Monday, September 6, 2010

Bubble Tea!

Bubble tea: delicious, but at four to five dollars a cup, it can get expensive. But lucky for you, it's fairly easy to make :)

If you haven't had this before, bubble tea is an Asian drink that consists of a milky of fruity tea drink with large sweet tapioca pearls at the bottom. Usually you'll be given a large straw that the pearls will fit through to drink it with, but I didn't have any, so I settled for a long spoon.

So to start out, you'll need your bubbles. You can get them at most Asian supermarkets. I experimented with different kinds, and found that the cheaper ones are much harder to make (the centers stayed hard even after an hour of boiling!), so in the end I went with a slightly more expensive brand with a five minute recipe. 
Most bubbles will ask you to add 5-10 parts water per one part bubbles in a large pot, bring the water to a boil, stir in the bubbles until they float, and then cover the lid and let them cook.

Meanwhile, you can make the syrup. You will need:
2 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
drizzle of honey

Heat all of that up in a sauce pan over medium high heat. When it starts frothing, pour your syrup into a container and place it in the refrigerator to chill. It should be about the consistency of maple syrup. 

When your bubbles are done (make sure they are squishy all the way through with no hard centers!), scoop them out and place them in the container with the syrup. The longer you leave them there, the sweeter they will be.

The water from the bubbles should be a bit thicker and cloudy in color. I like to use that to make the tea component. Just grab your favorite tea leaves and pour boiling water over them in a large bowl. Then cover and let it sit for a while as your bubbles cool in the fridge.
Keep in mind that the tea flavor will be diluted by the milk and sweetened by the syrup.

When your tea is done and the bubbles are sweetened to your liking, get a tall glass and start pouring! The ratio I used was...
Fill the bottom of the glass with about two rows of bubbles.
Cover the bubbles with syrup, and then add another tablespoon or two.
Fill the glass a bit less than halfway with tea.
Fill the rest of the way with vanilla soymilk.
You can of course use regular milk too, with vanilla extract, but the soymilk gives it a thicker texture which I like :)

And enjoy your delicious bubble tea! This can make up to 15 servings, with less than the cost of one store-bought drink!
Try serving it warm and cold, or even frozen in popsicle molds. Use blended fruit instead of milk or coffee instead of tea. Have fun with it :)

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