December 10, 2010

Simple Bubble Milk Tea Recipe

One of my favorite drinks ever is boba (a.k.a. bubble tea or tapioca milk tea), and coming from California (where boba stores magically appear on any street corner when a craving hits), I never realized how strong my addiction was until I moved to New York, where the ONLY good boba shops are in Manhattan Chinatown or Flushing Chinatown.

Tea Charm Necklace by FatallyFeminine

Because I live in the Bronx, it takes me over an hour to commute to either Chinatowns, so sometimes, I feel like killing a craving is not worth the commute. (Why do I live in the Bronx? Ask my husband, who thinks everything is an adventure). You can't just stock up on boba drinks and put it in the fridge because the tapioca balls only have a few hours of prime taste + chewiness. So out of desperation, I decided to make my own damn boba.

It's actually not too hard, though it may not taste exactly like what you'd get in a store. Different shops have their own secret recipes anyway so there's never really one exact taste.

Milk Tea Choker by ProteanJewelry

Here's what you'll need:
  • Black tea or green tea (I prefer black tea)
  • 2% milk (you can use 1% or fat free but it doesn't taste as creamy)
  • Condensed milk (optional)
  • Sugar syrup (recipe below)
  • Tapioca balls (can be bought in any Asian supermarket or online)
  • Any type of fruit (optional)

Sugar Syrup: Boil one cup of water, then mix in 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Stir until the water syrup boils again, then turn off. You only need a few spoonfuls per drink (to your taste), then refrigerate the rest.

Tea: Use pure loose black tea or green tea leaves. Put three to four times as much tea leaves as you'd normally use for drinking. The tea needs to be super strong or it will lose its flavor once the other ingredients are added. I usually make about 16 ounces of tea and refrigerate what I don't use (for next time).

Tapioca Balls: There are two sizes. The larger ones are standard for boba drinks and take longer to boil. Typical large tapioca balls need to be boiled in a large pot with the cover on for about 25 minutes, then allowed to sit in the hot water for another 25 minutes. Once done, rinse out the tapioca, drain, then allow it to sit in some sugar syrup. It will absorb the sweetness. There are also 5 minute tapioca balls but I've tried them and they don't taste as good. (Oh, and don't buy the cheapest bag of white tapiocas. They will not turn out right. I've had the best results with the brown caramel colored ones).

Fill the bottom of a tall glass with tapioca balls. Add about 2 tablespoons of sugar syrup. Add tea to about 1/3 of the remaining space in the glass. Add about 1 tablespoon of condensed milk (optional). Fill the rest of the glass with milk. Mix and taste. Add more tea, sugar syrup, and/or condensed milk to taste.

Fruit: If you want a fruit flavored boba drink instead of the usual milk tea, blend the type and amount of fruit you'd like with the milk and add it to the finished drink.

This should hold you out until your next boba trip :) Do you have a better recipe for making your own tapioca milk tea?

Bubble Tea Vegan Soap by DirtyAssSoaps
(I know it looks good, but don't drink this! :)


Unknown said...

Never heard of this, sounds delicious! Thank you for the recipe, definitely going to give it a try.

Kylene Brown said...

I LOVE bubble tea! It was my favorite addiction while living in Cali, but unfortunately is difficult to find here in Ohio :(
But maybe now, with your recipe, I can try my own!

xoxo, Kye

Cara Mason said...

I shared this post on my blog!
-Cara Mason

Anonymous said...

You can buy Tapioca Balls premade. They are dried out in packages and you can cook them until cooked... Like RAMEN. My mommy makes them all the time.

Unknown said...

Hi,your blog is really nice and provides a great info about Bubble Tea Recipes i want to continue with your blogs and thanks to share such a nice info with us.