. According to “The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: A Guide to the World’s Best Teas,” there are more than 20,000 different teas in the world.
Within the $1.5 billion packaged tea segment that experienced 7.9% growth, black teas were No. 1 with $639 million in dollar sales and a 2. do green tea helps in weight loss 8

What Is Milk Tea Benefits, milk tea article Uses, & Recipes

The addition of milk to tea results in a less astringent , less bitter flavor. This is because milk binds to some of the bitter chemical compounds found in tea while covering up some of the flavors of the tea. Some teas, such as strong black tea and Assam teas from India, are almost always served with milk to reduce the bitterness. Assam milk tea also makes a regular appearance as a British afternoon tea.
When it comes to milk tea recipes, some use quite a bit of milk. For instance, homemade masala chai requires equal parts of milk and water.​
There are many variations of milk tea, both hot and cold. Several types include a variety of spices as well as sugar.
button button The Spruce Eats What Is Milk Tea? Search Clear Recipe Page Search Pin Share Email View Saved Recipes button Search Clear Search Recipes by Course Breakfast & Brunch Lunch Appetizers & Snacks Dinner Desserts Side Dishes Breads See all Drinks & Cocktails Cocktail Recipes Shots & Shooters All About Beer All About Wine Teas Coffee Smoothies & Juices See all By Region American Food Asian Food European Food Latin American Food Middle Eastern Food African Food Australian Food See all Popular Ingredients Chicken Recipes Beef Recipes Pork Recipes Fish & Seafood Fruit & Veggie Recipes Cheese Recipes See all Occasions Back to School Snack Time Camping Fall Recipes We Want Candy Seasonal Produce See all How-Tos Learning How to Cook Cooking Techniques & Tips Cooking Equipment Knife Skills Ingredients What to Buy See all What to Buy Cookbooks Glassware & Drinkware Gifts Food Storage & Organization See all About Us Editorial Guidelines Anti-Racism Pledge Newsletter Contact Us Follow us: Instagram Pinterest Facebook YouTube Culinary Glossary Teas American Food What Is Milk Tea? Uses, Storage & Recipes By Lindsey Goodwin Lindsey Goodwin Instagram Twitter Website Lindsey Goodwin is a food writer and tea consultant with more than 12 years of experience exploring tea production and culture. Learn about The Spruce Eats’ Editorial Process Updated on 07/19/21 The Spruce
Premade milk tea can be purchased online or in specialty Asian markets. Look for “royal milk tea” which is sold either in cans or in packets as an “instant” form made with powdered milk. Black milk tea powder is also available and is the same type of ingredient that is used in bubble tea shops. Powders and cans can be stored in the pantry.
However, some of the tea’s bitter compounds are very beneficial to health, so if you’re drinking tea for health reasons, tea without milk is a better choice.
There are many regions in the world where milk tea is the default type of tea . This is most apparent in certain parts of India where tea usually refers to milk tea. Tea without milk is ordered as “black tea” or simply “tea without.” Milk tea is also commonly consumed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Sri Lanka, and Hong Kong.
Milk tea goes beyond simply adding a splash of milk to a cup of tea. There are many milk tea recipes found around the world, particularly Asia.
Black tea is also one of the healthiest types of tea you can drink. It contains antioxidants that support overall health and help lower the risk of chronic disease. It also has polyphenols and antimicrobial properties that are beneficial to the digestive system; milk tea article polyphenols may also help fight cancer cells. Black tea has also been shown to reduce stress and increase energy.

Milk tea, quite simply, is tea with milk added. This creates a smoother flavor and slightly sweetens the tea. It is a popular way to serve tea in many parts of the world, and it is an easy way to change up your average cup of tea.​
The amount of caffeine in milk tea is dependent on the type of tea used in the drink, which often is a type of black tea. Per 8-ounce cup, chai tea ranges from 60 to 120 milligrams of caffeine, while Assam black tea comes in at 80 milligrams and Darjeeling tea at 50 milligrams. It is safe to assume, though, that adding milk to a cup of tea means that the amount of actual tea consumed is less, thus lowering caffeine intake.
The term “milk tea” refers to any tea drink with milk added. It can be as simple as a splash of milk in a hot cup of tea, or it can be a complex recipe including various ingredients, like the popular bubble tea. Adding milk mellows and smooths out the flavors of tea, particularly some of the bitter notes found in black tea. Milk tea is enjoyed throughout the world as both a hot and cold beverage.
There are really no set guidelines or suggestions about how much milk to add to any particular tea. Most tea should not require a lot of milk, but it depends more than anything on personal taste and the type of tea brewed. In general, begin with a splash or a tablespoon of milk. Stir and taste the tea; if needed, add more until it is to the desired taste.
Milk has several health benefits as it contains nine essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, protein, vitamin B12, and potassium. Because it is packed with vitamins and minerals, only a small amount of milk is necessary to reap the benefits.
What Is Milk Tea Benefits, milk tea article Uses, & RecipesWhat Is Milk Tea Benefits, milk tea article Uses, & Recipes
But milk tea is also a term for hot and cold drink recipes that combine tea with a form of milk as well as a variety of spices. Certain countries have their own traditional versions of these recipes, which have gained popularity in America.
Many milk teas work well with a dairy substitute such as soy, almond, or rice milk. Coconut milk is not as versatile, but when combined with the right tea, it makes for a tasty beverage. tea tree oil scholarly articles

What Is Milk Tea Benefits, Uses, milk tea articles & Recipes

There are many variations of milk tea, both hot and cold. Several types include a variety of spices as well as sugar.
The addition of milk to tea results in a less astringent , less bitter flavor. This is because milk binds to some of the bitter chemical compounds found in tea while covering up some of the flavors of the tea. Some teas, such as strong black tea and Assam teas from India, are almost always served with milk to reduce the bitterness. Assam milk tea also makes a regular appearance as a British afternoon tea.
Milk has several health benefits as it contains nine essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, protein, vitamin B12, and potassium. Because it is packed with vitamins and minerals, only a small amount of milk is necessary to reap the benefits.
There are really no set guidelines or suggestions about how much milk to add to any particular tea. Most tea should not require a lot of milk, but it depends more than anything on personal taste and the type of tea brewed. In general, begin with a splash or a tablespoon of milk. Stir and taste the tea; if needed, add more until it is to the desired taste.
What Is Milk Tea Benefits, Uses, milk tea articles & RecipesWhat Is Milk Tea Benefits, Uses, milk tea articles & Recipes
Although milk tea can be made with a few different varieties of tea, black tea is one of the most common.
Milk tea goes beyond simply adding a splash of milk to a cup of tea. There are many milk tea recipes found around the world, particularly Asia.
When it comes to milk tea recipes, some use quite a bit of milk. For instance, homemade masala chai requires equal parts of milk and water.​
But milk tea is also a term for hot and cold drink recipes that combine tea with a form of milk as well as a variety of spices. Certain countries have their own traditional versions of these recipes, which have gained popularity in America.
The amount of caffeine in milk tea is dependent on the type of tea used in the drink, which often is a type of black tea. Per 8-ounce cup, chai tea ranges from 60 to 120 milligrams of caffeine, while Assam black tea comes in at 80 milligrams and Darjeeling tea at 50 milligrams. It is safe to assume, though, that adding milk to a cup of tea means that the amount of actual tea consumed is less, thus lowering caffeine intake.
However, some of the tea’s bitter compounds are very beneficial to health, so if you’re drinking tea for health reasons, tea without milk is a better choice. milk tea articles
The term “milk tea” refers to any tea drink with milk added. It can be as simple as a splash of milk in a hot cup of tea, or it can be a complex recipe including various ingredients, like the popular bubble tea. Adding milk mellows and smooths out the flavors of tea, particularly some of the bitter notes found in black tea. Milk tea is enjoyed throughout the world as both a hot and cold beverage.
button button The Spruce Eats What Is Milk Tea? Search Clear Recipe Page Search Pin Share Email View Saved Recipes button Search Clear Search Recipes by Course Breakfast & Brunch Lunch Appetizers & Snacks Dinner Desserts Side Dishes Breads See all Drinks & Cocktails Cocktail Recipes Shots & Shooters All About Beer All About Wine Teas Coffee Smoothies & Juices See all By Region American Food Asian Food European Food Latin American Food Middle Eastern Food African Food Australian Food See all Popular Ingredients Chicken Recipes Beef Recipes Pork Recipes Fish & Seafood Fruit & Veggie Recipes Cheese Recipes See all Occasions Back to School Snack Time Camping Fall Recipes We Want Candy Seasonal Produce See all How-Tos Learning How to Cook Cooking Techniques & Tips Cooking Equipment Knife Skills Ingredients What to Buy See all What to Buy Cookbooks Glassware & Drinkware Gifts Food Storage & Organization See all About Us Editorial Guidelines Anti-Racism Pledge Newsletter Contact Us Follow us: Instagram Pinterest Facebook YouTube Culinary Glossary Teas American Food What Is Milk Tea? Uses, Storage & Recipes By Lindsey Goodwin Lindsey Goodwin Instagram Twitter Website Lindsey Goodwin is a food writer and tea consultant with more than 12 years of experience exploring tea production and culture. Learn about The Spruce Eats’ Editorial Process Updated on 07/19/21 The Spruce
Premade milk tea can be purchased online or in specialty Asian markets. Look for “royal milk tea” which is sold either in cans or in packets as an “instant” form made with powdered milk. Black milk tea powder is also available and is the same type of ingredient that is used in bubble tea shops. Powders and cans can be stored in the pantry.
Black tea is also one of the healthiest types of tea you can drink. It contains antioxidants that support overall health and help lower the risk of chronic disease. It also has polyphenols and antimicrobial properties that are beneficial to the digestive system; polyphenols may also help fight cancer cells. Black tea has also been shown to reduce stress and increase energy.
Milk tea, quite simply, is tea with milk added. This creates a smoother flavor and slightly sweetens the tea. It is a popular way to serve tea in many parts of the world, and it is an easy way to change up your average cup of tea.​
There are many regions in the world where milk tea is the default type of tea . This is most apparent in certain parts of India where tea usually refers to milk tea. Tea without milk is ordered as “black tea” or simply “tea without.” Milk tea is also commonly consumed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Sri Lanka, and Hong Kong.
Many milk teas work well with a dairy substitute such as soy, almond, or rice milk. Coconut milk is not as versatile, tea articles 2020

