Faq And Tips For Making Tapioca Pearls
- Use tapioca pearls within a few hours. Tapioca pearls are best if used within a few hours of cooking . They will get mushy. Make a smaller batch if you are worried about having extras.
- How to store cooked tapioca pearls. If you do have extra, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Cover and fully coat them in the honey syrup so that they don’t stick to each other. But again, you need to consume them within 4 hours before they start to get mushy. Do not store in the refrigerator as they will harden.
- Why are my pearls too soft? This will happen if they are overcooked, or if they have been sitting out for over 4 hours.
- Why are my pearls too hard? This will happen if they are undercooked or if stored in the refrigerator.
Bubble Tea Three Ways
Making bubble tea at home is easy! This recipe introduces three popular versions, as well as tips on sourcing and cooking tapioca pearls, sweetener options, vegan alternatives, etc.
Originating from Taiwan, bubble tea is a popular tea-based, milk-flavoured, sweet, non-alcoholic drink. What makes it special is the bouncy, chewy tapioca balls in the drink that offers another interesting dimension in texture.
Its original Chinese name Zhen Zhu Nai Cha literally means pearl milk tea. Bo Ba Nai Cha , translated into bubble tea, Boba tea or simply Boba, is a more popular name nowadays.
With different ingredient combinations and ratios, bubble tea can be created in many different ways. In todays post, Im introducing three of my favourites: the classic version, the brown sugar version and the matcha version.
Popular Types Of Bubble Tea
Since each ingredient has a bunch of choices, it can be overwhelming the first time you decide to try a bubble tea.
Im not an expert in statistics, but it seems like there are almost an unlimited amount of combinations of ingredients!
The first time I went to a tea shop, I had my friend order for me because there were SO many choices and options.
If youre new to boba, Id start with this classic choice:
- Milk tea with tapioca pearls sweetened black tea with milk and tapioca balls.
But if youre adventurous, there are many popular bubble tea flavors to try.
The recipe below is for this classic kind of tea drink.
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How Do I Keep Boba Soft And Chewy
Just as you dont overcook pasta, you want to keep an eye on your boba as it cooks to make sure it maintains that nice chew. Once they float to the top, let them cook 1 minute more and then strain immediately. Give them a rinse with cool water, and immediately transfer them to a bowl or jar with simple syrup. Adding them to the simple syrup keeps them soft and chewy while also adding a nice sweetness.
Shake Strain And Serve
Place your tapioca pearls in the bottom of a tall glass. In a shaker, add ice, brewed sweetened tea, and, if you want, some milk . If you want to go for fruity rather than creamy, skip the milk and pour in your favorite fruit juice or drink insteadit’ll taste delicious with the tea, too. Pour into the glass, pop in a big straw, and slurp and chew away.
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How To Make The Best Bubble Tea
Although it is super easy to make a cup of bubble tea, here are few things you can do to make it even better.
If you are using tea bags, use 2 to 3 bags per 1.5 cups water. Also, you should simmer the tea for at least 5 minutes so it creates an extra strong tea.
In fact the best option for bubble tea is Sri Lanka black tea powder. It is a type of cheap tea blend that looks almost like ground coffee. Asian bubble tea vendors use it to create the super rich taste with a lower price. Having said that, it can be difficult to find, so just choose any cheap options you have.
Dont worry that the tea will be very bitter. Were going to add a lot of cream and sugar to it later, which mellows out the bitterness.
Our goal is to create that rich and silky drink that you get in an Asian bubble tea stand. I found heavy cream is the best choice to re-create that perfect smoothness. If you want to make a vegan drink, use coconut cream as an alternative.
On the other hand, you can use milk, low-fat milk, or plant-based milk if you want to create a healthier drink. In this case, Id suggest you to chill the tea in the fridge instead of using ice cubes when serving, so the ice wont further water down the bubble tea.
Make It A Matcha Latte Bubble Tea
If making bubble tea with matcha powder, wait until just before you’re ready to serve the bubble tea before preparing the matcha .
You have two options:Option 1: Blend 2 tablespoons of culinary grade matcha powder with the 4 cups of room temperature or cold water. Option 2 : Add 2 tablespoons of culinary grade matcha powder to a medium bowl. Add enough room temperature or cold water to barely cover the matcha . Then, whisk to remove clumps adding more water if necessary . Next, add the rest of the water and whisk to blend well.
