How to Make Different Flavors Bubble Tea at Home

Bubble tea Types

Coming to us courtesy of Taiwan, circa 1980, this sweet iced mixture of strong tea, milk, and tapioca pearls can be recognized on sight. The pearls, known as boba, clustered in the bottom of the glass look like bubbles, and the straw that comes with the drink is oversized to accommodate them.

There exists a tremendous range of different types and flavors of bubble tea, and it can basically take on any flavor variation that you would like. Bubble tea has become a sensation worldwide for its unique and extraordinary taste. It is extremely easy to make and the basic bubble tea includes only four ingredients: brewed tea of your taste, milk, sweetener or syrup of your choice, and tapioca pearls or other similar QQ products. The various choices of teas, milk, and sweeteners that you can use are endless.

The four main types of brewed teas that you can use are black tea, green tea, oolong tea, and white tea. Black Earl Grey tea is by far the most simple and popular option, while green bubble tea matcha powder or jasmine green tea can be used. Oolong bubble tea is also well-liked and in demand, and as for white tea, it is preferred in Western countries.

The common fruity flavors and sweeteners for bubble tea usually include mango, grape, apple, kiwi, banana, peach, plum, lemon, passion fruit, pineapple, watermelon, and strawberry. The less expected but still desired flavors consist of coconuts, avocados, honeydew, and lychees. For people that are not a fan of fruity tastes, there are caramel, ginger, coffee, almond, chocolate, lavender, mocha, sesame, and rose flavors. Making a bubble tea is like cooking a cake; all flavors are considered a possible option and depend on other ingredients and how well they mix together.

The milk that you can use for your bubble tea also varies from fresh, condensed milk or ice cream to non-dairy creamer, coconut or soy milk. You can really feel like a master chef when choosing the different types of ingredients for your bubble tea, and you can even create your own personalized bubble tea beverage.

Make your bubble tea at home

Bubble tea is one of the more unique drinks you will encounter at your local coffee shop or asian restaurant. Yet it is possible, even easy, to replicate at home.

Also known as bubble milk tea, pearl milk tea, boba milk tea or simply boba, it is a special treat. The chewy tapioca pearls add a new element to the tea drinking experience. They also present an interesting new step in the tea preparation process.

Bubble tea can be made with any tea you like, though stronger flavors are recommended. Remember, the tea will be mixed with milk and ice. A mild brew will be diluted to the point that it's flavor will be lost. If you are set on using a weaker tea, another option is to brew it with more bags to intensify the concentration.

Whole milk is the standard dairy additive. Cream is an acceptable substitute, but the resulting tea may be too rich for some tastes. Non-dairy milks can also be used, though the texture may not be as silky.

As for the tapioca pearls, there a different varieties. Raw, they can take over an hour to prepare. Partially precooked varieties significantly reduce this time. Whichever kind you choose, be sure to time their preparation so that the tea is ready when they are. Tapioca pearls don't last long after preparation, and need to be consumed within a few hours of being cooked.

As for your sweetener, use what you prefer. Just remember to add granulate sugar or honey while the tea is still hot for even distribution.

With that said, here is a basic recipe:

  • 8 tea bags

  • 4 cups of water, heated to a boil

  • 3/4 cup tapioca pearls

  • Whole milk or chosen substitute

  • Sweetener of your choice

  • Wide straws

  • Ice

Steep the tea bags in the boiled water, until the water reaches room temperature.

Bring another 4 cups of water to a boil and add the tapioca pearls. Cook them according to the directions of the type you chose. You will know they are ready when they start to float. At that point, drain them and rinse them in cold water.

Separate the tapioca pearls into the bottoms of four glasses.
Next, add a few ice cubes to the glasses.
Divide the tea evenly between the glasses, pouring 1 cup into each.
Add milk and sweetener to your taste, and enjoy!

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