Saturday, February 4, 2012

Brown Sugar Coconut Bubble Tea

Ever since I was a little kid, I've had the tendency to get a one track mind about certain things. For example, I was convinced I was going to have a summer job washing dogs when I was younger (there's still one of my hand drawn promotional posters hanging in the house). Or the time I got really into Neopets (let's not talk about it...). And when I was 13 or 14, I somehow learned about bubble tea and became completely obsessed. 

My first bubble tea was consumed here and I have to admit, I didn't like it very much. The bubbles were little cubes! That's not what it looked like on the internet! I think honestly that the concept of chewing my drink was very cool in theory, but I didn't appreciate it in practice. But I would grow to acquire a taste for it.

If you're not familiar, the "bubbles" in bubble tea are large pearl tapioca, which, up until recently, I had a hard time finding. But they should be readily available at any asian grocery store. Don't try and substitute the small ones used in tapioca's just not the same. The nice thing about making bubble tea at home is that you can control what goes into it. A lot of stores use weird, artificial flavor powders and lots of sugar. Mine used fresh brewed almond-coconut tea and coconut milk! Nom.

Brown Sugar Coconut Bubble Tea
adapted from The Pastry Affair

Yields 2 servings
1/2 cup large pearl tapioca
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup black tea, cold
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 tsp coconut extract

To cook the tapioca, follow the directions on the package. Different brands of tapioca pearls cook at different rates and require varied amounts of water. Mine were a 5 minute variety, but if yours take longer to cook, it would be a good idea to cook more than a half cup if you'd like more bubble tea later in the week. When cooked, drain the pearls and rinse with lukewarm water to remove the starch. In a small bowl, coat the tapioca pearls with the brown sugar. The tapioca pearls can be refrigerated for up to 3 or 4 days, but are best if used immediately.
To make the bubble tea, blend together the black tea, coconut milk, and coconut extract. I used a cocktail shaker. If you want a thicker tea, I would combine the ingredients in a blender with some ice. In a tall glass, place 1/4 cup of tapioca pearls (but if you want more, add more!). Pour the tea over top. More brown sugar may be added to adjust the tea to your sweetness level. Drink with a large straw!


  1. Very interesting! I have never had tea like this!

  2. It's super tasty. Pretty much any sort of tea with tapioca pearls added is considered bubble tea, but traditionally bubble tea is made with this sort of sweet, milky tea.

  3. Confucius say, "I am not preferential towards bubble tea, but this recipe will definitely go in my book"

  4. I love these...they do end up getting expensive...but now I can make my own!!!


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