Myrtle Beach (WBTW) – It’s all about trying something new with our next Beach Bites stop, where bubble tea is now on the menu in The Market Common.
“It’s kind of like a drink and dessert in one,” says Caitlyn Rapacz, co-owner of East Coast Tea.
Caitlyn and her husband are from Illinois and settled down in the Myrtle Beach area after falling in love with the area that has a special meaning to the pair.
“My husband and I got married here in 2015, and we’ve come back here every summer to vacation in June,” says Rapacz. “We’ve been trying to move down here for the past several years.”
Rapacz and her husband used to own a candy shop, but with so many here, they decided to take a risk on another culinary passion.
“Once we found out we couldn’t do the candy here, says Rapacz, “we decided to do a full-on bubble tea menu, and just go all out on the bubble tea.”
Back in Illinois her son wanted to try rolled ice cream. That shop was where Rapacz fell in love with bubble tea.
“We decided to get the bubble tea, and I really loved it,” says Rapacz. “We found ourselves going back every week, and there was always a huge line.”
Bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the late 1940s, became popular in Asia in the early 1980s, eventually working its way to the United States.
“Bubble teas are different drink options that you can choose like fruit teas, smoothies, milk teas, and quenchers, which are water or lemonade-based drinks, if you don’t want the tea,” says Rapacz. “Then you add in your different toppings which makes it the bubble tea.”
Tapioca is a key ingredient in bubble teas. Tapioca comes from the roots of what’s known as the cassava plant.
“We cook the tapioca here twice a day, and then we mix it with brown sugar and honey,” says Rapacz. “Then that soaks into the balls. They’re very chewy and it gives the drink another element.”
“A lot of people that didn’t even know what bubble tea was are coming back over and over again, every age range,” says Rapacz. “The older people are a little bit scared to try it, as they have never heard of this. The ones that do just love it, and they come back over and over again.”
If you’re looking to try them out, the East Coast Tea Bar is off Deville Street in The Market Common.