Bubble Tea in a roasted Barley Black Tea (Boba Tea 珍珠奶茶)

posted in: Recipes | 17

Bubble tea, a Taiwanese beverage that has become quite a popular drink amongst all Asians. Bubble tea, also known as milk pearl tea, boba tea and boba milk tea, originated from tea cafes in Taichung (central Taiwan) during the 1980s. In Cape Town you can actually buy these tasty Taiwanese drinks in the northern suburbs. On a daily basis, Live Mart Taiwanese Supermarket in Durbanville make bubble tea in various flavours and on weekends at 96 Taiwanese Supermarket in Monte Vista make the traditional roasted barley black tea version.

The ingredients can easily be purchased in almost any Chinese or Taiwanese supermarket. The one I usually buy is a DIY Taiwanese brand, as seen below.

There are many and various flavours, such as pudding, almond, vanilla, green tea and fruit, but the original flavour is a milky black tea with roasted barley and tapioca pearls. This is one of my favourite treats and is quite easy to make. The texture of the bubbles is quite unique and amongst Taiwanese folk, we call it “Q” or “QQ”, which is a chewy, al dente texture.

Most kitchens in South Africa probably don’t have this steamer, so the recipe provided will help you make bubble tea simply using the stove.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup tapioca pearls
  • 3 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of barley
  • 2 black tea bags (Ceylon or 5 Roses tea)
  • Milk to taste
  • 3 cup ice (cubes)

Method

  • Boil a medium-sized pot of water and put the tapioca pearls in once bubbling. (step 1)
  • Leave the pearls to boil for an hour, checking at 15 minute intervals, then mix to prevent them from sticking to the pot. (step 2)
  • Once the pearls are cooked (step 3), strain them and place into a bowl of ice (2 cups) immediately to cool – this allows the pearls to become “QQ”

While waiting for the pearls, brew the tea:

  • Lightly roast the barley in a pan.
  • Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan, add the barely and tea bags – boil for 5 minutes, take the bags out and add the sugar into the pot and mix.
  • Once the sugar has melted, sieve the tea to separate the bags and barely.
  • Allow tea to cool.
  • Place the tapioca pearls into glasses.
  • Pour the roasted barley black tea into the glasses
  • Add milk to taste and ice blocks to serve.

Suggestion:

When we buy bubble tea, we often purchase them in cup containers with a thick straw to drink the tapioca pearls through. If you can’t find the straws, simply offer a long handled dessert spoon.

Made and styled with Ishay Govender from food blog Food and the Fabulous.

Share this Facebooktwittermail

17 Responses

  1. Betty Bake
    | Reply

    looks great Ming 🙂
    and sounds very interesting

  2. Marisa
    | Reply

    I so want to try this! Think I should head to the Asian supermarket on Saturday and get me some of those bubbles.

  3. […] The ingredients can easily be purchased in almost any Chinese or Taiwanese supermarket. The one I usually buy is a DIY Taiwanese brand, as seen in the original post. […]

  4. Jon
    | Reply

    Love it! cant wait to make it myself ^^

  5. Ishay
    | Reply

    Such a treat to enjoy this with you Ming!

  6. […] stores, which means I can always purchase brands that I grew up with and they both make bubble tea! There is imported junk food, cooking essentials, exotic spices, Asian beverages  and duck eggs, […]

  7. […] The ingredients can easily be purchased in almost any Chinese or Taiwanese supermarket. The one I usually buy is a DIY Taiwanese brand, as seen in the original post. […]

  8. […] stores, which means I can always purchase brands that I grew up with and they both make bubble tea! There is imported junk food, cooking essentials, exotic spices, Asian beverages and duck eggs- […]

  9. […] and one of my favourite Taiwanese beverages “bubble tea“ […]

  10. […] tapioca pearls (used in bubble tea) […]

  11. […] tapioca pearls (used in bubble tea) […]

  12. […] brought back from London. Boba is a large tapioca pearl (like sago) and used in the refreshing bubble tea that has reached cult status all over the world. To slurp it all up, I served it with large bubble […]

  13. noodle
    | Reply

    Just saw these the other day at a local chinese grocer… I’ve been desparate to make my own boba since my last trip to Thailand – so yummy!

    • Ming-Cheau
      | Reply

      The rad thing about making your own is being able to control the quantities of the various elements. For example, I enjoy plenty of boba, some tea and minimal milk, but others enjoy it more milky. I often also add a tsp of sunflower oil into the boiling pot of raw boba to prevent them from sticking to each other too much. I hope you enjoy making them! 🙂

  14. tshiamo
    | Reply

    Do you know where i can get it in pretoria

  15. […] she got all her wonderful cold drinks and she directed me there. I didn’t go there until, Ming from Butterfingers wrote about Bubble Tea and that it could be found there. I had been searching for Bubble Tea for years after The Tea Tree […]

Leave a Reply