While at the Asian grocery store I decided to pick up a package of tapioca pearls and eventually think of a dessert to use with it. I was watching Sandra Lee's Semi Homemade and the theme was Asian food. At the end of her show she made a bubble drink but with...get this...vodka! No way jose I thought! haha So I remembered I had a package of tapioca I could use to make my own bubble drink...sans vodka. My favorite summer drink is a bubble milk tea from Maria's Hong Kong restaurant in Rockville, MD. Since the weather is getting warmer around here I thought I'd make it today.
If you're not familiar with what bubble tea it's a colorful blend of sweetened tea or juice with sweetened cooked tapioca pearls or coconut jelly and often a creamy addition or flavoring syrup or powder. The bubble teas you usually get at the store are big black pearls but I only had the small ones on hand. This would be great to prepare for a summertime bbq that's refreshing and your guests will love!
Prepare the green tea or any tea of your choice
4 cups water
Green tea, any brand
- Boil the water and steep 5 bags of green tea
- Let cool
2 1/2 cups or approximately 6-10 servings
Use shorter cooking time if you plan to refrigerate the pearls several days
1 cup large black or white tapioca pearls
6-8 cups water
- Never use less than 6 cups of water for each one cup of dry tapioca pearls. 8 or 10 to one is better.
- Most people like the pearls a little soft on the outside but a bit chewy. If you like your pearls tender all the way through, measure them, then cover with water and soak them for a few hours before draining and cooking.
- Bring the cooking water to a vigorous boil in a large pot.
- Stir in the tapioca pearls slowly, so they do not stick together or sink into a clump. The tapioca pearls will soon rise to float in the water.
- As soon as they float, boil covered for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the tapioca pearls. Stir two or three times during cooking.
- Turn the heat off and let the tapioca sit in the cooking water for another 25 minutes. Stir two or three times during soaking.
- Rinse the cooked tapioca pearls in tap water until the water runs clear and drain.
- Cover with bubble tea sugar syrup or brown sugar syrup, stir to coat. Refrigerate covered if not used right away; they will keep three or four days before they get too mushy.
- When you want some bubble tea, boil a cup of water and warm some refrigerated tapioca pearls for about 3-5 minutes. Then stir into the drink. Enjoy!
How to make bubble tea sugar syrup
This syrup is used BOTH to cover the cooked tapioca pearls and to sweeten the freshly made drink. Use all white sugar to flavor pearls for delicate fruit flavors and green tea drinks.
Use 1-2 tablespoons syrup for each 16 ounce serving.
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups water
- Mix sugar and water in a large pot.
- Cook at medium to high heat.
- As soon as the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils remove from heat.
- Let cool and refrigerate or serve.
This is the classic bubble tea drink. The most popular flavors are black tea and green jasmine tea. The cream may be omitted.
3/4 cup strong tea base
2 tablespoons creamy ingredient (milk, creamer, etc.)
1 tablespoon bubble tea sugar syrup
1 cup ice
3 to 4 tablespoons cooked Bubble Tea Tapioca Pearls
- Put tea, creamy ingredient and bubble tea sugar syrup in shaker and mix well.
- Add in ice, cover shaker and shake for a nice froth.
- Add tapioca pearls to the glass, and pour your drink over. Stir and enjoy!