This week, our Friday field trip is to an Asian market to get the scoop on making bubble tea.
Bubble tea is a sweetened cold tea drink mixed with chewy tapioca pearls (boba). If you have had it, you probably have thought, like me, ’how the heck do they make this?’
Since it originated in Taiwan, I thought an Asian market would be the best place to do some research on how to authentically create this beverage.
I made a trip to the most authentic Asian market I could find and discovered the manager was from Taiwan…perfect!
If you are a bubble tea lover, you know that the two most important requirements are 1. the tapioca pearls or boba, and 2. the straws… Yes, the straws are major. An extra wide straw is needed to accommodate the boba. Without the availability of the special straws, continuing the research seemed a waste…so, I first needed to confirm these two items were available in the market. They were!! I was so worried the straws would be hard to find. But, the market carried them and a package was only 99 cents!
Now to figure out how to actually make the beverage…It quickly became evident that the manager did indeed know how to make bubble tea, but my accurate translation of her explanation was another story completely! She barely spoke English and most every product in the store had few markings in English. This would be a challenge!
I did find that the store sold a commercial mix for bubble tea in a variety of flavors, but I decided against using a mix since I thought this would be cheating! I wanted to have an authentic bubble tea experience. Plus, I wanted to forgo adding any unnecessary artifical ingredients to my beverage.
So, after quite a bit of discussion (and some creative sign language) I learned how to prepare bubble tea. The store manager suggested coconut as my flavor of choice…I ran with it!
Although it is not a difficult drink to make, the tapioca or boba used in the drink require some advance preparation.
The preparation of a sugar syrup also requires advance preparation. I discovered, after some experimentation, I preferred the sugar syrup over the palm sugar as a sweetener for the drink. Palm sugar was a sweetener option that was suggested to me.
Add one cup of tapioca pearls to a couple of cups of boiling water. The pearls should float – keep them stirred so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Boil the pearls for 25 minutes and then turn off the heat and let the pearls sit in the water for another 25 minutes. Drain and rinse the pearls with lukewarm water. The final consistency of the pearls will be like chewing gum. I only prepared enough pearls for what I was going to use because I was told they harden over time.
Combine 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup dark brown sugar with a cup of water. Cook over medium heat until the sugars cook down and the mixture boils. Cool and store in the fridge. (If you don’t care about being authentic, you can sweeten your tea with honey or sugar while still hot and forgo this preparation.)
Coconut Bubble Tea Recipe
Prepare black tea. You will need 4 oz. for each serving. Put in fridge to cool.
Combine 4 oz. of water, 4 oz. of coconut milk, 2 oz. of milk, and 4 oz. of prepared tea for each serving. Add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of the prepared sugar syrup sweetener. Blend until fully mixed.
Spoon 4 Tablespoons of cooked tapioca into the bottom of a large glass. Pour coconut mixture into the glass. Add ice. Serve with an extra wide straw. ENJOY!
I hope you enjoyed sharing today’s field trip. I was so excited to discover the authentic way to make bubble tea! I don’t think it is something I will make on a regular basis, but it will be nice to be able to make it when the mood strikes… and, I may try making some other flavors in addition to the coconut!
Have a wonderful weekend…here in Connecticut we are expecting BIG snow…
Thanks for visiting and remember to enjoy pleasure in simple things, Jackie