Bubble tea from Asia is the latest craze in the US. It comes in a variety of exciting flavors, and can be served hot or cold with tapioca balls. Also called Boba, pearl tea, or milk tea, this tea is an exciting, colorful, tasty and chewy combination of drink and dessert.
It comes in different flavors, the popular ones being peach, litchi, mango or passion fruit. Bubble tea is also available in the traditional flavors of green or black tea or the all-time favorite chocolate milk black ice tea.
It’s not the flavors or colors that make this tea so exciting. It’s the big, black, balls of chewy tapioca that generate the bubbles and give a special kick to this tea. The tapioca pearls, which are about the size of small marbles, sink to the bottom of the cup, and you need extra wide straws to suck them while you slurp your tea. The Bubble tea enthusiasts today have the option of buying special kits that include dried tapioca pearls, powdered flavorings and extra-wide straws to suck up the pearls. There are also special party kits available. These include 2 pounds of pearls, assorted flavorings, teas and straws and are sold for $35 to $60. The pearls start at $7 for 2 pounds, and are enough to brew 20 to 30 normally bubbly drinks.
Though these kits make bubble drinking more convenient, you still have to boil the pearls in water for 25 minutes and then let them steep for another 25 minutes to make them chewy. You also have to be extra careful because the starchy tapioca pearls dissolve if boiled too long, or remain hard in the middle if not boiled long enough.
The pearls are typically served with creamy tea-based drinks flavored with fruits like honeydew and strawberry. Sometimes, creamy iced coffees are also used to make these bubbly desserts.
Today most cities, such as Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, New York and Toronto, serve this variety of tea. But it is in the US where this tea is getting more and more popular. Some of the best Bubble tea cafes are located in California.
You too must try it once, at least for fun.