Tuesday, May 29, 2012



Bubble tea, also known as boba, black pearl tea or tapioca drink, is in essence a sweetened tea beverage with texture from large tapioca pearls. It may be served chilled or hot with a wide straw so that the tapioca pearls can be sucked up with the drink and eaten, even though they have little taste. Bubble tea is to Taiwan what flavored coffees or soda is the U.S. Originating in Taiwan in the early 1980’s at a small tea stand which was frequented by elementary school children, the owner began adding fruit flavoring to her tea and shaking it well forming bubbles in the drink. Children loved the sweet and cool taste. In addition, Chun Shui Tang teahouse owned by Liu Han-Chieh began adding tapioca pearls to the cold infused flavored tea and after the drink was shaken, the tapioca pearls which settled to the bottom looked like bubbles. Therefore, this form of tea dessert gets its name from not only its distinctive appearance with “bubbles” on the top as a result of its shaken preparation, but also the “bubbles” on the bottom of a clear cup in the form of marble sized tapioca pearls.

clip_image004The unique ingredient of bubble tea is the tapioca pearls which although usually black can also be white or translucent. They vary in color based on their ingredients with the white or translucent ones made from caramel, starch and chamomile root extract and the black pearls from sweet potato, cassava root and brown sugar. The proper consistency is like fresh gummy candy – not too soft and not too hard. The pearls are prepared by boiling the balls of tapioca which are available at most Asian markets for and then chilling or soaking them in sugar or honey before use.

clip_image002Although every shop that sells bubble tea has its own “recipe”, there are generally two types: flavored teas and milky teas and both can be served iced or hot. With a base of healthy green or black tea, either dairy or non-dairy creamers can be added to prepare the milky version, while a wide variety of fruit flavoring added as a powder, juice, syrup or pulp provides the special addition to the flavored teas. After all the additions, the drink is shaken in a cocktail shaker or put in a blender after which a scoop of the cooked tapioca pearls are added. The drink should be smooth and tasty with the cool version having a refreshing feeling and the warm beverage at the right temperature to warm ones inside.

Bubble Tea has spread internationally
to major cities with large Asian populations.

The trend in the United States started in San Gabriel, CA
and quickly spread throughout Southern California

Homemade bubble tea is simple and you can experiment with the flavors even making a slushy version with shaved ice. Here are some basic recipes – experiment and enjoy!!

1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 c water
          Mix sugar and water and cook at medium to high heat to boiling then immediately remove from heat, let cool and serve. Refrigerate any excess.

TAPIOCA PEARLS (6-10 servings)
1 c large Tapioca Pearls 6-8 c water
          Boil water in a large pot then add tapioca pearls. Boil for about 25-30 mins with the lid on then turn off the heat and allow to sit another 25-30 mins.  Rinse in warm water, strain and cover with sugar syrup and serve.

1 c fresh fruit (strawberry, watermelon, mango or papaya)
1/2 c green tea
1 c ice
Sugar Syrup to taste
Cooked tapioca pearls
          Put all ingredients except tapioca pearls into a blender and blend well. Add tapioca pearls to a cup and pour drink over. Enjoy!

3/4 c tea (black, green, oolong, chai, rooibos or yerba mate)
1/4 c non-dairy powder creamer
1 c ice
Sugar Syrup to taste
Cooked tapioca pearls
          Put hot tea, creamer and syrup in a shaker and mix well. Add in ice, cover shaker and shake for a nice froth. Add tapioca pearls to a cup and pour drink over. Enjoy!



 “Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

Psalm 34:8


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