Bubble Tea:The Asian Coffee

What started as an after-school treat for Taiwanese school children has now become a worldwide business venture. Bubble Tea originated in Taiwan at a road-side stand and has gained in popularity since 1980. In 1983 Liu Han-Chieh unveiled tapioca pearls to the bubble tea experience. These pearls sit on the bottom of the cup and, when shaken, look like bubbles. Bubble Tea is often referred to by an assortment of names: boba drink, zhen zhou nai cha, BBT, and others. There are several variations and recipes in the Bubble Tea repertoire but most include a combination of tea, exotic flavors, cream, and tapioca. Bubble tea can also be made with fresh fruit, milk, and crushed ice for those who prefer a healthy snack. Most Asians prefer a healthy alternative to the high fructose variations and yearn for a mixture of healthy tea with a dash of flavor.

Black tapioca pearls are made of sweet potato, cassava root, and brown sugar. The white tapioca pearls are made of caramel, starch, and chamomile root extract. Pearls have the texture similar to jello or chewing gum.

To make your own bubble tea at home takes some planning. Some local grocers and online vendors carry supplies for individuals and prospective business owners.

One cup of pearls need to be boiled in seven cups of water for 25 minutes on low. After 25 minutes, let the pearls cool in the water, then drain. Rinse thoroughly in cold water and place in a tightly covered dish and let refrigerate for one hour.

To make the syrup, mix 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup light brown sugar, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Stir frequently, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, remove from heat and cool.

Classic Bubble Tea

�¾ cup hot tea (black or green)

1 TB non-dairy powdered creamer or 2 TB whipping cream

1 TB sugar syrup

1 cup crushed ice

�¾ cup prepared tapioca pearls

Mix tea, creamer, sugar syrup, and ice, and shake. This recipe makes one 16 ounce serving.

Try one of the many varieties of Bubble Tea today:Honeydew Green Bubble Tea, Coconut Bubble Tea, Iced Coffee Bubble Tea, and Pearl Milk Bubble Tea.

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