Bubble tea, pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, or boba. Call it any way you want, but you’ll have to agree this gorgeous drink family is amongst the most fun drinks on the planet — a drink that lifts your mood, that you can drink and chew on too!
Bubble tea is the evolution of an ancestral drink, tea. It’s also built over previous innovations, including adding milk to tea, which was already a game-changer, and drinking cold tea, which was also quite a novelty.
The final touch was tapioca balls, which were added to cold milk tea sometime in the late 80s in Taiwan. The result was a fun drink that could be flavored with everything, including fruit syrups. The most classic version, though, is just creamy and sweet jasmine tea.
Jasmine tea is incredible. It’s usually a combination of green tea and jasmine buds, so it is a caffeinated drink. Did you know jasmine flowers are a symbol of eternal love in China? Tea made with the fragrant flower is undoubtedly lovable, so we see where the symbolism comes from.
Here’s another fact. Tapioca comes from the cassava plant, native to the Brazilian rain forests. It was the Portuguese that took the species to Asia, where it became increasingly popular. There are tons of desserts made with the jelly-textured tapioca, but bubble tea is its most famous rendition.
Now, for our recipe. We’re using sweetened condensed milk, jasmine tea bags, large tapioca balls and sugar. We’re actually making our simple syrup to preserve our tapioca bubbles, which is rather cool. Other than that, you’re all set. Once you start making your own bubble tea, you’ll never want to stop. Get yourself some wide straws and sip your way to those gummy pearls.
In a mug, combine the hot water and sugar, stir until dissolved. Reserve.
In a small saucepan or pot, heat 4 cups of water until boiling and add the tapioca pearls. Stir occasionally and simmer for fifteen minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pearls sit for ten more minutes.
With a slotted spoon, drain the pearls and pour them into the simple syrup.
Brew your jasmine tea like you usually would. Three tea bags for every two cups of water for a concentrated drink. Steep the bags for at least ten minutes.
Combine the sweetened condensed milk with the tea.
Assemble your drink by pouring two tablespoons of tapioca pearls into the glass and topping them with creamy jasmine tea.
The tapioca pearls will keep in the fridge for up to three days.