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Bubble Tea


What is Bubble Tea? How to make Bubble Tea


Bubble tea is a sweet tea based beverage.  There are many recipes for bubble teas but most have a strong black tea base which is mixed with either milk or fruit juice and served cold. It can be made with any type of tea.


The most well known  is "pearl milk tea" sometimes known as "boba  milk tea" or "tapioca milk tea" which contains small chewy balls made of tapioca. These teas are often shaken to mix the ingredients, creating a foam on the top of some varieties which gives rise to the name.

Bubble tea was invented in Taiwan in the 1980s but has become popular in many parts of the world having first  spread to other East Asian countries before spreading to Canada, the United States via the numerous Chinatowns and then to college towns along the West Coast.


You can find Bubble Tea Cafes in many cities in Asia, the USA, Canada and Europe.

How To Cook Tapioca Pearls for Bubble Tea

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.

Slowly stir in the tapioca pearls so that they do not stick together.  Once the pearls start to float, after about 1 minute, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer rapidly for 15 minutes.


Turn the heat off and leave to stand, covered, for 15 minutes.


Rinse the tapioca pearls in cold water and drain through a colander and chill before using.

NB.  A shorter cooking time will produce chewier tapioca balls and a longer cooking time produce less chewy tapioca balls.



A Classic Bubble Tea Recipe

Makes 480ml/16fl.oz/ 1 serving

Cooking and Prep time: 5 mins

120ml/4fl.oz./ cup chilled, cooked large Tapioca Pearls
240ml/8fl.oz./1 cup crushed Ice
240ml/8fl.oz./1 cup very strong sweetened chilled Black Tea
240ml/8fl.oz./1 cup  Milk


Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, and shake vigorously until the mixture is frothy.

Pour into a tall glass, and serve with extra-thick straws.



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Key Cooking techniques

Chop to To cut into pieces of approximately the same size

Slice to -  To cut food, such as vegetables, into flat pieces of varying thickness.

Boil - To bring a liquid to boiling temperature and to maintain it throughout the cooking time.

Simmer - To maintain the temperature of a liquid at just below boiling.


Make Ahead/ Freeze


Tips, Options and Substitutions

Main equipment required to make this recipe


Chopping Knife

Chopping Board


Wooden or Plastic Spoon

Related Recipes and Information

Accompaniment Recipes 

Side Salads

Vegetable Side Dish  Recipes  

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