You can also do this one cup at a time with a ratio of 1.5 tablespoons of culinary grade matcha powder per serving and 1 cup of water each.
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How To Sweeten The Tea
As I mentioned earlier, you have control over the sweetness of your homemade bubble tea. Thats why I dont include a precise quantity of the sweetener in the recipe card below. Here are my suggestions on what to use:
- Obviously, the brown sugar bubble tea is sweetened by the brown sugar syrup that stains the glass.
- For the classic version, you may use any type of sweetener. If using sugar or honey, make sure you add it when the tea is still hot.
- For the matcha version, I recommend you use syrup as it dissolves easily in cold liquid whereas sugar and honey dont.
How Do I Make Tapioca Pearls
If you want to make homemade tapioca pearls, mix 2 parts tapioca starch with 1 part boiling water. Mix together until you achieve a dough-like consistency. Form the dough into small pearls, then boil over medium-high heat. When the boba reaches your desired consistency, remove them from the pan and add to the tea.
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What Kind Of Tea Can I Use
You will want to use a strong flavored black tea. The tea will have to stand up to the added cream to give your bubble tea flavor. The most classic flavor of Bubble Tea is straight black tea, such as an Earl Gray or breakfast tea. You can also use a more unique strongly flavored tea to match your personal tastes. Below are some fun variations to try:
- Jasmine Tea
- Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream
- Almond Milk
Types Of Tapioca In Pearl Tea
The most popular topping by far is tapioca balls. I used quotes around topping because these little balls actually sink to the bottom of your drink.
Tapioca is starch from the cassava root thats rolled into balls, cooked and flavored with sugars or syrups.
If youre buying your boba tea in a tea shop, there will be tons of choices. Not just tapioca balls, but balls made from other kinds of starches like taro root and sweet potato.
If youre making your bubble tea at home, Id stick with these black tapioca pearls. If you have a local Asian market, they are easy to find. Im adding the link below so you can see what kind I use for my bubble tea.
The tapioca pearls dont really taste like much on their own so after you cook them, soak them for a few minutes in a simple syrup or honey.
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Soak The Tapioca Pearls
The first thing that you need to do is soak the tapioca pearls. If you bought the pearls in a bag, take out the amount that you want to use and put them in a bowl of cold water. Let them sit for about an hour.
If you are making your own tapioca pearls, put them in a pot with water and let them soak overnight. The longer they soak, the more plump they will be when you cook them.
How To Make The Best Homemade Bubble Tea
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Put The Tea In A Pot Or Kettle
If you are using loose leaf tea, put 1-2 tablespoons of tea into a pot or kettle with about 1 cup of water. If you are using a bagged tea, use one bag of tea and fill it with water so that it brews in your pot or kettle. Heat up the pot on medium high heat. You want to make sure that the water doesnt boil over. You can add more water if it starts to boil over.
What Kind Of Tea To Use
Im not going to tell you to just get any old black tea because each kind of black tea has a unique flavor. Its not like Lipton black tea is going to taste like Yunnan Puerh tea.
Boba Guys does a blend of 3 different teas Assam tea, Yunnan Puerh tea, and Ceylon tea. When you blend these 3 teas together, the result is a bold tasting, delicious milk tea unlike any other.
If youre feeling lazy, then 5 bags of English Breakfast tea will do but it wont have the same flavor.
S To Making Bubble Tea:
1. Create a simple syrup by bringing 1/4 cup of water to a boil. Remove from the heat and add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature.
2. Prepare a cup of tea using your favorite variety. Is using tea bags, try using two to make it more robustly flavored. Discard the tea bags or strain the leaves and cool the tea to room temperature.
3. In another saucepan, bring water to a boil the ratio should be 2 cups of water for every 1/4 cup boba.
4. Add the boba and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook gently for 15 minutes then remove from the heat.