How Bubble Tea Became a Complicated Symbol of Asian boba tea article

What was happening, says Wei, was that there was a generation of young Asian Americans — originally primarily Taiwanese Americans, but inclusive of Chinese, East Asian, and other members of the Asian diaspora in the Valley near Los Angeles — who grew up hanging out every day in boba shops, where they studied, gossiped with friends, and went on first dates, all over the cold, milky, tapioca ball-filled drink that is depending on where you’re from ).
“Because I look a little more ambiguous, to prove my Asianness, I need to adopt the mainstream Asian culture that people know as Asian: drinking bubble tea, eating certain foods, using chopsticks,” Giarrano says. Those practices help her feel more Asian American, letting her take part in a larger experience and community through something like bubble tea. “I definitely do like these things, but I can’t divorce it from knowing that these things are seen as Asian, so that’s probably, subconsciously, why I love these things as much as I do.”
View this post on Instagram A post shared by subtle asian traits ® on Mar 3, 2019 at 4:25am PST
If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy .
Here, bubble tea, as in the material world of boba shops, is more than just a drink. Like other alimentary items that have become tokens of Asian-American popular culture — rice, dumplings, pho, soy sauce, Korean barbecue — it’s an identity. And that, of course, comes with its own complications.
For Phil Wang, co-founder of Wong Fu Productions — one of the original trailblazers of Asian-American YouTubers — and co-owner of the bubble tea-serving cafe Bopomofo Cafe in the San Gabriel Valley, having that space was important. In high school, he would drive 30 minutes from his home near Oakland to the closest boba shop at UC Berkeley. Throughout most of college, he worked at a boba shop, where he would wait for his friends to come hang out. After graduating, he moved to the San Gabriel Valley and often worked on early Wong Fu scripts in boba shops.
That lack of visibility is often compounded for Asian Americans of non-East Asian descent. For Alana Giarrano, a 23-year-old college student with an Italian dad and a mom who is Lao and Vietnamese, bubble tea is both a salve for and a reminder of how she frequently feels “invisible” in Asian-American spaces, including her school’s student organizations.
Andrew Yang and his embrace of contentious model-minority stereotypes are boba liberalism. So is rallying around representation in Hollywood only insofar as it affects what we see on our screens. Tolerating an abhorrent, morally bankrupt presidency as long as it guarantees lower tax rates, stable housing prices, likelier admission to Ivy Leagues, and the promise of the American dream our immigrant parents had aspired to so long ago: boba liberalism. In Redmond’s words : “All sugar, no substance.”
Many of those immigrants settled in and had families in California — around LA, in particular — giving the state the largest number of Taiwanese immigrants in the U.S. in 2008. It was in those enclaves that boba culture took root in the early ’90s, introduced to young Taiwanese Americans by their families in Taiwan, and in turn introduced by those young Taiwanese Americans to other Asian Americans in their schools, neighborhoods, and social circles.
But mere representation and a shrinking distance between Asian Americans and mainstream white respectability isn’t a substitute for meaningful politics. Therein lies the danger of conflating food and identity in a mass culture of consumption and commodification. “Within commodity culture, ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture,” bell hooks writes in her essay “ Eating the Other .” The commodification of difference, according to hooks, threatens to flatten and cannibalize the difference while stripping it of all historical context and political meaning. “As signs, their power to ignite critical consciousness is diffused when they are commodified. Communities of resistance are replaced by communities of consumption,” hooks writes.
There is something irredeemably maddening about tying so much of one’s cultural identity to an object of commodified desires, as young Asian Americans have done with bubble tea over the decades. But the thing about identity, as Hall points out, is that it can be just as much about “becoming” as about “being”; identity is who we were, who we are, and who we will become. Now is as critical a time as ever — culturally, politically, morally — to consider the image of ourselves that we want to construct, using our shared language and iconography. It matters how we choose to identify ourselves. It matters, in other words, how much substance we take with our sugar.
Those initial encounters with bubble tea in the LA area took place primarily in Taiwanese restaurants, served as an afterthought: “sweet tea in a thick Styrofoam cup, mixed with non-dairy creamer, ice and a spoonful of black tapioca pearls, which the staff kept in a bucket of syrup on the bottom shelf of a fridge,” Wei writes in her LA Weekly piece . In the late ’90s, the first dedicated local boba shop opened inside a food court in Arcadia; “by the early 2000s, a slew of shops dedicated to the beverage had opened. Ten Ren, Quickly, Tapioca Express, and Lollicup — all owned by immigrants of Taiwanese descent — were among the first businesses,” Wei wrote.
Home . It’s a fraught invocation when home is no longer the ancestral land from which we or our forebears departed. Nor is it the land where we have built our lives anew .
I can’t necessarily fault Asian Americana for doing so; as Mannur writes: “or Asian American cultural politics, the apparent conflation of food and ethnicity holds particular significance. For many consumers in mainstream America, food is often the only point of connection with racialized subjects, such as Asian Americans.”
“To me, bubble tea is linked to the economic and cultural power of East Asia, and Taiwan is a perfect locus of that,” Ray tells me. Young professionals — and students in particular — with roots in the Sinosphere are flooding urban American centers, and bringing with them a thirst for bubble tea, a beverage familiar to Americans in its apparent similarities to iced coffee, yet vastly foreign in the QQ texture of the tapioca pearls, and custom-made for the aesthetic-driven era of Instagram. These drinks, historian Chen points out, have not been adapted to American tastes; indeed, bubble tea in the U.S. follows Asian trends closely, as can be seen with the recent stateside imports of newer variations like cheese foam tea and .
Cultural identity is a matter of ‘becoming’ as well as of ‘being’. It belongs to the future as much as to the past. It is not something which already exists, transcending place, time, history and culture. Cultural identities come from somewhere, have histories. But, like everything which is historical, they undergo constant transformation. Far from being eternally fixed in some essentialised past, they are subject to the continuous ‘play’ of history, culture and power.
“As a Taiwanese-American kid growing up in the early 2000s in the San Gabriel Valley, the concoction was an integral part of my social life,” Wei writes in a 2017 LA Weekly article about how boba became synonymous with Asian-American youth culture in LA. Boba shops were, in her words, “our sacred gathering grounds.”
Unlike Wei, I didn’t grow up in a predominantly Asian community; from kindergarten through the end of high school, I was one of fewer than a dozen Asian Americans in my grade. It wasn’t until I got to college that I first laid eyes on bubble tea. The shop where I took my first sip, a place called Bubble Island just off of campus, soon became a centerpiece of my college life. Reflexively, as if to compensate for my 18 years surrounded by neighbors and classmates who didn’t share my background, I found nearly all my new friends in the university’s API student associations, which soon took up most of my extracurricular time. We would spend hours playing board games and chatting at Bubble Island. A couple years in, I could enter the store and, more often than not, spot someone I knew among the customers or working behind the counter. It felt like a kind of secret language for which only my Asian-American friends and I held the Rosetta Stone, a currency of exchange in a foreign landscape in which I otherwise felt lost and alone.
It’s : “thinking t-shirts, products, and merchandise are the main way of affirming one’s racial identity. It’s capitalist consumption presented as ‘API-ness.’ Buy more crazy rich asians tickets, sell more boba, go to raves, wear this brand. It’s reliant on capitalism.”
While bubble tea itself is neither inherently political nor bad, per se, some Asian Americans are critical of the dominant strain of Asian-American politics, called “boba liberalism,” that the drink has come to represent in certain circles. Boba liberalism — as defined by Twitter user @diaspora_is_red , said to be among the first to coin the term — is the “ substanceless trend-chasing spectacle ” that is mainstream Asian-American liberalism, derided as shallow, consumerist-capitalist, and robbed of meaning.
Yet despite the ways that bubble tea has been refashioned for a new age in global and American tastes, the young Asian Americans I spoke to all — deliberately or unconsciously — cited nostalgia as an inextricable force behind their affinity for boba.
But as fabricated as the cobbling together of “Asian American” was half a century ago , and as many “internal contradictions and slippages” as there are within that pan-ethnic coalition, in our fractured history, it has come to mean something: a thread of a shared experience; some semblance of aligned values; a “hard-earned unity,” in Lowe’s words.
Although there’s a persistent belief that East Asian populations don’t consume dairy due to widespread lactose intolerance, by the time of the Tang Dynasty in China, black tea was often drunk with butter, cream, milk , and other additives like salt and sesame, drawing from the practices of nomadic people in the north, Brown tells me.
It’s worth asking: Who gets to feel “unapologetically Asian”? When it comes to bubble tea’s outsized presence among the iconography of Asian-American pop culture and identity, the answer is, as is so often the case when talking about Asian-American issues, colored by an East Asian-American — and Chinese-American, in particular — hegemony that can erase or overshadow the experiences of other Asian Americans. Blockbuster rom-com Crazy Rich Asians , presidential candidate Andrew Yang , the groups and gaps glossed over by the model minority myth : There’s a tendency, when celebrating the accomplishments and milestones of Asian Americans, to be selectively forgetful of who counts as “Asian.”
The story of bubble tea is one of disparate parts coming together, a collision of cultural products and practices in one drink. Its origins date back much further than the last few decades, with historical roots in Middle-period China, according to Miranda Brown, a professor of Chinese studies at the University of Michigan.
How Bubble Tea Became a Complicated Symbol of Asian boba tea article
How Bubble Tea Became a Complicated Symbol of Asian boba tea article
Boba liberalism, as Redmond explains it, is “thinking the university key club and API student associations will lead the way in fighting for the dignity of the asian diaspora, in securing real material benefits to their communities, and rectifying the colonial crimes of the host country.”
