Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors
Boba Tea (Bubble Tea): What It Is and How to Make It
Boba tea is a delicious and popular drink that has been around for decades. It can be found in many countries, including the United States, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand. Boba tea was originally served with chewy tapioca balls at the bottom of the cup which were called "boba". These days you can find boba made from all sorts of different ingredients like jelly, fresh fruit, or chocolate. This article will explain what boba tea is and how to make it using our simple recipe!
Watch this video on how to make tapioca pearls and boba tea!
What is boba tea?
Boba tea, also known as bubble tea, is a type of drink that originated in Taiwan in southeast Asia. It's typically served cold with tapioca balls or boba made from tapioca starch on the bottom and it comes with milk-based drinks like iced coffee or sweetened fruit teas. The combination can be shaken to get a creamy consistency. The most common flavors are green tea, taro, almond or black sesame seed powder for the base flavor and there are many other varieties including strawberry mango lychee, dragonfruit, pineapple, lemonade, horchata, red bean, coconut cream, and oreo cookie crumble!
The first time I had this was when we went shopping at China Town after school one day because my sister wanted some new clothes but instead of clothes, we came out with boba tea from a boba shop and it was so delicious.
Bubble tea is usually served cold but I like to drink mine warm on a chilly day because then you can enjoy the flavor more. My favorite flavors are green milk tea or taro bubble teas!
How to make boba tea
- Crushed ice
- Tea (black, green or oolong)
- Honey (optional for sweetening)
- Boba pearls
- Make a hot cup of your preferred type and strength of tea. It's best to use loose leaf black tea that has been brewed about three minutes before adding in the other ingredients. The longer you let it steep, the stronger it will be when served.
- If desired add some honey at this stage for sweetness as well as sugar if not using honey already in the recipe.
- Mix together all contents with a spoon until fully blended.
- Add ice cubes or cold water to a cup and pour in milk, tea, honey (optional), boba pearls.
- Mix together all contents with a spoon until fully blended and enjoy!
Tip: To make sure your bubbles are extra chewy and bubbly, try whisking them back into the mixture once they've risen to the top.
How to make tapioca pearls for boba tea
- Tapioca Starch (also known as Tapioca Flour)
A sieve or strainer, pot with lid. If you don't have either of these two items, use cheese cloth instead and tie it up tightly to form a ball that can hold the liquid inside while still being able to filter out the solids. You may need more than one so you can wash them in between uses. These will be used for filtering out any solid particles before boiling water is added in the steps below to make tapioca pearls.
- Stir tapioca starch and water together until the mixture becomes doughy.
- Add a pinch of salt.
- Knead for about three minutes, then let it sit on your countertop for an hour to go through what's called "retting". This is when the starches will be released from all that kneading you just did!
- Form into balls as big around as a marble or two. You should end up with between 40-60 depending on how much patience you have. The larger ones are more difficult to make but they taste better.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and add the balls. Boil for thirty minutes to an hour until pearls are thoroughly cooked.
- Strain out the tapioca pearls by passing them through cheesecloth or other strainer, then let cool completely before putting in sealable baggies or containers so they don't stick together when stored (they can reheat this way as well).
- Refrigerate until ready to use - these will keep up to two weeks if refrigerated properly.
Boba tea drinks you can order or make
Classic boba milk tea
Also known as pearl iced milk or sweetened condensed milk. The drink is usually blended with ice to create a creamy consistency. Milk, evaporated whole fat coconut cream, powdered skimmed cow's milk, maltodextrin [corn], nonfat dry whey powder [dairy] are the ingredients of this beverage. It has a sweeter taste than other types of bobas because it contains more sugar content in order for it to be absorbed into your bloodstream easier by your body during digestion compared to its unflavored counterpart called regular tapioca pearls or "gumballs". Regular tapioca pearls has a lesser sugar content than the regular milk tea, and it is usually served with evaporated whole fat coconut cream.
Cotton candy boba
Cotton candy boba is a popular type of boba in Taiwan. The colorful appearance has been the subject of many photos on social media. The base ingredients are generally tea and milk, with toppings that include cereal, pudding, tapioca pearls (boba), fruit jelly, or fruit chunks such as pineapple bits to make drinks more nutritious. In addition to flavors like taro root powder which gives it a sweet taste; there are also lime-flavored ones for people who want something tangy after eating spicy food.
Strawberry boba iced tea is a refreshing drink that many people enjoy. The process to make this type of beverage typically involves mixing freeze dried strawberries and sugar together with the desired amount of milk, then stirring in your favorite flavorings such as vanilla extract or honey. You can use any kind of hot brewed coffee instead of water for a different taste profile. Finally, you let it sit before adding ice cubes so they have time to melt and form condensation on top while the tea cools down enough to prevent causing brain freeze if consumed too quickly!
