What is Bubble Tea and how to make Boba Tea at home?
Bubble Tea (Reference: Bubble Tea, Wikipedia, Retrieved on 16th April 2020) is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in the 1980s. It is also known by many names like pearl milk tea, boba tea and boba milk tea. Bubble tea or Boba Tea or Boba Drink is made from tea, milk and tapioca pearls.
What is Boba?
Boba balls, also called Tapioca Pearls, are made of partially cooked tapioca flour extracted from cassava root. Boba is flavourless and gluten-free. Boba Pearls is loved for its chewy texture and can be used for both hot and cold drinks including smoothies and hot teas.
BOBA Milk Tea is simply a sweetened iced tea with smooth chewy tapioca pearls.
What is the History of Bubble Tea?
The oldest known boba milk tea consisted of a mixture of small tapioca pearls, hot Taiwanese black tea, condensed milk and syrup or honey. There are two theories on the origin of Bubble Tea a.k.a Boba Drink, although both of them agree for a Taiwanese origin.
- Liu Han-Chieh, the founder of Chun Shui Tang tearoom in Taichung (Map Location - Chun Shui Tang, Google Maps) , started serving cold Chinese tea after his visit to Japan where coffee was served cold in the 1980s. Everyone in Taiwan liked the cold version of Chinese tea and his business boomed to multiple chains. One day Lin Hsiu Hui, the teahouse - product development manager, randomly poured fen yuan into the iced tea drink during a meeting. The new beverage was liked by everyone and it got included in the menu. Since then, it became the franchise's top-selling product. (Reference: History of bubble tea: how boba born of stiff competition in Taiwan became a global phenomenon, South China Morning Post, Retrieved on16th April 2020)
- Tu Tsong-he, the owner of Hanlin Tea Room of Tainan (Map Location - Hanlin, Google Maps), claimed to have invented the Boba Tea in 1986 when he saw the tapioca balls in the Ya Mu Liao Market. He used the tapioca balls and made tea out of them, thus giving birth to the so-called Boba Milk Tea. (Reference: Who Invented Bubble Tea, Taipei Times, Retrieved on 16th April 2020)
What are the different varieties of Bubble Tea?
The most famous varieties of this Boba Milk Tea are Black Pearl Bubble Tea and Green Pearl Bubble Tea, although one can choose from other varieties of teas like oolong, white, fruit or non-fruit. Bubble tea has become the latest fad among Asian Americans and is called the ‘boba’ in California. Boba Milk Tea is a yummy yet inexpensive beverage.
What are the ingredients required to prepare Bubble Tea?
- Tapioca Pearls
- Tea Bags
- Ice Cubes
- Water (Reference: Bubble Tea Recipe, Times of Indis- Times Food, Retrieved on 16th April 2020)
Fun FACT: In case you are looking for bubble tea cafes near to your house or work then please search for 'bubble tea near me' or 'boba tea near me' on Google Maps. For example, if you make the same search on google map for 'bubble tea near me' then you will discover Bubble Tea Shop in Delhi to be the best rated.
How to prepare Bubble Tea?
- Prepare the tea - Bring 11/2 cup of water to boil and add one teabag of Tea Curry English Breakfast Tea or Tea Curry Green Tea in the poured water. Some would even like adding oolong tea or yerba mate tea.
- Prepare the tapioca Pearls
- Open the packet of tapioca balls bought from a nearby supermarket.
- Soak the tapioca pearls in water for a few hours, if you want the pearls to be soft instead of chewy. (Reference: Make Bubble Tea, Retrieved on 16th April 2020)
- Take 1-litre water and bring it to boil.
- Add 150 gm of tapioca pearls in boiling water and keep stirring to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. (Reference: How to Make Bubble Tea, Healthy Nibbles and Bites, Retrieved on 16th April 2020)
- Once the pearls start floating on the top, stop stirring and keep it boiling for another 15-20 minutes.
- Keep checking the pearls to test the softness desired by you.
- Once done, remove the boba pearls from the water and rinse them with normal water.
- Sweeten the pearls with honey or sweetener as per your taste.
- Mix it up - Mix the prepared tea with a few teaspoons of milk and ice. Shake the mixture well so that it gives deliciously looking froth. Put the cooked tapioca pearls in the glass and pour the mixture from the top. Your delicious Bubble Tea aka Boba Milk Tea or simply Boba Drink is ready.
Tips and Tricks on how to make bubble tea?
- For a very chilled Bubble Tea, simply shake the ice, tea and milk in a shaker for at least 20 seconds.
- If you want to save the boba pearls for later use to make the delicious boba drink, then keep the leftover tapioca pearls in hot water for some time and then refrigerate. These can be used for up to 4 days.
- If you are short on time, make the tea first and put it in the refrigerator to cool down till you make thew tapioca pearls. (Reference: How to Make Bubble Tea, The Forked Spoon, Retrieved on 16th April 2020)
- Keep the tapioca pearls away from kids as they have choking hazards.
- Consume the tea as soon as you make it have the best taste.
- If you don't want a strong Bubble tea, you can use Oolong tea instead of Black tea.
Frequently Asked Questions related to Bubble Tea
Q. What kind of Tea should be used for Bubble Tea?
A. The base of tea to be used to make Boba Milk Tea depends on one’s taste and flavour for a particular tea. The best ones used are black or jasmine tea. Some people prefer strong flavour tea and English Breakfast Black Tea flavour of TeaCurry is one of the best ingredients of this Boba Drink. (Reference: How to Make Bubble Tea, Healthy Nibbles and Bites, Retrieved on 16th April 2020)
Q. What kind of Tapioca Balls should be used to make Bubble Tea?
A. Tapioca Pearls are made by many Asian brands and you would find many best sellers on Amazon or the supermarket to prepare this boba drink at home. The best one to use is the quick-to-make variety which takes only 5 minutes to make. A desire for having Bubble tea shouldn’t be a long-standing task.
Q. What kind of milk should be used in preparing Bubble Green Tea?
A. Although one may say, simply use the milk in the fridge, we would suggest you go with whole milk instead of heavy cream milk. The rich flavour of whole milk will make it taste better than the creamy one which feels more decadent.
Q. What kind of sweetener should be used to prepare Bubble Tea?
A. You can use your favourite sweetener but we would recommend honey as the most preferred sweetener. Make sure to mix honey in hot water so that it mixes evenly.
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