“Bubble tea to me means home,” says Bhargava Chitti, 25, a medical student whose parents immigrated to New York from India in the ’80s. “It reminds me of home because I grew up drinking it in Flushing, and it’s emblematic of this abstract idea of home rooted in the Asian-American community and the global Asian diaspora at large. It’s given me home everywhere that I go.”
The new school of bubble tea shops , popularized by the success of chains like the San Francisco-born Boba Guys, which now has 15 locations, has ushered in a renewed consumer interest in bubble tea that started in the early to mid-2010s. Google Trends data shows a steady increase in interest over time for “bubble tea” and “boba tea” starting around 2012, with steeper inclines the past few years. The New York Times ran a trend story in 2017 about the swelling mainstream popularity of bubble tea . The number of venues listed as “bubble tea shop” on location-discovery app and technology platform Foursquare has more than tripled in the last four years, growing from 884 in September 2015 to 2,980 in September 2019, according to data provided by Foursquare. The global bubble tea market, valued at $1.9 billion by Allied Market Research in 2016, is projected to reach sales of $3.2 billion by 2023 .
Bubble tea is a gimmick, a meme, a stereotype, but it’s also a reference point for identity that generations of Asian Americans have used to cleave out their own place in the world, in ways both small and big, from eschewing Starbucks in favor of Boba Guys to opening a boba shop that can serve as a community gathering place. This is our lives.
While every culture has its own set of vital dishes and culinary traditions, it’s striking how much of the pantheon of symbols of Asian-American identity comprises food and drink. These icons, boba tea article from bubble tea to Pocky to ramen, are not just objects to consume, but also to wear and display , to trade as , to signify and perform a shared idea of identity.
“It’s a sweet, popular thing. It’s not very offensive,” @diaspora_is_red, identified using the name Redmond, says on the Asian-American publication Plan A Magazine ’s podcast, referring to both the drink and the politics. “But it’s also not that good for you from a health point of view. It’s just empty calories.”
From there, bubble tea made its way to the U.S. thanks to changing migration patterns, according to Yong Chen, a professor of history at UC Irvine and the author of Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America . After Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which abolished the immigration policy that restricted the entry of Asians, Southern and Eastern Europeans, and members of other ethnic groups, waves of Taiwanese immigrants came to the U.S. from the ’60s through the ’90s.
Think of the stories, movies, and shows that we prize and canonize as landmark representations of our community: for example, the Netflix rom-com Always Be My Maybe , which promotes a tired myth of culinary authenticity in its plotline about a celebrity chef; and Crazy Rich Asians , which presents so many dazzling arrays of food that it’s torturous to sit through the film on an empty stomach. Lulu Wang’s The Farewell stands out among recent examples for its twisting of the oft-recited platitude that “food is love”; here, food is as much a burden as it is a source of joy, a rare departure from Asian-American narratives that typically fetishize the acts of cooking and eating.
For Asian Americans — whose history in this country is one of being treated as the perpetually foreign Other, meant to be both “integrated into the national political sphere” and “marginalized and returned to their alien origins,” as interdisciplinary scholar and Yale University professor Lisa Lowe writes in the book Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics — the promise of food as a universal language is impossibly tantalizing, and with each passing year seems more within reach than ever. Once-“exotic” dishes like xiao long bao , bún bò Huế , and sisig have become shorthand for the kind of worldliness and trendiness that non-Asian, urban-dwelling Americans aspire to. Bubble tea appears on major network television shows , not as a novelty, but as a normalized mainstay. There is, after so long, at least a growing visibility that gestures at some form of acceptance.
Bubble tea has been around in the U.S. since the ’90s, but it wasn’t until millions of people watched that YouTube video by Chinese-American brothers Andrew and David Fung that the phenomenon of “boba life” or “boba culture” was given a name, according to Clarissa Wei, a Hong Kong-based journalist who grew up in California’s Asian-American enclave of the San Gabriel Valley. “It was as if, for the first time, people were able to define what the subculture was,” Wei tells me. “Because before … no one knew how to describe what was happening.”
Bubble tea’s conjuring of home, then, works on two levels: a yearning for the imagined home denied to us by the diasporic condition, as well as a sense of nostalgia for the closest approximation — the boba shop, functioning as a “ third place ” in both the literal and figurative sense. Asian-American expressions of longing for the boba shops of one’s youth are not just about the physical space, or the drink, or the companionship; they’re as much about the time, however fleeting, spent within the bubble of comfort and belonging. It’s about missing the period of your life when you could afford to let bubble tea occupy such a large part of it.
“The truth is,” Wei writes for LA Weekly , “at a certain point, you graduate from boba life.”
The original form of bubble tea brought together disparate elements — Chinese tea, tapioca from South American cassava, American powdered creamer — into a Taiwanese whole, one that gained global purchase and entered the shared vocabulary of an entire diaspora of Asian Americans. The label “Asian American,” too, is an assemblage of different parts into one historically fraught grouping. It’s “not a natural or static category; it is a socially constructed unity, a situationally specific position, assumed for political reasons,” Lowe writes in Immigrant Acts .
Both these trends are illustrative of ongoing shifts in globalization, migration, and economic and cultural power. Much like the surge of a new type of Chinese restaurant in tandem with the upward mobility of wealthier, better-educated immigrants and visitors from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, the current renaissance of bubble tea is symptomatic of the emergence of East Asia as a global power, says Krishnendu Ray, associate professor of food studies at New York University and the author of the book The Ethnic Restaurateur , in which he writes that Chinese cuisine, after a history of being devalued in American estimation, is likely to ascend in the “ global hierarchy of taste ” if China’s economic rise continues.
“In some ways, it is a quintessential passing of the baton from American hegemony to East Asian hegemony,” Ray says. “It’s symptomatic of East Asia’s location — of East Asian urban culture — in the global circulation of taste.”
Janet Sung is a Korean-American illustrator born and raised in New York.
Sign up for the Sign up for Eater’s newsletter The freshest news from the food world every day
This development has been , but it’s become clear, talking to professionals within the industry, that there’s another parallel even closer to home: the evolution of Chinese-American restaurants , which are increasingly being opened by college-educated Chinese Americans who grew up in the U.S. or moved here for school, and whose stylish, regionally specific restaurants are the product of choice, rather than the necessity that drove their parents’ generation.
This motif is, at its core, “food pornography,” writes Miami University associate professor Anita Mannur in a 2005 essay , in reference to Asian-American literary critic Sau-ling Cynthia Wong’s use of the term. “Defining it as an exploitative form of self-Orientalization in which Asian-American subjects actively promote the ‘exotic’ nature of their foodways, Wong argues that ‘in cultural terms translates to reifying perceived cultural differences and exaggerating one’s otherness in order to gain foothold in a white-dominated social system … superficially, food pornography appears to be a promotion, rather than a vitiation or devaluation, of one’s ethnic identity.”
And : “wanting to reconnect with your roots by drinking bubble tea, getting added to subtle asian traits, and organizing fundraisers for your asian student association, but never studying your history and feeling solidarity with your homeland against imperialism.”
Food is a tangible product, made for consumption; in more sentimental terms, it has been frequently described as a “ universal language ” that transcends borders or backgrounds. In the U.S., a land in which immigrant groups have lived in constant and varied states of assimilation, food is both a temporary portal to one’s point of origin and a potential path forward. “Food is the one thing right now, at least in Western culture, that if you’re really Asian or really authentic, it’s praised,” says Wang. “Food is something where we can truly be ourselves. And it’s like, you have to come into our world.”
If the first cups of boba sold in California two to three decades ago were merely $1 afterthoughts to accompany meals in Chinese restaurants, now the drinks are undisputedly the stars — less styrofoam and powdered non-dairy creamers, more fresh milk and ethically sourced tea leaves.
“Please remember that ’s not as big of a thing across East Asia as a whole,” Tom Yoo, a 27-year-old Korean American in New York, tells me in the Facebook group Subtle Asian Eats , a Subtle Asian Traits offshoot focused on food. “I’m really happy that Asian culture in any form is getting so much recognition these days,” Yoo later says over the phone. “But at the same time, I’m Korean, and sometimes I feel like Chinese culture drowns out Korean culture.”
While the Fung Brothers’ “Bobalife” music video has racked up more than 2.3 million views in the six and a half years it’s been up, not nearly as many people know that there’s a follow-up: “ ,” a tongue-in-cheek song that has been viewed only half a million times — the “indie” sequel, if you will. In the video, the Fungs satirize three genres of music, accompanied by the usual plethora of girls, bros, and Asian-American motifs. Among the lyrics, one set of lines stands out, unexpected in both its self-awareness and its pointedness: “Another boba song, don’t know how we did it. They say that these are gimmick songs, but tell me, how can this be wrong when this is just our lives?”
The first wave of boba shops in the San Gabriel Valley were also run by immigrant families, Wang points out, and so they had to cut costs and save money; it was more about survival than answering a calling. But now, in addition to the stores being brought to the U.S. by big brands in Asia — popular Taiwanese chain Tiger Sugar being one example — many of the new boba shops are opened by first- and second-generation Asian Americans. “They’re taking their Western influences and tastes, and they’re trying to adapt,” says Wang. “It’s going back to changing that narrative, where it’s not all the cheap stuff … It’s like, no, our communities are leveling up, too, and you should take us seriously.”
How bubble tea became far more than just a drink to young Asian Americans
“We’re livin’ the boba life,” the chorus repeats. Another lyric, at the close of the song, proclaims: “The new drink of young Asians … Call us the boba generation.”
Because eventually, for nearly everyone, there comes a time when life no longer revolves around the local boba shop. You grow up, you move out, you drift away from the things that you once thought made up the entire world. You stop worrying too much about how to belong, and start thinking about how to live.

