Nai Cha- cha cha cha!

8 12 2009

This is my favorite thing. It was Jeremiah’s favorite thing first and I resisted. He got me a nai cha (translation- milk tea) a couple months ago and they put sweet red beans and some other weird square jelly thing and that put me off it. A few weeks ago I tried it again with sweet rice gluten balls or ‘pearls’ or zhen zou (jen jew) and finally understood the obsession. It’s reminiscent of hot cocoa- sweet, hot, milky, delicious, etc.

This is how you take it home. They put all to-go drinks in little bags in China, even at McDonald’s or KFC (which is the more popular fast food chain, fyi.)

The little bags are great for the hot drinks and so much easier to carry if you’re headed onto the bus.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the lid.

After they fill your cup with a scoop of black pearls they either ladle the tea from a crock pot (at the mom and pop shops) or give it a scoop of powder and fill it up with hot tea (at the chains.) We had pink pearls once and they were weird and menthol-y. Always bet on black, if you ask me. Then they put the cup in the front of a machine, turn the crank so a roll of plastic is hovering over your cup and then the pull a lever that somehow seals the plastic over the top. They pick it up and shake it to mix the pearls around and make sure the lid is one tight.

They will then ask if you want them to stab the lid with the oversized straw or if you are taking it somewhere to drink later and want to leave it sealed. We have learned by watching the nai cha ladies that you must be forceful when you pierce the plastic. Being wishy-washy just creates wet clothes.

As you can see, I have a technique almost perfected.

A small nai cha is 2 or 3 quai (30-45 cents) and a large is 4-6 quai. I looked up the calories online and it seems the pearls are the trouble. A cup of the tea is only 60 calories or so. I am still debating how to deal with only getting pearls occasionally. They are so flipping delicious!

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3 responses

9 12 2009
GinniB

Boba tea! I fuckin love that stuff. The balls are usually just tapioca- not too bad for you! the big straw is the best part.

LOVE following your adventures, Missy. Hope you are well.

Ginni

9 12 2009
Libs

I *heart* milk tea!!! Drink one for me — they just aren’t the same over here when they cost $4.

Love you much, Lady!!!

10 12 2009
misspass

I love that you two are reading this sucker! I’ve had it in the US but, as everything Chinese is, it’s just BETTER here and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I never tried one hot?

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