Bubble tea is a relatively new phenomenon, originating in Taiwan in the 1980s. In fact, it only caught on because they were featured on a popular Japanese television show. From Taiwan, bubble tea traveled to east Asia and then to Canada before taking hold in the United States. Bubble tea comes in two different varieties: fruit flavored teas and milk based teas. But if you are lucky, you'll find a place that combines them to give you a fruity milk tea (my favorite). The base is traditionally a black or green tea, depending on which fruits are present.
But what I find most interesting is that the tapioca pearls (also known as boba) in the tea are not why this drink is referred to as a bubble tea. The "bubble" actually comes from the fact that, when you blend the tea together, tiny frothy bubbles are created which sit on the top of the tea. So the next time you find yourself sipping a bubble tea, you can spread your knowledge and look like a hot shot tea drinker.
This brown sugar coconut bubble tea is light and delicious, satisfying any and all tea cravings. Brown sugar and coconut work very well together, creating an interesting flavor profile. The tapioca pearls give this drink texture, providing a chewy bite or two between sips. I think bubble teas are an unusual (but delicious) experience and it's one that I would like to share with you.
Brown Sugar Coconut Bubble Tea
Yields 2 servings
1/2 cup large pearl tapioca
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup black tea, cold
1 cup ice
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup almond milk (or you can substitute a regular low-fat milk)
To cook the tapioca, follow the directions on the package. Different brands of tapioca pearls cook at different rates and require varied amounts of water. I would personally cook up more than 1/2 cup at a time (they can take up to an hour to cook) and you'll have enough pearls to make several bubble teas in the coming days. When cooked, drain the pearls and rinse with lukewarm water to remove the starch. In a small bowl, coat the tapioca pearls with the brown sugar. The tapioca pearls can be refrigerated for up to 3 or 4 days, but are best if used immediately.
To make the bubble tea, blend together the black tea, ice, coconut milk, and almond milk. In a tall glass, place 1/4 cup of tapioca pearls (but if you want more, add more!). Pour the tea over top. More brown sugar may be added to adjust the tea to your sweetness level (I added another tablespoon). Drink with a large straw!