Boba tea, also known as bubble tea, has been a popular drink in Asia for at least two decades. Boba tea is a unique milk- or fruit-based drink that includes large, gelatinous tapioca balls, also known as tapioca pearls, that resemble large bubbles. A large straw is used to pull the tapioca pearls through the straw and they are chewed to release the flavor. Tapioca pearls are available at certain Asian grocery stores or through online vendors, making it possible to create a delicious strawberry boba at home.
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Cooking the Tapioca Pearls
Bring the water to boil in a large pot.
Add the tapioca pearls slowly to prevent clumping. As the tapioca cooks, it will rise to the surface. Once the pearls float along the surface, cover the pot and gently boil for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat and allow the tapioca pearls to sit for an additional 25 minutes. Stir the tapioca two to three times to ensure they cook evenly and don't stick together.
Rinse the pearls by pouring them into a colander and running cool water over them until the water runs clear.
Steep the tea bags in two cups of boiling water in a tea kettle for at least 10 minutes, or until the water is fully flavored. Remove the bags.
Puree the strawberries in a blender, adding a little tea to create a smooth consistency.
Add the tea, strawberry blend and ice into a cocktail shaker or tall jar with lid and shake until fully mixed and cold.
Pour ¼ cup of tapioca pearls in the bottom of a tall glass and top with the desired amount of ice.
Strain the strawberry tea mixture into the glass, leaving about one inch of space at the top.
Top the drink with a small amount of creamer. Use the straw to mix the drink and suck the pearls up through the straw.