Native to Taiwan, Bubble tea is highly popular in some of the southeast Asian countries. It is a beverage that is basically made of milk, tea, sweetener, and tapioca pearls. This tea became popular during the late nineties, and the credit for inventing bubble tea is claimed by two tea houses in Taiwan. Earlier, this drink was prepared with hot black tea, sweetener, condensed milk, and tapioca pearls.
Nowadays, it is available in numerous versions with ingredients, like flavored syrups, fruit juices, coffee, different types of tea, milk, etc. It is sold in both hot and cold versions. Initially, white tapioca pearls were mainly used for preparing bubble tea. Nowadays, brown ones are more popular. In order to prepare bubble tea, you have to make bubble tea pearls and sugar syrup.
Making Tapioca Pearls and Sugar Syrup
Bubble tea tapioca pearls (boba) are available in different colors, like white, brown, rainbow, black, etc. Get some tapioca pearls and cook them in water. The correct ratio of water to tapioca pearls is 7:1. So take seven parts of water for one part of tapioca pearls. One cup of boba will be sufficient for preparing around seven to ten servings of bubble tea. Take seven cups of water in a large pot, and bring it to boil. Add boba to the boiling water, and cook for around 30 minutes, over medium heat. Make sure to stir occasionally, so that the pearls do not stick to the pot. Once cooked, tapioca pearls will become transparent and float on the top.
Some people soak boba beforehand. Soaking makes the pearls tender, and reduces the cooking time too. Once the pearls get cooked, remove the pot from heat. Keep it aside with the lid on, for another 20 minutes. After that, rinse the pearls with water and drain. The next step is to cover these cooked tapioca pearls with sugar syrup, which can be prepared by boiling two cups of water, along with a cup each of brown sugar and white sugar. The mixture has to be cooked over medium heat, till it boils. Let it cool, before adding to the cooked tapioca pearls. You may refrigerate this mixture, if you intend to make cold bubble tea. You may also store them separately.
Bubble Tea with Milk
In order to prepare this recipe, you have to make the base tea. You may use green tea, black tea, or any other type of tea, for this purpose. All you have to do is to combine a gallon of water with four ounces of tea, and bring it to boil in a large pot. Once it starts boiling, check the time, and wait for another eight minutes to remove from heat. Strain the tea and let it cool.
In order to prepare a single serving of bubble tea, add a tablespoon of sugar syrup, two tablespoons of cream, and ¾ cup of base tea to a shaker, and combine them well. Add a cup of ice, and shake it till froth is formed. Take a tall glass, and add 3 to 4 tablespoons of cooked tapioca pearls, and pour the blended tea mixture over them. Your bubble tea is ready.
The above said is one of the classic bubble tea recipes. You may also go for hot versions of this beverage by using bubble tea flavored powder, milk, base tea, and cooked tapioca pearls. For a single serving, take four tablespoons of flavored powder, ¼ cup milk, 1½ cup hot base tea, and 3 tablespoons of boba. Mix the flavored powder with hot tea, and combine them well, before adding milk. Place the cooked tapioca pearls in a cup, and pour the tea mixture over them. Serve with a fat straw. You may also use coffee or fruit juice instead of base tea.