Sunday, June 27, 2010

Homemade bubble tea!

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.
Mix the chilled tea with the milk in a large pitcher.
For each serving, put a couple of spoonfuls of the tapioca in the bottom of the glass, fill up with the tea, stick in a straw and enjoy!

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