Boba Tea (AKA Bubble tea, pearl tea, etc.)
This Taiwanese drink originated as a fad with the local school children. A small tea shop near the school was a hotspot for hot and thirsty children leaving school. Children would stop by the shop to get iced milk tea. Soon the students realized adding flavors to the tea would make it taste a good deal better. However, in the process of adding in flavors, the shaking needed to blend it created bubbles, thus originating the name “bubble tea”. This bubble tea gained popularity for years before tapioca pearls were introduced. In 1983, a bored employee by the name Ms. Lin Hsiu Hui was sitting in a business meeting and got a silly idea. She took the tapioca dessert they had given her and pored it into her chilled bubble tea. It was a hit. This trend spread like wildfire into Taiwan, and is today as far as the United States. (credit: http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/drink/inventor-bubble-tea-885732/, http://www.bubbleteasupply.com/what.html)
Recipe: Caramel Chai Boba Milk Tea
For this recipe I used Caramel Chai tea, however, any strong tea can be used to make a variety of flavors.
v 1 cup Tapioca Bubbles (available at your local Asian market, or in the link at the end)
v 2 Tea bags of your choice
v Honey (to taste)
v Stevia (to taste)
v 1-2 cups of ice
v 1 cup whole milk
1.) Steep two tea bags in one cup of hot water and leave steeping and cooling until further use.
2.) Place 1 cup of Tapioca Bubbles in a 4-quart saucepan of boiling water and boil for 20 minutes or according to your tapioca’s instructions. Stir occasionally.
3.) Use an ice shaver to turn the 1-2 cups of ice into ice powder, reserve in freezer.
4.) Place your tea in the fridge to further cool it once it has steeped.
5.) Once your bubbles have boiled according to directions, remove them from heat and let them sit in the hot water for another 20 minutes. They will swell up and become chewy at this point.
6.) Drain and rinse the Boba with cold water. Stir in honey and/or stevia to sweeten.
7.) Combine milk, cold tea, stevia, and shaved ice in a cocktail shaker if you have one, if not, a securely closed drink container.
8.) Place Boba in the bottom of your glass and pour your tea mixture over it.
9.) Add a Boba tea straw (just a wider straw so the bubbles can go through it, also linked below) and Enjoy!