Bubble tea comes in all kinds of forms, but here we’re going to be focusing on the traditional boba tea with tapioca pearls. Boba owes its existence to Taiwan, where the delicious drink was developed in the 1980’s – so it is relatively recent to the tea world!
Now, tapioca pearls are quite chewy, and some would say more of an acquired taste. If you don’t like tapioca, bubble tea can come with fruit flavoured popping balls which many people prefer. This allows for a lot of customization as you can choose the flavour of your tea and a different flavour of popping balls. Who thought to put these pearls in tea though? Well, milk tea was already a popular drink in Taiwan, and tapioca was a common dessert – so why not combine the creamy smoothness of the milk tea with the chewy dessert? This drink quickly became popular and spread across Taiwan and other parts of east Asia. New variations started cropping up, to include jelly, egg pudding, red beans, fruit teas and more. Nowadays, you’ll see boba shops all over the world as people love the sweeter, lighter, and more refreshing tea – especially in the summer. Should you pass a bubble tea shop, why not give one a try? You can customize your drink to your liking.
How to Make Boba Tea
What will you need?
- Bubble tea gift set
- Tea of choice. For a traditional tea we recommend using a tea such as Oolong, Black or Earl Grey.
- Milk of choice.
Getting the boba just right is essential. It’s not hard to make boba, but the most difficult part is preparing the tapioca pearls as they are sold dry. You must boil the tapioca for 30 minutes and cool then for 30 minutes. If your pearls are too soft, they will stick together in one big lump, but if they are too hard, you won’t be able to chew them. Consistency is everything. Our bubble tea kit comes with instructions but if you’re using your own here is a general guide on how to make boba.
- In a large pot, boil about 10 cups of water per ½ cup of dried pearls. (1/2 cup of dried pearls = one cup of cooked pearls) Do NOT rinse the boba pearls.
- Bring the water to a rolling boil and add your dry tapioca pearls. Wait for the boba to float.
- When the tapioca is floating at the top, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
- After the 30 minutes is up, take the pot off the heat and move it onto a cooler surface. Let them rest for 30 minutes.
- Once this is done, strain the boba and rinse under cold water to remove the starch.
- Taste your boba to make sure they’re chewy throughout. If they’re still hard, repeat the method again, but keep an eye on them as the longer they are in liquid the softer they will become.
- Once your boba is done, you can choose to sweeten them with dark brown sugar. Stir in the sugar carefully and let them rest for 10 minutes.
How do I prep the tea?
It’s best to do this whilst the boba is cooking. The amounts you’ll need depend on how you like your tea, how big your glass is etc. But for one serving let’s say 1tsp of tea brewed in 100ml of water. You will need this tea to be strong, so it is recommended you let it bruu for at least 10-15 minutes. Then of course you will need it to be cold, so place it in the refrigerator whilst you wait for your boba to cook.
Once all the ingredients are ready, place your tapioca in the glass first with a few ice cubes. Then pour in the tea, and finally top up the rest of the glass with your milk of choice – and voila, delicious bubble tea! Make sure you have a wide enough straw to suck up all the bubbles.
- Boil 10 cups of water per ½ cup of dried boba.
- When water is brought to a rolling boil add the dried boba and wait for it to float.
- When boba is floating, lower heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Whilst boba is cooking, prep your tea. Let it brew for 15 minutes and then place it into the fridge to cool.
- After 30 minutes remove pot from the heat and onto a cooler surface, let the boba rest for 30 minutes.
- When boba is cooked, strain it and rinse with cold water to remove starch.
- Optional: add dark brown sugar to the boba and let it rest for 10 minutes
- Fill the bottom of the glass with boba and add a little bit of ice. Then add your tea concentrate, not too much as you’re going to top up the rest of the glass with your milk of choice.