I looove bubble tea. In Delaware, there was a cute place called T-licious that had the best bubble tea. St. Louis (where I was for undergrad) had a bunch of places that had it. They even made it in the library cafe! (Although now that I think about it, the one they made was definitely not authentic bubble tea. They used some kind of powdered mix, and now that I've made bubble tea, I have no idea why they did that.) But I haven't found any places in Charlottesville yet that serve it. Plus, any kind of drink like that is always overpriced. So I was very excited when I found a recipe to make your own!
The recipe is very very simple. I think next I want to try to make different flavors. I figure I can do that with either different flavored teas, or adding an extract. Maybe I can even infuse some flavor while boiling the tea? Update: Using Torani syrup as a sweetener and a flavor works really well
Next time I'll actually follow the recipe and stir in the sweetener while it's still warm. I forgot to do that this time, and had a hard time getting it to dissolve once it was cold.
I may have to start looking for the big black tapioca balls. But in the meantime, the small pearls were very delicate and fun!
Recipe: Bubble Tea (from Food for Laughter)
10 cups water, divided
4 black tea bags (I used 2 English Breakfast Tea and 2 Chai Tea)
Sweetener, to taste
1/2 cup small tapioca pearls
4 cups milk
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the tea bags. Let it steep until it reaches desired strength. Stir in the sweetener, and chill in the fridge. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add the tapioca. Stir it so nothing sticks to the bottom, and let it boil for 25 minutes. Note: Make sure you have enough water, or add some water halfway through. Also, stir every few minutes or so - some of mine stuck to the bottom.
Turn off the heat, cover, and let it sit for another 25 minutes.
Drain and rinse with warm water in a sieve.