“In fact, when Europeans first started showing up in China in the 17th century … they report drinking milk tea,” she says. Europeans took home the idea that tea had to be drunk with milk and salt or sugar, while the practice of adding dairy to tea eventually fell out of favor in China. When the colonial British returned to the country in the 19th century, they reintroduced milk tea back into the Chinese diet, as can be seen most clearly in former British colonies like Hong Kong, which has a tradition of milk tea made with condensed milk.
In his influential 1996 essay “ Cultural Identity and Diaspora ,” cultural theorist Stuart Hall writes of identity:
Boba culture isn’t limited to the San Gabriel Valley or the Midwestern campus where I surrounded myself with what I thought to be Asian Americana. It’s embedded in immigrant communities across California; in college towns dotting the country; in the steadily multiplying bubble tea shops that I walk past in New York. With the explosive growth of online communities like Subtle Asian Traits — the Asian diaspora-centric Facebook group that has accrued more than 1.5 million members little more than a year after it was created — the physical space is now supplemented by an intangible one. These online communities are border-transcending virtual bubble tea shops filled with an endless stream of memes, jokes, and confessions about boba, strict parents, and other markers of what is often imagined as the universal experience of children of Asian immigrants in the West.
Sean Marc Lee/Eater By the time tapioca starch, derived from the South American cassava plant, came to Taiwan via Southeast Asia during the colonial period, there was already a longstanding Chinese and Southeast Asian tradition of eating jelly-like starch desserts, such as sago pearls, in sweet soups. Tapioca balls, with their signature “Q” or “QQ” texture — the “ untranslatable bouncy, rubbery, chewy consistency … treasured in Taiwan,” earlier this year — fit right into the larger historical southern Chinese culinary landscape, according to Brown.
Those boba shops, as well as the drinks they served, were all about the same, Wei tells me: worn board games, Jay Chou ’s Taiwanese pop playing in the background, teens spending hours drinking bubble tea on cheap Ikea furniture, the Asian-American equivalent of a coffee shop. new york times boba article

How Bubble Tea Became a Complicated Symbol bubble tea article of Asian

It’s : “thinking t-shirts, products, and merchandise are the main way of affirming one’s racial identity. It’s capitalist consumption presented as ‘API-ness.’ Buy more crazy rich asians tickets, sell more boba, go to raves, wear this brand. It’s reliant on capitalism.”
But as fabricated as the cobbling together of “Asian American” was half a century ago , and as many “internal contradictions and slippages” as there are within that pan-ethnic coalition, in our fractured history, it has come to mean something: a thread of a shared experience; some semblance of aligned values; a “hard-earned unity,” in Lowe’s words.
“To me, bubble tea is linked to the economic and cultural power of East Asia, and Taiwan is a perfect locus of that,” Ray tells me. Young professionals — and students in particular — with roots in the Sinosphere are flooding urban American centers, and bringing with them a thirst for bubble tea, a beverage familiar to Americans in its apparent similarities to iced coffee, yet vastly foreign in the QQ texture of the tapioca pearls, and custom-made for the aesthetic-driven era of Instagram. These drinks, historian Chen points out, have not been adapted to American tastes; indeed, bubble tea in the U.S. follows Asian trends closely, as can be seen with the recent stateside imports of newer variations like cheese foam tea and .
Both these trends are illustrative of ongoing shifts in globalization, migration, and economic and cultural power. Much like the surge of a new type of Chinese restaurant in tandem with the upward mobility of wealthier, better-educated immigrants and visitors from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, the current renaissance of bubble tea is symptomatic of the emergence of East Asia as a global power, says Krishnendu Ray, associate professor of food studies at New York University and the author of the book The Ethnic Restaurateur , in which he writes that Chinese cuisine, after a history of being devalued in American estimation, is likely to ascend in the “ global hierarchy of taste ” if China’s economic rise continues.
For Asian Americans — whose history in this country is one of being treated as the perpetually foreign Other, meant to be both “integrated into the national political sphere” and “marginalized and returned to their alien origins,” as interdisciplinary scholar and Yale University professor Lisa Lowe writes in the book Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics — the promise of food as a universal language is impossibly tantalizing, and with each passing year seems more within reach than ever. Once-“exotic” dishes like xiao long bao , bún bò Huế , and sisig have become shorthand for the kind of worldliness and trendiness that non-Asian, urban-dwelling Americans aspire to. Bubble tea appears on major network television shows , not as a novelty, but as a normalized mainstay. There is, after so long, at least a growing visibility that gestures at some form of acceptance.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by subtle asian traits ® on Mar 3, 2019 at 4:25am PST

