Bubble tea, which is also sometimes called boba tea, is a variety of sweetened tea that includes tapioca pearls. Bubble tea can be made with a variety of different teas and is often, but not always, made with fruit or fruit flavoring. The drink originated in Taiwan in the 1980s and has since spread around the world. This slushy version of bubble tea is similar to a smoothie and makes a refreshing and sweet treat on a hot day. This recipe will make a single serving of bubble tea, but you can easily increase it to make additional servings.
Prepare your selected variety of steeping tea for the time recommended on the package and set aside.
Boil the tapioca pearls in a small saucepan that is about 2/3 full of water for 30 to 45 minutes. Tapioca pearls should become chewy to soft throughout, depending on your preference.
Drain the cooked tapioca pearls in a colander. Run cold water over the tapioca pearls to cool them.
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Place the tapioca pearls into a medium sized bowl and drench the pearls with honey or syrup. Honey provides a mild, sweet flavor that complements many varieties of tea. For a fruitier flavor use a fruit flavored syrup. Maple syrup can also be used.
Place the ice, tea, sugar, milk, and malt flavor or other flavored powder in the blender and place the cover on the blender. Run the blender until the contents reach the consistency of a fruit smoothie.
Remove the tapioca pearls from the bowl and place at the bottom of a glass. Pour the mixture from the blender over the tapioca pearls.
Bubble tea is best slurped through an extra wide straw that will easily accommodate the tapioca pearls.
Different fruit syrups combined with a milder flavored tea will make a delicious tasting bubble tea.