5. Set the pan aside for an additional 15 minutes. Drain the boba in a colander then stir them together in a bowl with the simple syrup. The syrup will not only sweeten the boba but will also help keep them soft and chewy. Boba are best when they are freshly prepared but they can also be stored with the syrup in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
6. In a tall glass, combine the tea and the boba and pour your additional liquid of choice up to the top. Ideas include milk, almond milk, or fruit juice.
7. Add additional flavorings, if desired, and serve with a jumbo straw.
WuFuYuan Black Tapioca Pearls, $9.88 from Amazon
The all-important bubbles for your bubble tea.
Buddha Bubbles Coconut Boba/Bubble Tea Powder, $15.95 from Amazon
You can try a sweet bubble tea mix as another option for homemade boba.
Can You Prepare Beforehand
You can prepare most ingredients in advance to make the perfect boba to save time on the day.
In fact, you can make boba pearls up to 6 weeks in advance. Store them in a clean, dry airtight container at room temperature for best results. If refrigerated, their texture can become harder . If using store-bought boba, keep them in their original packaging.
After cooking, keep the boba in cold water or the cooking syrup to preserve the texture until adding them to the bubble tea. You can store tapioca pearls this way for about 24 hours. Any longer, your boba pearls might become soggy, so try to avoid this.
However, once you remove these from cold water, they can instantly start sticking to each other and become tougher in texture. In general, try not to cook the boba until you need them.
You can easily prepare simple syrup days in advance and refrigerate it. It is a practice that bartenders will often make syrup in bulk. Cold-brewed drinks can be stored in the fridge for up to 36 hours.
On the other hand, normally brewed beverages might become bitter if stored in the fridge for more than half a day. If put directly in the cold without cooling it down, this process could become even faster.
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What Is Jasmine Tea
Jasmine tea itself has a strong place in history. The Chinese Ming Dynasty enjoyed the taste and shape of the flower. This led to the use of jasmine as a hot beverage around 700 years ago. The tradition continued during the Qing Dynasty, with the addition of green tea leaves, lychee, and citrus flavors to enhance the flavor.
Have you ever been to an Asian restaurant and drank jasmine tea before a meal? It is no accident that Asian cultures continue to value jasmine tea. With a pleasant floral aroma and strong aroma, the fragrant drink is a favorite among tea drinkers.
Improves Skin And Hair
For those who want to get glowing skin and shiny hair, black tea can help you achieve both. The polyphenols and antioxidants we keep raving about do a great job at helping skin to heal and blemishes to vanish. They also help reduce puffiness and can grant your hair the nutrients it needs.
These are just a few examples of what milky tea can do for your health. If you want to know more, check out our Black Tea Benefits and our Bubble Tea 101 Guide for a more in-depth breakdown of the health benefits of drinking tea.
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Diy Tapioca Pearls How
Start by heating up the water and sugar in a medium-sized pot, and heat to medium. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Then turn off the heat.
Add about one tablespoon of the tapioca flour and stir until well combined. Make sure there are no lumps. Then turn the heat on again and stir the mixture until it starts thickening.
Once it becomes thicker, remove from the heat. Add the rest of the tapioca flour and mix well until you obtain a sticky dough.
On a lightly floured surface , knead the dough until it becomes uniform, soft and elastic. Tapioca dough can be very sticky, so add some extra flour, if needed.
This can also be done with a stand mixer, but since its a small amount and only takes a few minutes, its not necessary.
While rolling the dough, if its more convenient to work with half of it at a time, make sure to cover the other half, so it doesnt dry out.
Roll the dough into thin long rod-like pieces. Each roll needs to be quite thin, as the tapioca pearls will expand when cooked later on.
Cut the rolls into small pieces. Then roll each piece into a tiny ball. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Now, you have your dried tapioca pearls ready.
Note* If you want to speed up this process, you can skip rolling them into balls altogether. The cube like shapes youll have may not be as pretty, but theyll taste the same .
What Are The Bubbles
The bubbles in bubble tea are tapioca pearls. Tapioca pearls are dark little balls of starch that can be made to vary in color and in texture depending on the type of flavoring and starch used to make them. Typically most tapioca pearls are made from tapioca starch taken from the cassava root.
Tapioca pearls by themselves are not always the most flavorful, which is why they are served in something sweet . You can also sweeten them even more by soaking them in a simple syrup before serving.
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