Here, bubble tea, as in the material world of boba shops, is more than just a drink. Like other alimentary items that have become tokens of Asian-American popular culture — rice, dumplings, pho, soy sauce, Korean barbecue — it’s an identity. And that, of course, comes with its own complications.
Because eventually, for nearly everyone, there comes a time when life no longer revolves around the local boba shop. You grow up, you move out, you drift away from the things that you once thought made up the entire world. You stop worrying too much about how to belong, and start thinking about how to live.
Andrew Yang and his embrace of contentious model-minority stereotypes are boba liberalism. So is rallying around representation in Hollywood only insofar as it affects what we see on our screens. Tolerating an abhorrent, morally bankrupt presidency as long as it guarantees lower tax rates, stable housing prices, likelier admission to Ivy Leagues, and the promise of the American dream our immigrant parents had aspired to so long ago: boba liberalism. In Redmond’s words : “All sugar, no substance.”
Cultural identity is a matter of ‘becoming’ as well as of ‘being’. It belongs to the future as much as to the past. It is not something which already exists, transcending place, time, history and culture. Cultural identities come from somewhere, have histories. But, like everything which is historical, they undergo constant transformation. Far from being eternally fixed in some essentialised past, they are subject to the continuous ‘play’ of history, culture and power.
The original form of bubble tea brought together disparate elements — Chinese tea, tapioca from South American cassava, American powdered creamer — into a Taiwanese whole, one that gained global purchase and entered the shared vocabulary of an entire diaspora of Asian Americans. The label “Asian American,” too, is an assemblage of different parts into one historically fraught grouping. It’s “not a natural or static category; it is a socially constructed unity, a situationally specific position, assumed for political reasons,” Lowe writes in Immigrant Acts .
Bubble tea has been around in the U.S. since the ’90s, but it wasn’t until millions of people watched that YouTube video by Chinese-American brothers Andrew and David Fung that the phenomenon of “boba life” or “boba culture” was given a name, according to Clarissa Wei, a Hong Kong-based journalist who grew up in California’s Asian-American enclave of the San Gabriel Valley. “It was as if, for the first time, people were able to define what the subculture was,” Wei tells me. “Because before … no one knew how to describe what was happening.”
“As a Taiwanese-American kid growing up in the early 2000s in the San Gabriel Valley, the concoction was an integral part of my social life,” Wei writes in a 2017 LA Weekly article about how boba became synonymous with Asian-American youth culture in LA. Boba shops were, in her words, “our sacred gathering grounds.”
I can’t necessarily fault Asian Americana for doing so; as Mannur writes: “or Asian American cultural politics, the apparent conflation of food and ethnicity holds particular significance. For many consumers in mainstream America, food is often the only point of connection with racialized subjects, such as Asian Americans.”
There is something irredeemably maddening about tying so much of one’s cultural identity to an object of commodified desires, as young Asian Americans have done with bubble tea over the decades. But the thing about identity, as Hall points out, is that it can be just as much about “becoming” as about “being”; identity is who we were, who we are, and who we will become. Now is as critical a time as ever — culturally, politically, morally — to consider the image of ourselves that we want to construct, using our shared language and iconography. It matters how we choose to identify ourselves. It matters, in other words, how much substance we take with our sugar.
Many of those immigrants settled in and had families in California — around LA, in particular — giving the state the largest number of Taiwanese immigrants in the U.S. in 2008. It was in those enclaves that boba culture took root in the early ’90s, introduced to young Taiwanese Americans by their families in Taiwan, and in turn introduced by those young Taiwanese Americans to other Asian Americans in their schools, neighborhoods, and social circles.
Although there’s a persistent belief that East Asian populations don’t consume dairy due to widespread lactose intolerance, by the time of the Tang Dynasty in China, black tea was often drunk with butter, cream, milk , and other additives like salt and sesame, drawing from the practices of nomadic people in the north, Brown tells me.
But mere representation and a shrinking distance between Asian Americans and mainstream white respectability isn’t a substitute for meaningful politics. Therein lies the danger of conflating food and identity in a mass culture of consumption and commodification. “Within commodity culture, ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture,” bell hooks writes in her essay “ Eating the Other .” The commodification of difference, according to hooks, threatens to flatten and cannibalize the difference while stripping it of all historical context and political meaning. “As signs, their power to ignite critical consciousness is diffused when they are commodified. Communities of resistance are replaced by communities of consumption,” hooks writes.
How bubble tea became far more than just a drink to young Asian Americans
Home . It’s a fraught invocation when home is no longer the ancestral land from which we or our forebears departed. Nor is it the land where we have built our lives anew .
Sign up for the Sign up for Eater’s newsletter The freshest news from the food world every day
How Bubble Tea Became a Complicated Symbol bubble tea article of Asian
How Bubble Tea Became a Complicated Symbol bubble tea article of Asian
“It’s a sweet, popular thing. It’s not very offensive,” @diaspora_is_red, identified using the name Redmond, says on the Asian-American publication Plan A Magazine ’s podcast, referring to both the drink and the politics. “But it’s also not that good for you from a health point of view. It’s just empty calories.”
Unlike Wei, I didn’t grow up in a predominantly Asian community; from kindergarten through the end of high school, I was one of fewer than a dozen Asian Americans in my grade. It wasn’t until I got to college that I first laid eyes on bubble tea. The shop where I took my first sip, a place called Bubble Island just off of campus, soon became a centerpiece of my college life. Reflexively, as if to compensate for my 18 years surrounded by neighbors and classmates who didn’t share my background, I found nearly all my new friends in the university’s API student associations, which soon took up most of my extracurricular time. We would spend hours playing board games and chatting at Bubble Island. A couple years in, I could enter the store and, more often than not, spot someone I knew among the customers or working behind the counter. It felt like a kind of secret language for which only my Asian-American friends and I held the Rosetta Stone, a currency of exchange in a foreign landscape in which I otherwise felt lost and alone.
Think of the stories, movies, and shows that we prize and canonize as landmark representations of our community: for example, the Netflix rom-com Always Be My Maybe , which promotes a tired myth of culinary authenticity in its plotline about a celebrity chef; and Crazy Rich Asians , which presents so many dazzling arrays of food that it’s torturous to sit through the film on an empty stomach. Lulu Wang’s The Farewell stands out among recent examples for its twisting of the oft-recited platitude that “food is love”; here, food is as much a burden as it is a source of joy, a rare departure from Asian-American narratives that typically fetishize the acts of cooking and eating.
Bubble tea is a gimmick, a meme, a stereotype, but it’s also a reference point for identity that generations of Asian Americans have used to cleave out their own place in the world, in ways both small and big, from eschewing Starbucks in favor of Boba Guys to opening a boba shop that can serve as a community gathering place. This is our lives.
“We’re livin’ the boba life,” the chorus repeats. Another lyric, at the close of the song, proclaims: “The new drink of young Asians … Call us the boba generation.”
While bubble tea itself is neither inherently political nor bad, per se, some Asian Americans are critical of the dominant strain of Asian-American politics, called “boba liberalism,” that the drink has come to represent in certain circles. Boba liberalism — as defined by Twitter user @diaspora_is_red , said to be among the first to coin the term — is the “ substanceless trend-chasing spectacle ” that is mainstream Asian-American liberalism, derided as shallow, consumerist-capitalist, and robbed of meaning.
Those boba shops, as well as the drinks they served, were all about the same, Wei tells me: worn board games, Jay Chou ’s Taiwanese pop playing in the background, teens spending hours drinking bubble tea on cheap Ikea furniture, the Asian-American equivalent of a coffee shop. It was about the physical space and what it facilitated — friendship, familiarity, the feeling of belonging — more than the drink itself, Wei says.
In his influential 1996 essay “ Cultural Identity and Diaspora ,” cultural theorist Stuart Hall writes of identity:
“Bubble tea to me means home,” says Bhargava Chitti, 25, a medical student whose parents immigrated to New York from India in the ’80s. bubble tea article “It reminds me of home because I grew up drinking it in Flushing, and it’s emblematic of this abstract idea of home rooted in the Asian-American community and the global Asian diaspora at large. It’s given me home everywhere that I go.”
While every culture has its own set of vital dishes and culinary traditions, it’s striking how much of the pantheon of symbols of Asian-American identity comprises food and drink. These icons, from bubble tea to Pocky to ramen, are not just objects to consume, but also to wear and display , to trade as , to signify and perform a shared idea of identity.
While the Fung Brothers’ “Bobalife” music video has racked up more than 2.3 million views in the six and a half years it’s been up, not nearly as many people know that there’s a follow-up: “ ,” a tongue-in-cheek song that has been viewed only half a million times — the “indie” sequel, if you will. In the video, the Fungs satirize three genres of music, accompanied by the usual plethora of girls, bros, and Asian-American motifs. Among the lyrics, one set of lines stands out, unexpected in both its self-awareness and its pointedness: “Another boba song, don’t know how we did it. They say that these are gimmick songs, but tell me, how can this be wrong when this is just our lives?”
