Have you tried bubble tea? So, you know how delicious this drink is! To prepare it, there is no mystery: just mix a smoothie or an iced tea with tapioca balls, also known as pobá. If you have a little time and the ingredients to hand, try making your own bubble tea at home!
Method 1 of 4: Preparing Tapioca Pearls (Pobá)
They can usually be found in two sizes, both in Asian markets and on the internet. To prepare them, just follow the instructions on the package. But, as it is an imported product, they may be in another language or with a very dubious translation. To avoid mistakes, base yourself on the following Steps:
Step 1. Soak the balls for a few hours if you want them to be very soft
Otherwise, they will be soft on the outside and harder on the inside (as most people prefer).
Step 2. Put 7 parts of water for each part of pearls in a pan
Then wait until it comes to a boil.
Step 3. Place the pearls and stir so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan
Step 4. When the balls start to rise, cover the pan and continue simmering for another 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes
Step 5. Remove from heat, cover the pan and let it rest for half an hour
Step 6. Rinse the pellets with warm or cold water
Step 7. Sweeten the balls with honey or the following sugar syrup recipe (which can also be used to sweeten tea) to taste
- In a saucepan, mix 1 cup of refined sugar with 1 cup of brown sugar and 2 cups of water.
- Remove from heat as soon as it comes to a boil.
- Let cool.
Step 8. Use immediately or cover the balls and refrigerate them for up to four days (after that they are very soft)
When you want to use them, just boil a cup of water and let them soak for a few minutes.
Method 2 of 4: Soaking them instead of cooking them
Step 1. To prepare tapioca pearls, follow the steps of the first method
Then rinse them off.
Step 2. Prepare the sugar syrup
Mix 100 ml of hot water with 100 g of brown sugar (if you don't have it, you can use refined sugar and honey).
Step 3. Stir until sugar dissolves
Then pour into a bowl.
Step 4. Soak the tapioca balls in the sugar syrup for 15 minutes
Step 5. Now just serve
Method 3 of 4: Making a Traditional Milk Tea
Step 1. Make the tea
The traditional drink is made with black tea, but you can use green, mate and any other you like. If you prefer, you can even use coffee!
Step 2. Mix ¾ cup of tea with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar syrup (prepared as above) in a blender
You can change the cream for soy milk, half and half milk, condensed milk or a vegan cream.
Step 3. Add ice, cover blender and blend until mixture is frothy
Although most people think the drink's name has something to do with tapioca pellets, it actually comes from the bubbles formed when the liquid is shaken.
Step 4. Add about four spoonfuls of finished tapioca pearls to the cup and pour the mixture
Step 5. Stir and drink
Method 4 of 4: Preparing a Fruit Bubble Tea
Step 1. Mix ice, fruit (or juice), sweetener (such as a sugar syrup) and heavy cream (or a substitute) in a blender and blend until smooth
The consistency and proportions are up to you.
Step 2. Add about four spoonfuls of finished tapioca pearls to the glass and pour in the fruit mixture
Step 3. Stir and drink
- If you have, use thicker straws to drink your bubble tea, as common ones can end up clogging up with the balls. If not, just eat them with a spoon.
- Pobá is very caloric! If you want a lighter alternative, opt for the diced coconut cream.
- You can also find instant tapioca pearls at Asian grocery stores. They are easier to prepare, perfect for when the mood strikes.
- If you want the balls to be sweeter, soak them in a brown sugar broth for five minutes before serving.
- There is another version of Pobá, also used in bubble teas, which is bigger, darker and softer. It's harder to find, but maybe it's for sale on a website.