How To Make Bubble Tea At Home

Katherine, 01 June 2009,
Categories: Food and Drink
Tags: , ,

bubble teaWhat is bubble tea?  It is a delicious, unusual and amazingly fun thing to drink – and you will have missed out if you don’t get the opportunity to try it!  Sometimes called “Boba tea,” bubble tea originated in Taiwan.  It is a tea drink that contains tapioca balls, sometimes called pearls.  The drink is served with a large straw that is used to “suck up” the tapioca balls as you drink.  (I would NOT recommend this method with a small child, who could easily choke!) 

Bubble tea is served in many varieties, from fruit flavors to milk tea drinks.  Personally I have only had the opportunity to drink regular “bubble tea,” and after having that I don’t believe I would want it any other way.  It is just that good! 

To make bubble tea at home, purchase a bag of tapioca pearls from any Asian mart.  Follow the recipe on the bag for cooking.  I cannot stress how important it is to use a huge amount of water for even the smallest amount of tapioca balls.  You should also be careful not to overcook them, as this will make them a bit slimy and they won’t hold their shape.  The ratio is about 7:1, with water being 7 to 1 part pearls. 

Boil the water before you add the pearls.  Add the pearls to your boiling water and stir.  Lower the heat and cover, letting them cook for 20 to 25 minutes.  Stir a few times during this process.  Take the pot off the heat and let them sit in the hot water for another 25 minutes.  Drain and store in a bit of the simple syrup you will be preparing for your tea. 

For your simple syrup, boil two cups of water with one cup of white sugar and one cup of brown sugar.  When it reaches a boil, take it off the heat and stir.  I like to put a few drops of vanilla extract in my simple syrup.  You can also use almond extract or any other flavor that sounds tasty. 

In the meantime, boil water for your tea.  Prepare the tea to taste and refrigerate.  You can purchase flavor packets to add to your bubble tea.  These can be found online, but are a bit pricey.  I skip this and simply use the tea and the simple syrup.  If you have fruit juice in the fridge, you can add that to your tea for an extra bit of flavor. 

Now, put some “bubbles” in the bottom of your cup.  Add tea and simple syrup to taste.  If you do not have the large straws, you can eat the pearls with a spoon as you sip your tea. 

We have a food festival at our church once every year in which they have a table selling bubble tea.  This year they knew me after my first visit. Seven bubble teas later, they gave me an eighth for free.  Ahhhh…. Bubble tea!

picture of bubble tea