Bubble tea’s conjuring of home, then, works on two levels: a yearning for the imagined home denied to us by the diasporic condition, as well as a sense of nostalgia for the closest approximation — the boba shop, functioning as a “ third place ” in both the literal and figurative sense. Asian-American expressions of longing for the boba shops of one’s youth are not just about the physical space, or the drink, or the companionship; they’re as much about the time, however fleeting, spent within the bubble of comfort and belonging. It’s about missing the period of your life when you could afford to let bubble tea occupy such a large part of it.
Sean Marc Lee/Eater By the time tapioca starch, derived from the South American cassava plant, came to Taiwan via Southeast Asia during the colonial period, there was already a longstanding Chinese and Southeast Asian tradition of eating jelly-like starch desserts, such as sago pearls, in sweet soups. Tapioca balls, with their signature “Q” or “QQ” texture — the “ untranslatable bouncy, rubbery, chewy consistency … treasured in Taiwan,” earlier this year — fit right into the larger historical southern Chinese culinary landscape, according to Brown.
What was happening, says Wei, was that there was a generation of young Asian Americans — originally primarily Taiwanese Americans, but inclusive of Chinese, East Asian, and other members of the Asian diaspora in the Valley near Los Angeles — who grew up hanging out every day in boba shops, where they studied, gossiped with friends, and went on first dates, all over the cold, milky, tapioca ball-filled drink that is depending on where you’re from ).
Boba culture isn’t limited to the San Gabriel Valley or the Midwestern campus where I surrounded myself with what I thought to be Asian Americana. It’s embedded in immigrant communities across California; in college towns dotting the country; in the steadily multiplying bubble tea shops that I walk past in New York. With the explosive growth of online communities like Subtle Asian Traits — the Asian diaspora-centric Facebook group that has accrued more than 1.5 million members little more than a year after it was created — the physical space is now supplemented by an intangible one. These online communities are border-transcending virtual bubble tea shops filled with an endless stream of memes, jokes, and confessions about boba, strict parents, and other markers of what is often imagined as the universal experience of children of Asian immigrants in the West.
The story of bubble tea is one of disparate parts coming together, a collision of cultural products and practices in one drink. Its origins date back much further than the last few decades, with historical roots in Middle-period China, according to Miranda Brown, a professor of Chinese studies at the University of Michigan.
That lack of visibility is often compounded for Asian Americans of non-East Asian descent. For Alana Giarrano, a 23-year-old college student with an Italian dad and a mom who is Lao and Vietnamese, bubble tea is both a salve for and a reminder of how she frequently feels “invisible” in Asian-American spaces, including her school’s student organizations.
And : “wanting to reconnect with your roots by drinking bubble tea, getting added to subtle asian traits, and organizing fundraisers for your asian student association, but never studying your history and feeling solidarity with your homeland against imperialism.”
This development has been , but it’s become clear, talking to professionals within the industry, that there’s another parallel even closer to home: the evolution of Chinese-American restaurants , which are increasingly being opened by college-educated Chinese Americans who grew up in the U.S. or moved here for school, and whose stylish, regionally specific restaurants are the product of choice, rather than the necessity that drove their parents’ generation.
This motif is, at its core, “food pornography,” writes Miami University associate professor Anita Mannur in a 2005 essay , in reference to Asian-American literary critic Sau-ling Cynthia Wong’s use of the term. “Defining it as an exploitative form of self-Orientalization in which Asian-American subjects actively promote the ‘exotic’ nature of their foodways, Wong argues that ‘in cultural terms translates to reifying perceived cultural differences and exaggerating one’s otherness in order to gain foothold in a white-dominated social system … superficially, food pornography appears to be a promotion, rather than a vitiation or devaluation, of one’s ethnic identity.”
Boba liberalism, as Redmond explains it, is “thinking the university key club and API student associations will lead the way in fighting for the dignity of the asian diaspora, in securing real material benefits to their communities, and rectifying the colonial crimes of the host country.”
The first wave of boba shops in the San Gabriel Valley were also run by immigrant families, Wang points out, and so they had to cut costs and save money; it was more about survival than answering a calling. But now, in addition to the stores being brought to the U.S. by big brands in Asia — popular Taiwanese chain Tiger Sugar being one example — many of the new boba shops are opened by first- and second-generation Asian Americans. “They’re taking their Western influences and tastes, and they’re trying to adapt,” says Wang. “It’s going back to changing that narrative, where it’s not all the cheap stuff … It’s like, no, our communities are leveling up, too, and you should take us seriously.”
“The truth is,” Wei writes for LA Weekly , “at a certain point, you graduate from boba life.”
It’s worth asking: Who gets to feel “unapologetically Asian”? When it comes to bubble tea’s outsized presence among the iconography of Asian-American pop culture and identity, the answer is, as is so often the case when talking about Asian-American issues, colored by an East Asian-American — and Chinese-American, in particular — hegemony that can erase or overshadow the experiences of other Asian Americans. Blockbuster rom-com Crazy Rich Asians , presidential candidate Andrew Yang , the groups and gaps glossed over by the model minority myth : There’s a tendency, when celebrating the accomplishments and milestones of Asian Americans, to be selectively forgetful of who counts as “Asian.”
From there, bubble tea made its way to the U.S. thanks to changing migration patterns, according to Yong Chen, a professor of history at UC Irvine and the author of Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America . After Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which abolished the immigration policy that restricted the entry of Asians, Southern and Eastern Europeans, and members of other ethnic groups, waves of Taiwanese immigrants came to the U.S. from the ’60s through the ’90s.
Janet Sung is a Korean-American illustrator born and raised in New York.
The new school of bubble tea shops , popularized by the success of chains like the San Francisco-born Boba Guys, which now has 15 locations, has ushered in a renewed consumer interest in bubble tea that started in the early to mid-2010s. Google Trends data shows a steady increase in interest over time for “bubble tea” and “boba tea” starting around 2012, with steeper inclines the past few years. The New York Times ran a trend story in 2017 about the swelling mainstream popularity of bubble tea . The number of venues listed as “bubble tea shop” on location-discovery app and technology platform Foursquare has more than tripled in the last four years, growing from 884 in September 2015 to 2,980 in September 2019, according to data provided by Foursquare. The global bubble tea market, valued at $1.9 billion by Allied Market Research in 2016, is projected to reach sales of $3.2 billion by 2023 .
“Back then, it was about having something cheap, affordable, kind of decent,” Oscar Ho, 25, tells me, reminiscing about how his family would make the trip from San Diego to LA to buy Asian groceries, eat Chinese food, and drink bubble tea when he was a kid. “But I feel like that generation has grown up and took it upon themselves to improve on that … More newer places, unique places, places more focused on quality and certain ingredients emerged.”
Food is a tangible product, made for consumption; in more sentimental terms, it has been frequently described as a “ universal language ” that transcends borders or backgrounds. In the U.S., a land in which immigrant groups have lived in constant and varied states of assimilation, food is both a temporary portal to one’s point of origin and a potential path forward. “Food is the one thing right now, at least in Western culture, that if you’re really Asian or really authentic, it’s praised,” says Wang. “Food is something where we can truly be ourselves. And it’s like, you have to come into our world.”
Those initial encounters with bubble tea in the LA area took place primarily in Taiwanese restaurants, served as an afterthought: “sweet tea in a thick Styrofoam cup, mixed with non-dairy creamer, ice and a spoonful of black tapioca pearls, which the staff kept in a bucket of syrup on the bottom shelf of a fridge,” Wei writes in her LA Weekly piece . In the late ’90s, the first dedicated local boba shop opened inside a food court in Arcadia; “by the early 2000s, a slew of shops dedicated to the beverage had opened. Ten Ren, Quickly, Tapioca Express, and Lollicup — all owned by immigrants of Taiwanese descent — were among the first businesses,” Wei wrote.
If the first cups of boba sold in California two to three decades ago were merely $1 afterthoughts to accompany meals in Chinese restaurants, now the drinks are undisputedly the stars — less styrofoam and powdered non-dairy creamers, more fresh milk and ethically sourced tea leaves.
“Please remember that ’s not as big of a thing across East Asia as a whole,” Tom Yoo, a 27-year-old Korean American in New York, tells me in the Facebook group Subtle Asian Eats , a Subtle Asian Traits offshoot focused on food. “I’m really happy that Asian culture in any form is getting so much recognition these days,” Yoo later says over the phone. “But at the same time, I’m Korean, and sometimes I feel like Chinese culture drowns out Korean culture.”
If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy .
The fusion of those two traditions — milk tea and chewy, gelatinous pearls — eventually gave rise to bubble tea. Milk tea, typically made with powdered creamer introduced in Taiwan by American foreign aid programs during the Cold War , was a “favorite local drink” prior to the 1980s, as Nguyen-Okwu reports. According to one of multiple competing origin stories , Liu Han-chieh, the owner of Taichung tea shop Chun Shui Tang, came up with the idea of milk tea chilled with ice in the early ’80s after seeing coffee served cold in Japan. The “bubble” in “bubble tea” refers to “the thick layer of foam that forms on top of the drink after it is shaken” in a cocktail shaker, per the South China Morning Post . The addition of large tapioca pearls, nicknamed “boba” in reference to the busty assets of Hong Kong actress and sex symbol Amy Yip, came in the late ’80s when a Chen Shui Tang staff member, Lin Hsiu Hui, poured fen yuan tapioca balls into her iced Assam tea, . why green tea lose weight

