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, over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow it to rest,
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. Remove from heat, cool.
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
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 the contents of the shaker over the ice, add a straw, swirl it around and Enjoy!