The oldest known bubble tea consisted of a mixture of hot Taiwanese black tea, small tapioca pearls (Chinese: 粉圓; pinyin: fěn yuán), condensed milk, and syrup (Chinese: 糖漿; pinyin: táng jiāng) or honey.  Many variations followed; the most common are served cold rather than hot. The most prevalent varieties of tea have changed frequently.  The tapioca pearls are made from the starch of the cassava which was introduced to Taiwan from South America during Japanese colonial rule.
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