If you can’t resist the sweet allure of bubble tea, read on. Thanks to its cold, refreshing nature and tender, chewy tapioca pearls, we can’t get enough of this dessert-adjacent beverage either. The craze started in Taiwan in the 1980s and thankfully “boba” remains a mainstay sold in big cities all over the world. It’s the perfect go-to drink for satisfying midday cravings. If you’re not near a tea shop, don’t fret! Here’s a simple recipe with mini tapioca pearls to help you whip up your own cup.
1 cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 ounces tapioca pearls
1 cup whole milk or milk of your choice
1 cup brewed Chinese black tea, cooled
2 large pots, 1 with lid
1. Make Syrup: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a separate large pot over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and add brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Cook, stirring, until sugars are dissolved. Remove pot from heat and set aside.
2. Cook Tapioca: Add tapioca to pot of boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until expanded and tender, 30–35 minutes, then remove pot from heat and cover. Set aside to steep for about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds to stop cooking. Add cooked tapioca to pot with syrup and toss to coat. Set aside to cool.
3. Assemble Bubble Tea: Add as much milk as desired to brewed tea and stir to combine. Strain tapioca from syrup, and add it to the tea along with as many ice cubes as desired—enjoy your afternoon bubble tea.