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Make it at home: Bubble Tea with Mira

Two things are new to me. The first is writing a blog and the second is making Bubble tea.  My younger sister, Remi, introduced me to Bubble tea last year when I would visit her at Kent State University. She even has her own metal Bubble tea straw with cleaner and that tells you what an aficionado she is! 

Because all schools are closed due to the pandemic, Remi can’t get the delicious Bubble tea that she really enjoyed as a special treat, so I thought it would be fun for the both of us to make homemade Bubble tea. 

When I told her my idea, she was so excited that she went online and ordered the tapioca pearls, one of the most important ingredients when making this drink. 

Before I go further, let me tell you a bit of boba history.  Bubble tea is also known as pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, or boba.  Bubble tea first became popular in Taiwan in the 1980s, but the original inventor is unknown. Larger tapioca pearls were adapted and quickly replaced the original small pearls.  Eventually, fruit flavors became popular. Flavors may be added in the form of powder, pulp, or syrup to oolong, black or green tea, which is then shaken with ice. The tapioca pearls fall to the bottom and are sucked up through a wide diameter straw.  YUMMY!

Finally, the tapioca pearls arrived and Remi couldn't wait to get started. I must add here that Remi won three cooking awards at our local Fair when she was younger, but I do not have any cooking talent to speak of.

We found a recipe online that looked fairly straight-forward. At the point where the tapioca pearls need to soak in hot water for approximately 30 minutes, is a good spot to start making the tea of your choice, and letting it chill in the refrigerator. Maybe listen to a short podcast to help pass the time if you are impatient like me. Or—like my sister, already start planning the next flavor of Bubble tea you will make.

Here are the basic ingredients that you will need to make your own Bubble tea:
Black Tea
Brown Sugar
Medium Tapioca Pearls

Bubble tea wasn’t difficult to make, but the tapioca pearls are expensive plus we needed to make the recipe several times to get the taste just right.  I do admit that Remi and I felt a sense of accomplishment and that our finished product really looked and tasted like authentic Bubble tea.

I recommend the following link as a good starting point for making your own Bubble tea until life gets back to normal and we can all go out and buy it again.

Bubble Tea Recipe 

-Mira Mikan
General Manager, ASCEND Youngstown