Bubble tea is a sweetened cold drink, with many variations. It is generally sweetened black or green tea, mixed with milk and fruit syrup. Originally, it was a cold milk tea that was shaken until frothy. Nowadays, it generally has boba pearls in it.
|Various Fruity Bubble Teas|
|Black boba pearls, prior to cooking|
Photo Credit: Mokiko
- 1 cup tapioca pearls
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 8 cups water for tapioca
- 1 cup water for sugar syrup
- 4 tea bags - any tea you like - we used Orange Pekoe
- Milk or sweetened condensed milk (having the sweet tooth we have, we used sweetened condensed milk)
1. In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil and add the tapioca balls. When the balls start to float at the top, reduce heat to medium. Boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the tapioca doesn't stick to the bottom or to each other. Turn off the heat, and let sit for 30 more minutes with the cover on the pot.
|Cooked tapioca pearls|
Very interesting texture - fun to put a few aside for kids to touch them
3. Make a simple syrup as well while the tapioca is cooking - bring one cup of water to a boil and add both sugars. Dissolve, and set aside to cool. (It will cool quicker if transferred to another dish)
4. Once the tapioca pearls are cooked, drain and rinse them in cold water to chill them. Combine the tapioca and sugar syrup in a dish, and let "marinate" for at least 20 minutes. You could put them aside at this point to be used later, but they should be left at room temperature or they will harden. The longer they sit, the "crunchier" they will be, so it's ideal to consume them within 24 hours.
5. With all the components made and cooled, it is time to assemble. If you have a cocktail shaker, combine tea, ice and milk (to your preference) and shake. Add tapioca and simple syrup to taste afterwards.
We don't have a shaker, so we started with 2 tbsp of tapioca, a few ice cubes, and poured the tea over that. We all tasted our own to determine whether we wanted to add sugar syrup or milk. It was actually quite sweet just from the syrup that came with the tapioca. Despite that, three of us still added a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. Then we stirred well.
We enjoyed our drinks with some sweet steamed Chinese buns. Elle downed her drink, then decided she didn't care for it :) We all had fun chewing our tapioca - that is, until halfway through, and then we had all had enough of the chewy balls. I guess 1 tbsp would have been enough. We were also left with enough cooked tapioca for a few more glassfuls.
*The other popular drink we have tried, Cocoa with Rock Salt & Cheese was more of a hit. You can find our recipe here.