Beneficial effects of green tea A green tea articles literature review

A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design study showed that consumption of a beverage containing green tea catechins, caffeine, and calcium increases 24-h energy expenditure by 4.6%, but the contribution of the individual ingredients could not be distinguished. It was suggested that such modifications were sufficient to prevent weight gain. It has been reported that the body weights of rats and their plasma triglyceride, cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were significantly reduced by feedings of Oolong, black, and green tea leaves to the animals. In addition, the inhibition of growth and suppression of lipogenesis in MCF-7 breast cancer cells may be through down-regulation of fatty acid synthase gene expression in the nucleus and stimulation of cell energy expenditure in the mitochondria . When fed to mice, EGCG purified from green tea decreased diet-induced obesity in mice by decreasing energy absorption and increasing fat oxidation . The increased and prolonged sympathetic stimulation of thermogenesis by the interaction between polyphenols and caffeine could be of value in assisting the management of obesity .
Long-term ingestion of green tea increases UDP-glucuronosyl transferase activity in rats , and after being absorbed, catechins are metabolized by drug-metabolizing enzymes in various organs . Thus, the increased glucuronidation through UDP-glucuronosyl transferase induction is postulated to contribute to the anticarcinogenic effect of green tea by facilitating the metabolism of chemical carcinogens into inactive products that are readily excreted. The interaction between 2-amino-3-methylimidazol quinoline and green tea catechin metabolism was examined . IQ is a precarcinogen that was originally detected in an extract of fried meat. The major route of IQ biotransformation in rats is cytochrome P450 in the first step, followed by conjugation to a sulfate and a glucuronide conjugate. Green tea modifies IQ metabolism in rats, increasing the formation of IQ glucuronides, which are then excreted in the urine. Moreover, protection against cancers induced by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by green tea catechins may be due to the inhibition of their cytochrome P450 metabolism, but the effect of green tea on cytochrome P450 enzymes depends on the particular form. The long-term consumption of green tea increases cytochrome P450 1A1 and 1A2 activities, but not 2B1 and 2E1 activities, in normal rats. However, it is difficult to draw conclusions about a beneficial effect of green tea against carcinogens involving only modulation of this metabolic pathway.
Green tea is a popular neutraceutical as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells against the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species, such as singlet oxygen, superoxide, peroxyl radicals, hydroxyl radicals, and peroxynitrite. An imbalance between antioxidants and reactive oxygen species results in oxidative stress, leading to cellular damage . Catechins are hypothesized to help protect against these diseases by contributing, along with antioxidant vitamins and enzymes , to the total antioxidant defense system .
§ Especially thearubigins and theaflavins
Green tea consumption has also been linked to the prevention of many types of cancer, including lung, colon, esophagus, mouth, stomach, small intestine, kidney, pancreas, and mammary glands . Several epidemiological studies and clinical trials showed that green tea may reduce the risk of many chronic diseases . This beneficial effect has been attributed to the presence of high amounts of polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants. In particular, green tea may lower blood pressure and thus reduce the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. Some animal’s studies suggested that green tea might protect against the development of coronary heart disease by reducing blood glucose levels and body weight . However, all these data are based on middle-aged animals’ populations, not the elderly populations, which nutritional status tends to be more adversely influenced by age-related biological and socioeconomic factors .
In recent years, the health benefits of consuming green tea, including the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases , the anti-inflammatory , antiarthritic , antibacterial , antiangiogenic , antioxidative , antiviral , neuroprotective , and cholesterol-lowering effects of green tea and isolated green tea constituents are under investigation. However, adding green tea to the diet may cause other serious health concerns.
Tea components possess antioxidant, antimutagenic, and anticarcinogenic effects and could protect humans against the risk of cancer by environmental agents . Sano et al . reported the inhibitory effects of green tea leaves against tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced lipid peroxidation, and a similar antioxidant effect on the kidney was observed after oral administration of the major tea polyphenol EGCG. The antioxidative potency of crude catechin powder and individual catechins was tested in experiments using the active oxygen method. Crude catechins reduced the formation of peroxides far more effectively than dl-α-tocopherol . Shim et al . studied the chemopreventive effect of green tea among cigarette smokers and found that it can block the cigarette-induced increase in sister chromatid exchange frequency.
Recent data from human studies indicate that the consumption of green tea and green tea extracts may help reduce body weight, mainly body fat, by increasing postprandial thermogenesis and fat oxidation. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over pilot study, six overweight men were given 300 mg EGCG per day for two days. Fasting and postprandial changes in energy expenditure and substrate oxidation were assessed. Resting energy expenditure did not differ significantly between EGCG and placebo treatments, although during the first postprandial monitoring phase, respiratory quotient values were significantly lower with EGCG treatment compared to the placebo. These findings suggest that EGCG alone has the potential to increase fat oxidation in men and may thereby contribute to the antiobesity effects of green tea. However, more studies with a greater sample size and a broader range of age and body mass index are needed to define the optimal dose .
In vivo studies showed that green tea catechins increase total plasma antioxidant activity . Intake of green tea extracts also increases the activity of superoxide dismutase in serum and the expression of catalase in the aorta; these enzymes are implicated in cellular protection against reactive oxygen species . This action is combined with direct action on oxygen species by a decrease in the nitric oxide plasma concentration . Malondialdehyde, a marker of oxidative stress, also decreases after green tea intake . These results suggest that catechins could have a direct or indirect effect. Since catechins can act as antioxidants in vitro , they might prevent the oxidation of other antioxidants, such as vitamin E. However, ingestion of green tea catechins does not modify the plasma status of vitamins E and C in vivo . Nevertheless, one study reported that catechins increase vitamin E concentration in low-density lipoprotein and in this way could protect low-density lipoprotein against peroxidation .
Hsu et al . demonstrated the effects of supplementation with decaffeinated green tea extract on hemodialysis-induced reactive oxygen species, atherosclerotic disease risk factors, and proinflammatory cytokines. The pharmacokinetics of one oral dose of catechins was compared between healthy subjects and hemodialysis patients. The authors compared the antioxidant effects of three different doses of oral catechins with that of oral vitamin C during a hemodialysis session. In patients, catechin supplementation reduced hemodialysis-enhanced plasma hypochlorous acid activity more effectively than did placebo or vitamin C. Between the treatments with 455 and 910 mg catechins, no significant difference was found in the reduction of plasma hypochlorous acid activity. Catechins also significantly reduced proinflammatory cytokine expression enhanced by hemodialysis.
Composition of green tea, black tea, and black tea infusion
1 NPO International Laboratory of Biochemistry, 1-166 Uchide, Nakagawa-ku, Nagoya, 454-0926, Japan
The health-promoting effects of green tea are mainly attributed to its polyphenol content , particularly flavanols and flavonols, which represent 30% of fresh leaf dry weight . Recently, many of the aforementioned beneficial effects of green tea were attributed to its most abundant catechin, -epigallocatechin-3-gallate . Green tea extracts are more stable than pure epigallocatechin gallate, one of the major constituents of green tea, because of the presence of other antioxidant constituents in the extract . In general, herbal medicines are complex mixtures of different compounds that often act in a synergistic fashion to exert their full beneficial effect . However, relatively few herbal medicines have been well characterized and their efficacy demonstrated in systematic clinical trials as compared to Western drugs. This review article highlights the recent research on the efficacy, action mechanisms, and side effects of green tea and its catechins in in vitro , in vivo , and ex vivo systems .
Although green tea has several beneficial effects on health, the effects of green tea and its constituents may be beneficial up to a certain dose yet higher doses may cause some unknown adverse effects. Moreover, the effects of green tea catechins may not be similar in all individuals. EGCG of green tea extract is cytotoxic, and higher consumption of green tea can exert acute cytotoxicity in liver cells, a major metabolic organ in the body . Another study found that higher intake of green tea might cause oxidative DNA damage of hamster pancreas and liver . Yun et al . clarified that EGCG acts as a pro-oxidant, rather than an antioxidant, in pancreatic β cells in vivo . Therefore, high intake of green tea may be detrimental for diabetic animals to control hyperglycemia. At a high dose , green tea extract induced a thyroid enlargement in normal rats . This high-level treatment modified the plasma concentrations of the thyroid hormones. However, drinking even a very high dietary amount of green tea would be unlikely to cause these adverse effects in humans.
Long-term consumption of tea catechins could be beneficial against high-fat diet-induced obesity and type II diabetes and could reduce the risk of coronary disease. Further research that conforms to international standards should be performed to monitor the pharmacological and clinical effects of green tea and to elucidate its mechanisms of action.
The antihyperglycemic effect of black tea was reported by Gomes et al . . EGCG was found to inhibit intestinal glucose uptake by the sodium-dependent glucose transporter SGLT1, indicating its increase in controlling blood sugar . Streptozotocin diabetic rats showed increased sensitivity to platelet aggregation and thrombosis, and this abnormality could be improved by dietary catechins from green tea . Alloxan produces oxygen radicals in the body, which cause pancreatic injury and are responsible for increased blood sugar.
The effects of tea on obesity and diabetes have received increasing attention. Tea catechins, especially EGCG, appear to have antiobesity and antidiabetic effects . African black tea extract has been shown to suppress the elevation of blood glucose during food intake and reduce the body weight in KK-A/TaJcl diabetic mice . Although few epidemiological and clinical studies have shown the health benefits of EGCG on obesity and diabetes, the mechanisms of its actions are emerging based on various laboratory data. These mechanisms may be related to certain pathways, such as through the modulations of energy balance, endocrine systems, food intake, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and redox status .
Beneficial effects of green tea A green tea articles literature reviewBeneficial effects of green tea A green tea articles literature review
In a study by Sabu et al . , administration of GTPs to normal rats increased glucose tolerance significantly at 60 minutes. GTPs were also found to reduce significantly serum glucose levels in alloxan diabetic rats at a dose of 100 mg/kg. Continued daily administration of the extract at 50 or 100 mg/kg produced 29% and 44% reduction, respectively, in the elevated serum glucose level produced by alloxan administration. Elevated hepatic and renal enzymes produced by alloxan were found to be reduced significantly by GTPs. The serum lipid peroxidation level was increased by alloxan and reduced significantly by the administration of 100 mg/kg of GTPs. Decreased liver glycogen resulting from alloxan administration showed a significant increase after GTP treatment. The GTP-treated group showed increased antioxidant potential, as seen from improvements in superoxide dismutase and glutathione levels. However, catalase, lipid peroxidation, and glutathione peroxidase levels were unchanged. These results indicate that alterations in the glucose utilizing system and oxidation status in rats that were increased by alloxan were partially reversed by the administration of GTPs .
The effectiveness of green tea in treating any type of diarrhea and typhoid has been known in Asia since ancient times . Green tea catechins have an inhibitory effect on Helicobacter pylori infection . Effects of green tea against the influenza virus, especially in its earliest stage, as well as against the Herpes simplex virus have also been demonstrated . Furthermore, Weber et al . observed that adenovirus infection is inhibited in vitro by green tea catechins.
The authors read full articles and reached consensus after discussion. Articles included in the study covered the following effects of green tea: the health benefits in humans and animals, absorption of metal ions and drug-metabolizing enzymes, antioxidation and inhibition of oxidative stress, carbohydrate metabolism and diabetes mellitus, and adverse effects. A total of 105 peer-reviewed papers in English were selected for this review.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
EGCG: epigallocatechin-3-gallate; GTPs: green tea polyphenols; UDP: Uridine di-phospatase; IQ: 2-amino-3-methylimidazol quinoline; MEDIS: Mediterranean Islands; SDLT: Sodium dependent glucose transporter; AMED: Allied and complementary Medicine Database.
8600 Rockville Pike , Bethesda MD , 20894 USA

