The first time I had bubble tea I didn’t like it. I thought it was strange big tapioca balls up a big straw. But, as it turned out, I now love those big ol’ tapioca balls. The thing I really didn’t like was the taste. I had gotten a very “manufactured” strawberry flavor that tasted more like cheap strawberry candy than any real fruit. The next time I was encouraged to try a bubble tea again I went with “green tea” and as it turned out I LOVED everything about it.
Now some bubble tea has the big tapioca pearls and some have little rectangular bits of jelly that come in lots of flavors and others have boba which are little pearls filled with very strongly flavored liquid. I like the jelly sometimes but if you don’t drink your tea fast the flavor in them will take over your tea. The boba I cannot stand. It’s such a concentrated little flavor and they all taste fake to me. I do like how they pop in your mouth, though!
For me I almost always order a taro, almond or coconut smoothie which is a powder that has flavoring, coloring and non-dairy creamer that is crushed up with ice. It totally sounds weird, that non-dairy creamer, but I find it super tasty! Sometimes I’ll get a more liquid tea that is tea + milk and sometimes my favorite flavors. These are called milk teas. You can also get them without the milk and tons of flavors.
The thing is, these beverages are expensive. Like, oh, my gosh did we really spend $60 on bubble teas this month? We’re cheap and refuse to pay for cable and I think that might be what a basic package would cost (don’t know for a fact, though, because I have never had a cable bill before :) So I decided to order up some powders online for about $30 and we can have a bubble tea any time we please!
If you’ve never had bubble tea I’d suggest just buying the tapioca pearls and fat straws and adding them to a simple drink at home. You can add them to tea, coffee, juice and milk. If you dig it you can move onto getting powders, or you can just make tea drinks at home for even cheaper to add them to.
For this project you will need:
Get a few cups of water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Gently add your tapioca and boil for the time allotted on the packaging. I like my bubbles firm instead of mushy so I often do 30 seconds to a minute less than suggested. I also don’t like when the pearls get really fat because that makes them difficult to suck up a straw and it seems like it could be a choking hazard the way they fly up with all of the pressure you have to use to make them rise.
The bubbles will begin to float as they are done.
I like things crazy sweet so I put about 1/4 a cup of sugar into a cereal bowl to add my bubbles to. Rob likes them without sugar but every place you go, as far as I can tell, always sugars their tapioca. The sugar will turn liquid and the bubbles will just hang out in the wet sugar. Keep refrigerated and these will stay good for a day or two though most packages will say they are pretty much for immediate use.
Pour some tapioca in the bottom of a cup using a straining spoon to eliminate most of the liquid. Add tea, juice or your favorite smoothie on top.
For my smoothies I follow the package guidelines and combine powder, a bit of water and ice and blitz until smooth and wonderful! Follow package directions for yours.
Add a fat straw to your drink and get for one super fun beverage!
Now I LOVE the tapioca so whether I’m home or out I get “extra” pearls.
You’re normally going to encounter black pearls which are striking in the bottom of just about any color of drink but they also sell other colors including a fun multi-color.
Take care when giving the beverage to children. I have to tell you that kids do seem to love it. At Christmas Rob and I took our nephews to a bubble tea place for the oldest’s birthday and he thought it was pretty darn amazing :) The cool little sofa and metal walls helped a bit, too, I think!