I was first introduced to bubble tea two years ago. A friend had taken me to a tea house specifically to try it after finding out I was a bubble tea virgin. You've never tried bubble tea before? What's wrong with you? I was initially very wary of it, wondering why anyone would ever want to drink tapioca pearls through a straw. Weren't tapioca pearls supposed to be reserved for puddings? Nevertheless, I gathered up my courage and ordered myself a drink.
One sip changed my mind. I suddenly wanted to put tapioca pearls in every drink imaginable. The pearls gave the bubble tea a texture that was unique and addicting.
Since then, whenever I pass a shop that sells them, I can't resist buying myself a treat. Some people are addicted to coffee shops; I'm addicted to bubble tea houses. Luckily for my bank account (and unfortunately for everyone else), bubble tea houses are nearly impossible to find in the Midwest. However, as I've shown you before, they are very easy (and cheap!) to make at home.
Regrettably, large tapioca pearls are one of those ingredients that are hard to find in supermarkets. You may spot them in the international aisle (very rarely the baking aisle), but, more often then not, they will elude you and your searching eyes. Luckily, bubble tea tapioca can be found in abundance at your local Asian market. If you can't find it there, or if you don't have a local Asian market, bubble tea tapioca can be found easily with a quick search on the internet.
I've also seen the large tapioca pearls substituted for small jelly candies. Bubble teas are traditionally a low calorie drink but, if you don't mind upping the sugar content just a bit, you could easily chop up some fruit snacks or gummy bears and use those in place of the tapioca pearls. It is definitely a way to play around with multiple flavors in one drink.
Though, if you're like me, you might just agree that the original is the best way to enjoy it.
This Honey Peach Bubble Tea is very light, refreshing, and fruity. Honey and peach are two of those flavors that were meant to be together—they complement each other well. The black tea is actually quite hidden in this drink, making it taste more like rich smoothie than a tea (all while keeping the calories down!). The tapioca pearls are perfect in a drink like this, giving it an interesting texture and a twist on the traditional beverage.
One Year Ago: Lemon Tarts
Honey Peach Bubble Tea
Yields 1 large or 2 small servings
1/2 cup large pearl tapioca
2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon honey
2 small or 1 large peach, pitted and cut into quarters
1/2 cup black tea, chilled
1/2 cup milk
5-6 ice cubes
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 2 tablespoons honey. The tapioca pearls can be refrigerated for up to 3 or 4 days, but are best if used immediately.
In a blender, blend together the peach, black tea, milk, ice, and 1 tablespoon honey.
To serve, place 1/4 cup of honey coated tapioca pearls in a glass. Pour the bubble tea on top and serve with a large straw.