SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In celebration of San Francisco Design Week (SFDW) and 2017’s theme “question everything”, luxury tea blender TEALEAVES and the city’s premier address for luxury and timeless elegance, The St. Regis San Francisco, have collaborated to challenge sourcing and techniques in the world of bubble tea, elevating the beverage to the world of five-star luxury. Appropriately named the “Boba Teashake”, the World's Most Expensive Bubble Tea project seeks to “make the ordinary, extraordinary.” On June 22, Franck Desplechin, executive chef at The St. Regis San Francisco, will present the Boba Teashake at San Francisco Design Week, where ticket holders will be able to learn about the proper techniques of blending, preparing, tasting, and evaluating the perfect cup of tea, as well as watch a culinary demonstration, and partake in a tea tasting by TEALEAVES.
Bubble tea, also known as “boba”, “PMT”, and “BBT”, is a common beverage of Taiwanese origin that first appeared in the 1980s, of which chewy tapioca pearls are poured into a glass of iced, sweetened tea. Today, although the drink has gained popularity around the world, oftentimes the ingredients used are not of the highest standard—from low quality tea using non-dairy creamers, corn syrups, and the dust and fannings of the tea leaf to powdered and artificial flavors—which has tarnished the drink’s reputation in certain markets.
“With this project, we asked ourselves, ‘How would we reimagine bubble tea with unlimited resources and time?’” says TEALEAVES CEO Lana Sutherland. “The World’s Most Expensive Bubble Tea project isn’t about masking the ordinary with diamond-encrusted straws and gold chalices, but is a challenge for us all to elevate expectations, quality, and the standards of ingredients and techniques, using bubble tea as an example—to ‘shake up the status quo’ and ‘question everything’. Creating the World’s Most Expensive Bubble Tea is not an end destination, but a forever-aspiration. It’s about craftsmanship in the art of tea and culinary, and the never-ending pursuit of perfection.”
The result is the birth of a new world-class beverage: the Boba Teashake.
To serve as the tea base for the Boba Teashake, TEALEAVES’ Master Blenders created a Lychee Passionfruit Bubble Tea blend of whole tea leaves blended specifically for ice, using an approach completely different than that for hot tea. As a beverage cools, its aroma has less impact on the overall intensity of the palate, so the color and taste of the blend were amplified to provide the best experience for the senses. Indian, Chinese, and Ceylon black tea were blended with the natural oils of lychee and passionfruit for a delicate aroma, even over ice. When ice is immediately added to typical hot black teas, a natural reaction occurs where microscopic air bubbles emerge due to the tea’s low pH levels and clouding of the beverage occurs. The Lychee Passionfruit Bubble Tea blend was created carefully in small batches by hand while examining the tea’s acidity so it can withstand cold temperatures when “shocked” with ice to reduce the chance of cloudiness. The overarching goal is to achieve a clear liquor reminiscent of scotch on the rocks.
“When creating the Boba Teashake, the Lychee Passionfruit Bubble Tea blend was prepared with proper infusion times and temperature to achieve the best expression of taste and nuanced flavor, while preventing the over-extraction of bitter tannins typically found in regular, over-steeped bubble tea,” says Executive Chef Franck Desplechin of The St. Regis San Francisco. “We infused the tapioca pearls with TEALEAVES Mountain Berry herbal blend to add an extra dimension of taste and texture, and paired it with a passionfruit coulis, sea salt caramel foam, and fleur de sel. The name of the Boba Teashake is an homage to the technique of using a cocktail shaker to create the signature bubbles and cool the beverage, instead of the typical method of letting ice melt inside, which dilutes the flavor. We wanted to unearth bubble tea’s true potential by using the highest quality ingredients and five-star culinary techniques to create something unforgettably delicious.”
TEALEAVES, known for training five-star hotels and Michelin Star chefs worldwide in the art of tea, first publicly collaborated with Executive Chef Franck Desplechin from The St. Regis San Francisco for the TEALEAVES x Pantone #PaletteForYourPalate project and sought out another collaboration after its success in both epicurean and design circles alike. With chef as artist and glass as canvas, Chef Franck Desplechin again uses TEALEAVES tea as muse to perfect the World’s Most Expensive Bubble Tea.
After months of tastings and experimentation, the TEALEAVES x The St. Regis San Francisco World’s Most Expensive Bubble Tea blend, Lychee Passionfruit Bubble Tea Black (Master Blend No. 7502), is now available for $23.95 USD/100g at TEALEAVES.com.
More information about the World’s Most Expensive Bubble Tea project and the Boba Teashake’s recipe can be discovered at worldsmostexpensivebubbletea.com.
Established in 1994, TEALEAVES is one of the very few tea blenders in the world, known for crafting the highest quality teas in small batches by hand. TEALEAVES strives for perfection, driven by the never-ending quest to make the perfect cup of tea. With the philosophy of inspiring creativity and connections through the art of blending, TEALEAVES has gripped the hearts and minds five-star hotels and Michelin Star chefs, worldwide, as their tea brand of choice for over two decades. Sourcing ingredients from over 90 countries and keeping only 1% of the tea leaves presented to them from the world's highest grade gardens, TEALEAVES hopes to stay people’s “cup of tea” for generations to come, whether in a five-star environment or in the luxury of one’s home. More information is available at TEALEAVES.com.
About The St. Regis San Francisco
The St. Regis San Francisco opened in November 2005, introducing a new dimension of luxury and timeless elegance to the city of San Francisco. The 40-story landmark building, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, includes 100 private residences rising 19 floors above the 260- room St. Regis Hotel. From legendary butler service, “anticipatory” guest care and impeccable staff training to the signature Remède Spa, luxurious amenities and interior design by Yabu Pushelberg of Toronto, The St. Regis San Francisco delivers an unmatched guest experience. The St. Regis San Francisco is located at 125 Third Street. Telephone: 415.284.4000. Web site: www.stregissanfrancisco.com.