Drinks Recipes

Thai Bubble Tea

There are only a handful of foods that I actually remember trying for the first time and bubble (aka boba) tea – with its sweet tea base, served either hot or cold, and those distinctive chewy black tapioca balls at the bottom – is definitely one of them.

Back in college, there was a tea house located just down the road called K&K’s the Old Teahouse that my friends and I would often frequent. It was close to campus, cheap (which was always a plus for us broke college students), and a fun place to kill time when the only thing you were supposed to be doing was studying. The very first time I visited, I really had never heard of bubble tea before, and when I learned more about what it was, I was a little bit hesitant to drink something that had black, jelly-like things floating at the bottom. However, I relented and decided to give this popular Taiwanese drink a try.

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When I walked up to order, I was told that they’d run out of those see-through plastic cups that the cold drinks were normally served in, so they instead gave me a paper cup that was usually reserved for hot tea. No big deal, really. No big deal, that is, until I took my first sip and was just stunned by what I’d just consumed.

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Enjoying a bubble tea back in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Since I couldn’t see those squishy things at the bottom of my cup, when one of them finally slivered its way up the extra large straw and into my mouth, to say that I was taken aback would be an understatement! To me, mixing liquid and solid in that manner, and drinking it through a straw just seemed all kinds of wrong. Nevertheless, with each sip I took and with each visit back to the tea shop, I actually grew love it. In fact, on my graduation day, one of the last things I did was get a bubble tea to enjoy on the long ride back to Brooklyn!

Bubble tea is said to have originated in Taiwan, but has grown in popularity is countries all throughout Asia and the world. The distinctive reddish-orange color is usually the result of food coloring, so while probably not the best thing to drink, it still is so much fun seeing all of the colors swirling together as you sip.

Back at K&K’s, the flavor that I ordered most was probably banana (weird, I know), but my second favorite one had to be Thai bubble tea, which is what I’m sharing with you guys today! It is delicious, sweet, and so easy to make, so I definitely hope you give it a try.

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I’ll also be bringing this with me to Fiesta Friday #109 hosted by Angie and co-hosted this week by Josette at The Brook Cook and Lily at Little Sweet Baker, so I hope to see you there!

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Thai Bubble Tea

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 cup of Thai loose tea
  • 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk (more if you like your tea sweet!)
  • 3/4 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup of tapioca balls (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the tapioca balls to it.
  2. Allow the tapioca balls to cooks for approximately 3-4 minutes, or until all of them are floating at the top of the water.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked tapioca balls, place in a bowl of cold water, and set aside.
  4. Bring another pot of water to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and add the tea.
  5. Allow tea to steep for approximately 5 minutes before straining.
  6. Add the sweetened condensed milk and then allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
  7. Add about a 1/2 cup of the tapioca balls to the bottom of a 4 glasses, add ice, pour in the tea, and top with the evaporated milk.

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Dini @ The Flavor Bender
    March 4, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I LOVE Thai Bubble tea! Well, if I’m being honest I LOVE any kind of bubble tea! Thank you so much for sharing this, because I miss having bubble tea (there are no places where I live), and now I want to find the tapioca pearls to make my own πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Josette
    March 4, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    I’ve never heard about bubble tea! I have seen tapioca pearls at Trader Joe’s and really only thought to use them to make pudding. This sounds so delicious- tea… tapioca… condensed milk- so sweet & yummy. Thanks for bringing this to Fiesta Friday this week!

  • Reply
    Julie at Hostess At Heart
    March 4, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    I had bubble tea for the first time last year, and the more that I drank it, the more I liked it. It was weird at first and my husband refuses to drink it. I’ll have to look for the tapioca balls.

  • Reply
    Aruna
    March 6, 2016 at 6:18 am

    I have been fascinated with bubble tea ever since I heard about it. Your version looks delicious!

    Happy Fiesta Friday.

    • Reply
      bornandbredinbrooklyn
      March 17, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      It is amazing!! You should really give it a try (even though it might take some getting used to haha). Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Angela Chu
    March 8, 2016 at 1:16 am

    Loved reading this post, Justine! I’m glad you love bubble tea, I sure do πŸ™‚ And I’ve never had banana flavored bubble tea before, but it sounds very interesting πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      bornandbredinbrooklyn
      March 17, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you, Angela! It has become my one of my favorite drinks (and maybe next time I’ll try making banana haha)

  • Reply
    Corinne
    March 12, 2016 at 10:36 am

    yum! i love bubble tea..can’t wait to try this!

    • Reply
      bornandbredinbrooklyn
      March 17, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      Thank you and thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

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