Ever eaten something like this before? Chances are, you most probably have. Even if you haven’t, it’s not too late to try now – head to Chinatown and I’m pretty sure you can find at least one shop selling boba milk tea.
Originated from Taiwan, these little black balls are endearingly known as boba or tapioca pearls. The bobas are added into an otherwise boring old milk tea to add crunch and chewiness to the whole experience. When boba came to our parts of the world many years ago, I remembered that there was a huge (HUGE) explosion of boba madness.
“My sisters and I would queue up to an hour to satisfy our boba cravings every day – we were the boba whores! Crazy? LOL at least I know we were not the only ones :)”
These days, you can find boba at all Asian grocery store and online – so many brands and type. Be aware when purchase boba and read the ingredients carefully at the back of the pack. Do not buy those that contain lots of chemicals other than tapioca starch, water, caramel and maple syrup. The premium ones come in vacuum seal pack and contain less preservatives. You can get the premium ones from nuts.com (black tapioca pearl USD 3.99) or Amazon (Bolle premium tapioca pearl USD10).
Take note that different brands cooked in different times. So, experiment with time, experiment with flavours and experiment with texture. Cooked boba is best consumed within 1-6 hours.
What’s your favourite flavour?
Boba Milk Tea
Serves 3 glasses
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp white sugar
4 tbsp water
100 g boba pearls
1 L water, to cook boba
3 tea bags (green tea, jasmine, black tea etc)
2 cups cold milk
Boba fat straws
1. Prepare the syrup – Mix brown sugar, white sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
2. Prepare the boba – In a large sauce pan, put 1 L water and bring to boil. Once the water is boiling rapidly, pour the boba pearls into the water. Stir with wooden spoon and let it come to a boil. Once the water is boiling again, lower to medium heat. Set the lid slightly ajar and cook for 12-15 mins. Stir every 5 mins. Then turn the heat off, cover and let the boba steep for another 15mins.
3. Prepare the tea – Steep 3 tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water for 3 mins. Discard the tea bags and set the tea aside to cool.
4. To finish the boba – Once the boba finished cooking, drain them. Do not rinse under water. Place the boba into a bowl and gently stir in 70 ml of syrup into the bowl. Mix well and let it sit for 15 mins.
5. To assemble and serve – Place a few tablespoons of boba in a tall glass. Add tea. Add milk. Lastly, add ice. Sweeten to taste with the syrup used to soak the boba. Serve with fat straws.