That doesn't mean that you are limited to tea! Boba tea shops usually have tons of flavors: taro, honeydew, strawberry, and other fruits are all fair game. One of my favorite boba drinks at my fave high school hang was actually a sour green apple slushie with boba!
Boba isn't exactly the fastest drink to whip up at home, but if you store the tapioca pearls in simple syrup, you can refrigerate them for a couple days. However once they lose their chewiness and get brittle, they are done for.
The tea itself is easy. You can make it from a powdered mix, or for better tea flavor, make it by mixing sweetened tea and milk. In my pictures, I have milk tea as well as Thai iced tea that is from a mix.
preparing the boba:
1 cup boba (large tapioca pearls)
8 cups water
honey/simple syrup to cover
In a large pot, heat the 8 cups of water over high heat until boiling. Stir in the boba, stirring to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium and boil for 25 minutes, stirring ocassionally. Skim a boba out of the pot and taste it after it cools to make sure it is your desired level of chewiness. The boba will turn shiny and dark, like giant caviar. Drain the boba and run under cold water to cool. Pour into a tupperware and stir in enough simple syrup to keep them from sticking together. I like to use about 2 parts simple syrup to 1 part honey to give the boba a nice honey flavor. These are now read to use, or you can refrigerate for a couple days as long as they are nicely covered in syrup to keep them from drying out.
|They will start turning darker|
making the milk tea:
1 cup tea of your choice
1/2 cup milk
simple syrup, sugar, honey, etc, to taste
Combine the tea and milk, and then add sweetener of your choice until desired amount. Traditionally bubble milk tea is shaken with ice, and the bubble in the name actually refers to the frothiness, not the boba. Chill, or pour over ice (which might dilute it a bit). To assemble, place about a 1/4 cup prepared boba in a tall glass, then top with ice and pour milk tea over the top. Serve with a large straw capable of sucking the boba through.
|Shiny like caviar!|
Where to get boba? I went to a couple Chinese markets to no avail. They all had places serving boba, but no dried boba to be cooked. Online is your best option, and I was very impressed with an unusual source: Nuts.com. They have amazing shipping, you can buy the boba cheap in bulk, and they even have the boba straws and powdered drink mixes! I also liked the fact that it is an American family business with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and they send you a little gift with your order (mine was yummy raw almonds). My only beef was that it was hard to find where all the bubble tea supplies were hiding on their website, so I provided links. Disclosure: Nuts.com had no part in this recommendation. I bought my boba there, liked the experience, blogged about it. Nothing more.
Marbled Tea Eggs