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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Chinese store offers healthy alternative for drinks

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bea Lovan, owner of Southpark Chinese in the mall, poses with two flavors of bubble tea that she is now selling in her store. The bubble tea comes in 10 favors and is available for $3.49.
(Photo by Mark Schafer)
When the soda machine broke down at Southpark Chinese in the Southpark mall, the owner had a rare opportunity to bring a new type of drink to the region.

Bea Lovan had heard of and tried bubble tea from her two daughters when she had visited them down in the Des Moines area.

"My daughters had introduced me to bubble tea," Lovan said. "They have it available in a Thai food place down there. At first my kids hated it -- but now they're hooked."

Having space to fill after the soda machine broke down, again, Lovan decided to try the bubble tea in the Spencer area, bringing a unique taste to the Iowa Lakes region.

"I just wanted people to have a new thing to try," Lovan said. "This is something different for the people of Spencer, since this is the first place in the Iowa Lakes region to offer these drinks."

Even though the name suggests that the drink is warm, it is quite the opposite.

"It's like a healthy version of a smoothie," Lovan said.

Bubble tea is described as: "A drink made with an original blend of tea and natural flavors served over sweet and chewy pearls. The pearls are also called bobas and are made of tapioca and gelatin."

"They taste like a gummy bear," Lovan said of the bubbles. "But a healthy gummy bear."

Unlike smoothies, bubble tea is low in sugar and calories.

Even though the bubble tea has only been available for about 20 days, and Lovan hasn't advertised the drink, she said Spencer has accepted it so far.

"It only took 21 days, but I've already had a great response to the drink," Lovan said. "The community has been really supportive."

Even though the drink might be considered a summer type drink, Lovan said that she plans to keep it year round.

"I have room to blend it in with the feel of my store," Lovan said. "I'll keep selling it even in the winter."

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