The sweet, frothy drink from Taiwan called bubble tea has truly evolved from its humble beginnings. Originally bubble tea is made of Taiwanese black tea, small tapioca pearls, condensed milk, and syrup or honey. When it was first introduced into the public the reception wasn’t so good but it bolstered considerably after it was featured in a Japanese TV show to the point that the rest of the world has embraced it by making their own variations by using different tea infusions in replace of the black tea of the original recipe. Now there is a green tea base bubble tea, a jasmine flavored bubble tea and even a half tea half coffee bubble tea. And of course because of its popularity another variation has come up and it’s a healthy variant too: Thai bubble tea.
Generally bubble tea is made of a dark tea base such as black tea, Oolong or Earl Grey. Today however there are two types of base in making bubble tea though it depends on the tea house that makes it. The first variant is the fruit flavored tea base while the second base is the milk tea base and this is where the Thai tea is used. The difference basically between a fruit base and a milk tea base is simply the use of milk.
Bubble teas with a fruit tea base don’t usually use milk especially when the fruit flavor is sour as this can cause the milk to curdle while in the milk tea base, milk is used. However milk can be replaced by soy milk or other non-dairy products to substitute milk. Using milk adds a distinct flavor to your bubble tea.
In making your Thai bubble tea the first thing you need to do is to prepare the tapioca pearl. This soft and chewy gel like balls is the one thing that makes a bubble tea fun to drink. To prepare the pearls boil them in a large pot since tapioca pearls expand as they are cooked. Remember to stir them as they cook to prevent the pearls from sticking together. Once they are fully cooked steep them in the pot for at least 30 minutes without heat. Then wash the pearls in cool water and set aside.
After you have finished making the tea base it’s time to make the sugar syrup. To do this boil water until it is hot then add the sugar. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves and remove it from heat immediately. Then add the tea base, the milk and the sugar syrup into a tumbler or a shaker then shake it or stir until foam develops. Once this is all done pour the mixtures into a glass with the tapioca pearls and serve.
You can also serve this cold by adding crushed ice but remember that when add ice the tapioca pearls will harden and stick together more quickly. So if intend to do just that just drink your bubble tea quickly.