Matcha boba is a popular item and some say it's the perfect drink for any time of day. Making this tea takes about 30 minutes, but there are several shortcuts you can take while still getting top quality results. To start, simply prepare hot water and pour it into your favorite mug or container before adding in a spoonful of matcha powder (about one teaspoon). Stir until the powder has dissolved completely before filling with milk to taste using either cow’s milk or almond milk which both have their advantages depending on what you're looking for from the flavor profile. Once ready, add your preferred topping such as freeze dried strawberries or fruit slices!
Green apple boba
Green apple boba is a popular flavor that's favored by many people! To make this drink, you'll need to infuse your milk with green tea for at least two minutes before adding it into the sugar and stirring until dissolved. Then simply add in some fruit extract or syrup (depending on preference) and whip together using an immersion blender for about thirty seconds before topping off with ice cubes. This type of iced tea can be chilled overnight if desired so all ingredients are mixed thoroughly but still retains its refreshing taste!
Taro boba is a popular drink that many people enjoy. To make this type of bubble tea, you'll need to add hot water to your milk before adding in the sweetener and stirring until it's completely dissolved. Then simply combine with desired extract or syrup for flavor such as vanilla extract (my favorite) or honey, then blend together using an immersion blender for at least thirty seconds before topping off with ice cubes! Your taro boba will be ready after chilling overnight so all ingredients are mixed thoroughly but still retains its refreshing taste!
Honeydew boba is a flavorful drink that many people enjoy. To make this type of iced tea, you'll need to mix the milk with honey before adding in your desired extract or syrup for flavor such as vanilla extract (my favorite) or honey and stirring until it's completely dissolved. Then simply add in some fruit extracts or syrups (depending on preference) and whip together using an immersion blender for about thirty seconds before topping off with ice cubes! Your honeydew boba will be ready after chilling overnight so all ingredients are mixed thoroughly but still retains its refreshing taste!
There are numerous flavors available when ordering from a local shop but sometimes making these drinks at home can also be fun too if done properly. When creating your own recipe there are some things to keep in mind such as how sweet you want it, what kind of milk you use (cow or almond), and the amount of ice cubes you enjoy with your drink. Experimenting with different flavors can be a fun experience for those who enjoy trying new food items!
History of boba tea
Boba tea (also known as bubble tea) is a non-alcoholic beverage that originated in Taiwan. The first boba shop or boba tea house opened in 1980, and by the end of 1985 there were more than 100 stores or serving these specialty drinks. There are some claims that it was born from an accidental mixing together of black tea with tapioca balls while making pearl milk tea; other stories say the inventor was unhappy with his regular job so he made something new to sell for extra money on weekends - whichever story you believe, know that Boba Tea has been around for quite awhile!
A more recent claim to fame is the popularity of Boba Tea in North America. In 2001, it was introduced at a trade show and by 2003 there were 100 boba tea shops across the United States. The craze began with one bubble tea shop opening up on University Avenue in San Luis Obispo, California; this location has since spread all around the US, including to Los Angeles and San Francisco!
Boba tea may be served cold or hot with a tea base, including sometimes Jasmine tea. It is usually made from black tapioca pearls derived from cassava root (a type of root vegetable) that are heated and then cooled into small balls before being soaked or cooked again for softness while still maintaining their chewy texture.
Some people enjoy adding fresh milk, soy milk, or coconut milk as well as sugar or other syrups (like brown sugar syrup or fruit syrup) to the drink. Milk is generally used as a topping rather than in the mix of tea and tapioca balls themselves. The boba pearls can be made with sweetened tea, but it's not always necessary for bubble teas that are mixed with fruit juice, such as orange or apple.
Reasons for drinking Boba Tea:
- It has caffeine - so you don't need coffee!
- You have an extra 30 minutes before your next meeting because there's no line at Starbucks on Tuesday mornings... which time do you use?
- The office just got done making everyone green smoothies (yum) - again!
- It's raining outside and you can't be bothered to get out of your housecoat.
- You want a quick afternoon snack but need to stay productive for the rest of the day... Boba Tea is just what you need!
The drink originated in Taiwan, so it has also been called "Taiwan tea", though most people know it as boba tea because this word describes its main ingredient: tapioca balls. It should not be confused with pearl milk tea which is often served cold or hot and contains more ingredients such as black tea leaves and barley grass added after cooking. Pearl milk teas are usually not sweetened with sugar syrup like other beverages might be instead they have condensed milk mixed in before serving that gives it a thicker consistency and sweetness.
Boba Tea is famous for its "bubbles" because of the tapioca balls, but there are other types that may not have this feature such as grass jelly (made from green tea with barley), red bean iced tea or peanut milk tea.
There is no real difference between boba drinks in Taiwan and other parts of Asia, including Hong Kong; they're all bubble teas except for pearl milk teas which are usually served cold instead of warm like traditional boba drink. The word "pearl" comes into play when you talk about the texture - where traditionally bobas will be chewy, milk-based ones will be soft on top while maintaining their chewiness at the bottom layer!
Final thoughts on boba tea
Hope you enjoyed this article on boba tea!
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“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
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