How to make bubble tea at home
WHAT IS BUBBLE TEA?Bubble tea is a Taiwanese tea-based drink that goes by several different names - boba tea, milk tea, pearl tea and a few others. The term bubble, boba and pearl refers to the chewy little tapioca balls (aka tapioca pearls) that are added to a tea based drink. Tapioca is the starch that’s extracted from the cassava root which are flavourless in its natural state. Tapioca pearls are loved in both hot and cold teas and non-tea beverages for their chewiness. If you are new to bubble tea and want to get some more history behind what it is you can read all about it here.
The basic ingredients of bubble tea are quite simple: tapioca pearls, your favourite black tea, milk, and sweetener. You can typically find a bag of instant black tapioca pearls at your local Asian market. Just remember to purchase the instant, instead of the traditional tapioca pearls if you want to save some cooking time. For the tea base, the most basic version of the bubble tea is made with strong black tea. You want to make sure that there’s enough tea leaves to make a concentrated batch of tea as the addition of milk and ice will dilute it quite a bit. Running short on time or can’t wait for the tea to brew? You can purchase instant, concentrated black tea in advance so that you always have it handy. The milk that’s added to the tea is typically half-and-half cream or full milk, but oat, soy or other plant-based milk alternatives work as well. Lastly, the sweetener for your bubble tea made at home can be anything you prefer, whether it’s honey, sugar, simple syrup or agave. The beauty of making your own at home means you have full control over how sweet you want it to be!
HOW TO MAKE BUBBLE TEA - 2 servings
Brew the tea - In 2 cups of freshly boiled water, steep your favourite black tea bags until the tea cools down completely. That’s 4-6 bags of black tea or about 1.5 teaspoons of loose-leaf black tea.
Prepare the tapioca pearls - Bring about 5 cups of water to boil and slowly add ½ cup of tapioca pearls. Let it boil for about 5 minutes and stir lightly until they start to float to the surface. Try a pearl at this point to see if the softness is to your liking and cook a few more minutes by 2-3 minutes at a time until they've reached your desired softness. Drain the water out using a strainer and transfer the pearls into a bowl after a quick rinse with cold water. You can mix the sweetener into the tapioca if you prefer.
Assemble the tea - Divide the cooked tapioca in 2 large cups and add a few ice cubes into the cups. Pour 1 cup of tea (strained if steeped in loose-leaf tea), 1 tablespoon of milk and sweetener into the cup and stir to mix. This is where you have full control! Depending on your desired taste, you can cut down or add milk and sweetener. Finally, grab your favourite reusable glass bubble tea straw and sip (and chew) away!
There are so many variations you can make - need to cut down on your caffeine intake? Add the tapioca pearls to your favourite fruit smoothie. Making a kid friendly version? Replace tea with chocolate milk. Feeling too cold to add ice? Use warm tea! Tapioca pearls taste really delicious in hot drinks too. The possibilities are endless.
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Check out our Instagram reel later tonight to see how to make bubble tea using the holiday bubble tea gift set in clear. We have some wonderful promos coming up this week for Black Friday and you already know it, our subscribers get the first dibs on our promo! So stay tuned and get your friends to subscribe to our newsletter so they can also be the first to know!