The review on green tea and its catechins focused on language literature in English. The literature search was conducted in the following databases: Pubmed , EMBASE , Allied and complementary Medicine Database and China Journals Full Text Database . The keywords used were selected from the following terms: green tea, catechins, anticancer, diabetes, polyphenols, in vivo studies, general pharmacology and toxicology. The health benefits and adverse effects of green tea and its catechins were reviewed.
2 Amala Cancer Research Center, Amala Nagar, Thrissur, Kerala, 680 555, India
Lambert et al . showed that intragastric administration of EGCG at a dose of 75 mg/kg resulted in a Cmax of 128 mg/l total plasma EGCG and a terminal half-life of 83 minutes. Furthermore, in humans an oral intake of EGCG at a dose of 50 mg resulted in a Cmax of 130 mg/l total plasma EGCG and a terminal half-life of 112 minutes . These results indicate that rodents must be orally administered 100- to 600-fold more EGCG to achieve similar plasma concentrations as those found in humans. Total plasma EGCG concentrations shown to be efficacious in mice and rats can be reached by an intake of low to moderate doses of EGCG in humans.
Pilipenko et al . assessed the tolerance of tableted green tea and its effect on the antioxidant status indices. Twenty-five patients with different gastrointestinal pathologies were included in the study and divided into treatment and control groups. The tolerance of tableted green tea was good in the treatment group, who showed better dynamics of quality-of-life indices, green tea articles especially in scales of body pain and social functioning. There were no significant differences in biochemical analysis between the groups, which may indicate the safety of this product. Analysis revealed that the treatment group showed a decreased level of all antioxidant status indices, as reflected in a significant decreasing of the lipid peroxidation index from 4.63 to 4.14.
Catechins also reduced plasma triglyceride levels in an oral glucose-tolerance test in normal rats . Green tea extract intake reduced these values in both Zucker rats and rats fed a sucrose-rich diet . Several human- and animal-based studies suggested that green tea and its flavonoids have antidiabetic effects . Green tea flavonoids were also shown to have insulin-like activities as well as insulin-enhancing activity .
Type II diabetes is a heterogeneous disorder that involves resistance of glucose and lipid metabolism in peripheral tissues to the biological activity of insulin and inadequate insulin secretion by pancreatic β cells . Animal models of diabetes are available: Zucker rats, which are genetically obese; injection of streptozotocin or alloxan, which destroys pancreatic β cells; and treatment with sucrose-rich diets, which induces obesity and insulin resistance.
The Mediterranean Islands epidemiological study is a cross-sectional health and nutrition survey that aims to evaluate the association between various sociodemographic, bioclinical, dietary, and other lifestyle habits and the prevalence of the common cardiovascular disease risk factors among elderly people without a history of any chronic disease and living in the Mediterranean islands. Because data relating tea consumption with clinical characteristics are lacking in elderly populations, in the context of the MEDIS study, the authors sought to evaluate whether green tea consumption is independently associated with fasting blood glucose levels and the prevalence of type II diabetes mellitus . An earlier study was aimed at providing evidence of improvement in glucose metabolism in diabetic mice and healthy humans upon green tea consumption . Green tea promoted glucose metabolism in healthy human volunteers at 1.5 g/kg as shown in oral glucose-tolerance tests. Green tea also lowered blood glucose levels in diabetic db /db mice and streptozotocin-diabetic mice two to six hours after administration at 300 mg/kg without affecting serum insulin level, whereas no effect was observed in control mice .
Under in vivo conditions, glutathione acts as an antioxidant, and its decrease was reported in a diabetes mellitus model . The increased glutathione content in the liver of the rats treated with GTPs may be one of the factors responsible for the inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Superoxide dismutase and catalase are the two major scavenging enzymes that remove the toxic free radicals in vivo . Vucic et al . reported that the activity of superoxide dismutase is low in diabetes mellitus.
SMC and PTT did the literature search and drafted the manuscript. RK and IN critically reviewed the literature and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
In humans, Hirasawa and Takada studied the antifungal activity of green tea catechins against Candida albicans and the convenience of a combined treatment with catechins and lower doses of antimycotics, which may help to avoid the side effects of antimycotics. Green tea consumption has also been associated with increased bone mineral density, and it has been identified as an independent factor protecting against the risk of hip fractures; this effect was considered independent of smoking status, hormone replacement therapy, coffee drinking, and the addition of milk to tea . Park et al . observed the positive effects of green tea extracts and GTPs on the proliferation and activity of bone cells. The proliferation of hepatic stellate cells is closely related to the progression of liver fibrosis in chronic liver diseases, and EGCG has a potential inhibitory effect on the proliferation of these cells . Green tea strengthens the immune system action because it protects it against oxidants and radicals. Recent studies suggested that GTPs might protect against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases and other neurodegenerative diseases . Studies have demonstrated GTP neuroprotectant activity in cell cultures and animal models, such as the prevention of neurotoxin-induced cell injury . Green tea is considered to be useful for insect stings due mainly to its anti-inflammatory effects and its capacity to stop bleeding . Some studies have suggested an inverse association between green tea consumption and the risk of kidney stone formation . In an experimental cataractogenesis system, green tea acted by preserving the antioxidant defense system of the lens . Skrzydlewska et al . indicated a beneficial effect of green tea in alcohol intoxication. In addition to all of these reported properties, which have helped the recognition of green tea as functional food by some authors , green tea is also currently used in the preparation of a variety of foods, pharmaceutical preparations, dentifrices, and cosmetics .
1 NPO International Laboratory of Biochemistry, 1-166 Uchide, Nakagawa-ku, Nagoya, 454-0926, Japan
The chemical composition of green tea is complex: proteins , whose enzymes constitute an important fraction; amino acids such as theanine or 5- N- ethylglutamine, glutamic acid, tryptophan, glycine, serine, aspartic acid, tyrosine, valine, leucine, threonine, arginine, and lysine; carbohydrates such as cellulose, pectins, glucose, fructose, and sucrose; minerals and trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, chromium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, sodium, phosphorus, cobalt, strontium, nickel, potassium, fluorine, and aluminum; and trace amounts of lipids , sterols , vitamins , xanthic bases , pigments , and volatile compounds . Due to the great importance of the mineral presence in tea, many studies have determined their levels in tea leaves and their infusions 1 ) . Fresh leaves contain, on average, 3-4% of alkaloids known as methylxanthines, such as caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline . In addition, there are phenolic acids such as gallic acids and characteristic amino acid such as theanine present .
Laboratory studies showed the health effects of green tea. As the human clinical evidence is still limited, future research needs to define the actual magnitude of health benefits, establishes the safe range of tea consumption associated with these benefits, and elucidates the mechanisms of action. Development of more specific and sensitive methods with more representative models along with the development of good predictive biomarkers will give a better understanding of how green tea interacts with endogenous systems and other exogenous factors. Definitive conclusions concerning the protective effect of green tea have to come from well-designed observational epidemiological studies and intervention trials. The development of biomarkers for green tea consumption, as well as molecular markers for its biological effects, will facilitate future research in this area.
1 NPO International Laboratory of Biochemistry, 1-166 Uchide, Nakagawa-ku, Nagoya, 454-0926, Japan
Green tea contains polyphenols, which include flavanols, flavandiols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids; these compounds may account for up to 30% of the dry weight. Most of the green tea polyphenols are flavonols, commonly known as catechins. Products derived from green tea are mainly extracts of green tea in liquid or powder form that vary in the proportion of polyphenols and caffeine content . The major flavonoids of green tea are various catechins, which are found in greater amounts in green tea than in black or Oolong tea . There are four kinds of catechins mainly find in green tea: epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, and EGCG . The preparation methods influence the catechins both quantitatively and qualitatively; the amount of catechins also varies in the original tea leaves due to differences in variety, origin, and growing conditions . The preparation of fresh green tea cannot totally extract catechins from the leaves; therefore, the concentration found differs from the absolute values determined through the complete extraction of leaves . Moreover, catechins are relatively unstable and could be quantitatively and qualitatively modified during the time frame of an experiment . Thus, comparison of ingested doses in animal studies is not possible because the catechin quantification before administration is often not known.
A study by Waltner-Law et al . provided compelling in vitro evidence that EGCG decreases glucose production of H4IIE rat hepatoma cells. The investigators showed that EGCG mimics insulin, increases tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor and the insulin receptor substrate, and reduces gene expression of the gluconeogenic enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. Recently, green tea and green tea extracts were demonstrated to modify glucose metabolism beneficially in experimental models of type II diabetes mellitus . In addition, EGCG ameliorates cytokine-induced β cell damage in vitro and prevents the decrease of islet mass induced by treatment with multiple low doses of streptozotocin in vivo .
Harmful effects of tea overconsumption are due to three main factors: its caffeine content, the presence of aluminum, and the effects of tea polyphenols on iron bioavailability. Green tea should not be taken by patients suffering from heart conditions or major cardiovascular problems. Pregnant and breast-feeding women should drink no more than one or two cups per day, because caffeine can cause an increase in heart rhythm. It is also important to control the concomitant consumption of green tea and some drugs, due to caffeine’s diuretic effects . Some studies revealed the capacity of tea plants to accumulate high levels of aluminum. This aspect is important for patients with renal failure because aluminum can be accumulated by the body, resulting in neurological diseases; it is therefore necessary to control the intake of food with high amounts of this metal . Likewise, green tea catechins may have an affinity for iron, and green tea infusions can cause a significant decrease of the iron bioavailability from the diet .
The health benefits of green tea for a wide variety of ailments, including different types of cancer, heart disease, and liver disease, were reported. Many of these beneficial effects of green tea are related to its catechin, particularly -epigallocatechin-3-gallate, content. There is evidence from in vitro and animal studies on the underlying mechanisms of green tea catechins and their biological actions. There are also human studies on using green tea catechins to treat metabolic syndrome, such as obesity, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors.
* Data refer to dry weight of tea leaves.
Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More .
Tea is one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide. Tea, from the plant Camellia sinensis , is consumed in different parts of the world as green, black, or Oolong tea. Among all of these, however, the most significant effects on human health have been observed with the consumption of green tea . The first green tea was exported from India to Japan during the 17th century. It is estimated that about 2.5 million tons of tea leaves are produced each year throughout the world, with 20% produced as green tea, which is mainly consumed in Asia, some parts of North Africa, the United States, and Europe . The association between tea consumption, especially green tea, and human health has long been appreciated . Green tea and black tea are processed differently during manufacturing. To produce green tea, freshly harvested leaves are immediately steamed to prevent fermentation, yielding a dry, stable product. This steaming process destroys the enzymes responsible for breaking down the color pigments in the leaves and allows the tea to maintain its green color during the subsequent rolling and drying processes. These processes preserve natural polyphenols with respect to the health-promoting properties. As green tea is fermented to Oolong and then to black tea, polyphenol compounds in green tea are dimerized to form a variety of theaflavins, such that these teas may have different biological activities.
Tea has been shown anticarcinogenic effects against breast cancer in experimental studies . However, epidemiologic evidence that tea protects against breast cancer has been inconsistent . A case-control study was conducted in southeastern China between 2004 and 2005 . The incidence cases were 1009 female patients aged 20-87 years with histologically confirmed breast cancer, and the 1009 age-matched controls were healthy women randomly recruited from breast disease clinics. Information on duration, frequency, quantity, preparation, and type of tea consumption as well as diet and lifestyle were collected by face-to-face interviews using a validated and reliable questionnaire. In comparison with non-tea drinkers, green tea drinkers tended to reside in urban settings, to have more education, and to consume more coffee, alcohol, soy, vegetables, and fruits. After adjusting established and potential confounding factors, green tea consumption was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. Similar dose-response relationships were observed for duration of drinking green tea, number of cups consumed, and new batches prepared per day.
Tea catechins can affect iron absorption, particularly in groups at risk of iron deficiency , but their effects on other ions are poorly understood. Green tea ingestion over a long period does not affect the apparent absorption of copper, whereas it decreases that of zinc and increases that of manganese . However, catechin intake does not affect the plasma concentration of these ions . Green tea catechins have the potential to affect absorption and metabolism of ions because flavonoids interact with a variety of metal ions .
Studies using animal models show that green tea catechins provide some protection against degenerative diseases . Some studies indicated that green tea has an antiproliferative activity on hepatoma cells and a hypolipidemic activity in hepatoma-treated rats, as well as the prevention of hepatoxicity and as a preventive agent against mammary cancer post-initiation . Green tea catechins could also act as antitumorigenic agents and as immune modulators in immunodysfunction caused by transplanted tumors or by carcinogen treatment . Moreover, green tea, its extract, and its isolated constituents were also found to be effective in preventing oxidative stress and neurological problems . do green tea really help lose weight

Posted in Uncategorized
Posted in Uncategorized
Posted in Uncategorized
Posted in Uncategorized