During the 1980's a Taiwan eatery used bubble tea to draw in customers in droves, combining fruit juices with chilled tea for a refreshing drink that became wildly popular. The slightly chewy tapioca balls, called pearls, are made from the root of the cassava plant.
Ironically, the leaves of the same plant actually
1 part Tapioca Pearls
7 parts water
If you're unfamiliar with the term of "parts" in cooking it means that you should use equal proportions. So 7 parts tapioca to 1 part water could mean 7 tablespoons water to 1 tablespoon of Tapioca or 7 cups of water to 1 cup of tapioca. These can be made ahead of time and stored in a jar in the fridge until needed.
Bring the water to a boil, add the tapioca and boil, covered,
Remove from the heat and allow it to rest, covered, for an additional 30 minutes. Strain and rinse well with lukewarm water. Transfer to a container, add 2 Tbs of Plain Simple syrup and store up to 3 days in the fridge.
Make Your Own Fruit Flavored Bubble Tea Syrups:
2 c. sugar
2 c. water
1 packet any flavor kool-aid (grape, kiwi, strawberry, orange, fruit punch, etc)
Or you can purchase ready made bubble tea syrups
Bring water to a boil over medium heat, add sugar, boil until sugar is fully dissolved, boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and stir in kool aid until completely incorporated.
Plain Simple Syrup:
1 c. white sugar
1 c. Brown Sugar
2 cups water
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, boil 2 minutes.
To Make Fruit Flavored Bubble Tea, Any Flavor
¼ cup of flavored syrup
¼ cup of hot water
¾ cup brewed tea, chilled (black, orange-pekoe, green tea, oolong tea, early gray, etc)
2 tablespoons tapioca balls, cooked
up to 2 tablespoons sugar syrup (**optional)
Combine hot water, brewed tea, flavored syrup and sugar syrup (if using) in a cocktail shaker. Boil some water in a kettle and measure 2 Tablespoons of cooked tapioca balls into a glass microwave safe container. Pour enough boiling water over the tapioca balls to completely cover. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Strain the water carefully to avoid getting burned and transfer the strained tapioca balls to a cup. Add ice, pour the contents of the cocktail shaker over the pearls and ice, insert a straw and enjoy!
The tapioca balls have a light, chewy texture, much like that of a gummy bear.
To Make Traditional Milk Bubble Tea:
1 1/2 c. strong tea
3 Tbs Cream
1 Tbs Simple Syrup
1/4 c. Tapioca Pearls, Cooked
Place tea, cream and syrup in a cocktail shaker, shake well. Put the cooked pearls in the bottom of a tall glass, add ice, pour