Bubble tea can be made by substituting a variety of ingredients. Condensed milk or nondairy creamer can be used instead of milk, for example, or papaya, strawberry or other fruit juices can replace the mango. You will have a surplus of tapioca pearls left over when preparing the drink. Double the recipe, if you want, so that you have an extra serving on hand the next time you crave the drink.
Prepare the Tapioca Pearls
Put 8 cups of water in a large pot.
Set the pot on the stove and turn the burner on high.
Bring the water to a rolling boil.
Add 1 c. of large tapioca pearls. There should be enough water in the pot for the pearls to float.
Cover the pot with a lid and boil the pearls for 15 minutes.
Turn the burner off and let the pearls sit in the water for another 15 minutes.
Pour the pearls into a colander and rinse with warm water.
Pour the pearls into a medium-size mixing bowl and set it aside.
Prepare the Tapioca Pearl Syrup
Put 2 cups of water into a small pot.
Set the pot on the stove and turn the burner on medium heat.
Add 3/4 of a cup of white sugar and 3/4 of a cup of brown sugar.
Mix the sugar and water with a wooden spoon, frequently stirring it and scraping the pot as it comes to a boil.
Remove the pot from the burner when it starts boiling.
Pour the syrup over the tapioca pearls and mix them so they are thoroughly covered.
Put the bowl into the refrigerator to cool and soak the pearls for at least 1 hour.
Prepare the Tea
Put 1 cup of water in a kettle.
Set the kettle on the stove and turn the burner on high.
Bring the water to a rolling bowl.
Put one tea bag in a teacup. Popular choices include red, black, green or orange pekoe.
Pour the water into the teacup.
Steep the tea for at least 5 minutes. You want a strong cup of tea so its flavor can be tasted when mixed with the milk and the mango.
Put the teacup in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
Put the Whole Drink Together
Put 1 cup of crushed ice into a pint glass.
Add 1 cup of milk. Low-fat, skim and soy can be used instead of whole milk.
Add 1 cup of mango juice or 2 cups of frozen mango.
Add 1 tbsp. of honey.
Pour in the cup of tea.
Top the pint glass with a cocktail shaker and shake the tea vigorously for 90 seconds.
Use a tbsp. to drop 1 inch of tapioca pearls into a 16-oz. tumbler or parfait glass.
Pour the tea over the pearls and stir it with a long spoon.
Serve with the spoon and a straw that's wide enough to suck up the pearls. Makes one serving.
While the proper way to prepare bubble tea is to shake it, some like to blend the ingredients to turn them into a smoothie.