Bubble is a simplified and ‘catch-all’ name for the interesting and amazingly distinct drink that is known around the world with several names such as tapioca pearl drinks, black pearl tea, pearl shake, boba tea, pearl tea, boba nai cha, boba ice tea, bubble drink, milk tea, momi milk tea, zhen zhu nai cha, PT, BBT, and many others.
Bubble tea is extremely different from the plain tea that we all know about. It is a non-carbonated and non-alcoholic beverage, which is sweet to taste, but contains much less sugar than typical soft drinks. A wide variety of flavors can be incorporated into this amazing drink. In general, it comprises of a mix of tea, sugar, milk, and black tapioca pearls. It has been given the name ‘bubble’ due to the foam created after shaking the fresh brewed tea along with ice.
For anyone who hasn’t tried bubble tea before, the first experiences can be quite interesting as well as fun. It comes in wild pastel colors of yellow, green, or pink. The most interesting part of any Bubble Tea is the unusual tapioca pearls incorporated in it. They are about the same size as pearls and small marbles with a soft and chewy consistency similar to gummy candy. Bubble Tea is usually served in tall see-through glasses along with extra-wide straws to help sip these large sized pearls easily.
Bubble tea can easily be made at home as well. However, it is better to consume the tapioca pearls immediately after preparing them as they tend to lose their soft and gummy texture if they are left standing for too long. However, if you are not in the mood to prepare it at home, head down to a Bubble Tea shop in your neighborhood and try it at least once.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Large tapioca pearls, cooked and chilled – ½ cup
Crushed ice – 1 cup
Black tea, very strong, chilled – 1 cup
Milk – 1 cup
Sugar or Honey to taste
Take a large size pot and add 6 – 8 cups of water to it. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Make sure that the pot is so big that the boiling tapioca water doesn’t spill over while boiling.
Gently stir in tapioca pearls while stirring continuously to ensure that they do not get stuck together. After about a minute, the tapioca pearls would start floating on top. At this time, reduce the heat and let the pearls simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. After this, remove them from the flame but let them sit covered for another 15 minutes. Drain the water and wash the tapioca pearls under cold water.
Once cooled, place the tapioca pearls inside a parfait glass. Mix together all the ingredients required for the bubble tea in a cocktail shaker. Shake the contents vigorously for several minutes till you get a frothy mixture. Pour into the parfait glass containing the tapioca pearl and serve along with thick straws.