Your ultimate brief guide into the world of Bubble (Boba)
What is Bubble or Boba Tea?
Today, it’s hardly possible to imagine a person who doesn’t love tea, especially the one that has bubbles! Among the wide range of tea types, you can find an exceptional aromatic beverage known as Bubble or Boba tea. This interesting type of tea was first discovered in Taiwan in the 1980’s, and is now appreciated in Thai and across the world not only for its bubbly consistency, but also for excellent taste. The bubbles in the bottom of the tea cup are formed by black tapioca pearls (semi transparent spheres produced from tapioca – a starch extracted from the cassava plant root). There are two categories of Boba teas: teas without milk and milk teas. Both variants are accompanied by black, green or oolong tea and come in a myriad of flavors.
The History of Bubble and Boba Tea
It’s not yet clear whom to give credit to for inventing Bubble tea. There are two versions that put forward two different people who accidentally discovered this drink. According to the first version, you can boldly name Ms. Lin Hsiu Hui from the Chun Shui Tang Teahouse the true inventor of Bubble tea. He just added the sweet tapioca balls (bubbles) to milk tea during one of the regular tea house’s gatherings. That’s how the city of Taichung in the middle of Taiwan became the first seller of Bubble tea.
According to the second story, Tu Tsong-He from the Hanlin Tea House in Tainan (a city in Southern Taiwan) resorted to identical idea: he also added white tapioca balls to his milk tea and got stunned by the beauty of pearls floating gracefully in the beverage. He then moved further and replaced white balls with black ones, presumably to give some contrast to the white tea color.
What is it Like to Drink Bubble or Boba Tea?
As most Boba tea drinkers from Thai and other corners of the world report, such tea drinking experience is comparable to drinking a milkshake with fruity chunks in the form of pearls. You can easily suck in the black pearls with the help of a large straw. Don’t be afraid – they are chewable.
The Taste of Bubble and Boba Tea
You won’t confuse the taste of this drink with any other type of tea given its specific, sweet taste. Yet, this flavor is achieved because the tapioca bubbles are being soaked in simple syrup. Keep in mind though that if you try black balls in isolation, the taste will be rather neutral, close to flavorless.
What Do Bubble or Boba Teas Look Like?
From the first sight, it might look like the nourishment of aliens, so strange it seems to be. But once you try it, you’ll never stop. Depending on the flavor you choose for the beverage filling (there are more than 200 of them), your tea will look like a liquid rainbow of colors put into a plastic cup with black pearls on the bottom.
Every flavor imaginable can be added into your tea, starting from avocado and ending with taro. Notably, many tea houses sell Bubble tea without black pearls whatsoever, but the best drinking experience always involves these outlandish balls.
Is Traditional Milk Tea the Same as Bubble or Boba Tea?
No. Traditional milk tea is a combination of tea and milk, whereas Boba tea implies the addition of tapioca pearls into this mixture. So basically, we can’t refer to Bubble tea as a regular milk tea. Plus, the flavors added to traditional types of tea are usually limited to honey, sugar, cardamon, or salt. In the case of Boba tea, however, the variety of additional ingredients extends to hundreds.
How to Prepare Bubble or Boba Tea?
The following recipe describes step-to-step guide on making Bubble tea for 4 cups of water.
What you’ll need:
- 8 bags of black/green tea
- 4 cups of boiled water
- 3/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca pearls (or 1 cup if you enjoy a lot of bubbles in your tea)
- whole milk (or any other milk of your choice)
- simple syrup (or any other type of sweetener)
For the Simple Syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
It’s Cooking Time!
- First, prepare the tea: Steep the tea bags with 4 cups of just boiled water. Allow the tea to sit to the point of room temperature. There’s no need to remove the tea bags from the water as the tea is steeping. You can also put the tea in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
- Prepare the simple syrup: Add the water to a saucepan and heat it until it starts to stay just below the boiling point while being heated. Add 1 cup of sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove the saucepan from heat and allow your simple syrup to cool down before pouring it into a jar.
- Cook the tapioca pearls: Bring about 4 cups of water to boil and add the tapioca pearls. Stir the pearls and let them cook for approximately 5 minutes. If you notice that the pearls floated to the top of the cup, they are ready. Drain and rinse the pearls under cold water. Put them in a bowl.
- Get the drinks done: Divide the cooked tapioca pearls into equal portions and distribute them among 4 large glasses. Then, add some ice cubes to each glass. Add 1 cup of the tea into each glass. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons of simple syrup into each glass. Stir and add more milk or simple syrup to your taste if necessary. Serve the Bubble tea with large boba straws to make the tapioca pearls go through so that you could taste them.
Voila! Your tea is ready. Use this recipe to make Bubble tea quickly and enjoy its authentic taste wherever you go.
Bubble Tea in the US
Leave no knowledge gap with the chart of the info about bubble tea for various parts of the US
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