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How to Make Bubble Tea

Tired of the same old beverages of tea and coffee? Then why not have some fun with a new drink that has made its way to America from Taiwan. It's called bubble tea, and making it is something between a dessert and just a fun taste experience.

The essential ingredient of course, is the bubbles. Only they're not bubbles, they're black tapioca pearls that float while cooking, but will sink in your beverage when done. Prepare these first, and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, depending on whether they get to mushy for use.

To cook your pearls, use a ratio of 6-8 parts water to every one part pearls. Put in a pot, and bring to a boil, cooking at just enough heat to keep the pearls moving, but not sloshing around. After 30 minutes, remove from the heat, cover the pot, and let them sit for another half hour. Rinse thoroughly under running water then store in a closed container in the fridge.

Bubble "tea" is actually many kinds of drinks, both hot and cold. You can use prepared tea as one of the liquids, but lots of people like to experiment with their own combinations. Even the kids will enjoy it! Some combinations will need a sweetener though, and for that you can make a bubble tea syrup to be kept in the fridge. Simply boil one cup each of brown and white sugar, with two cups of water, and remove from heat, cool and store.

Fruit is always a good base and flavor enhancer, so your first effort might be 8oz. of milk, half a cup of strawberries, two tablespoons of bubble tea syrup, and 1/4 cup of cooked pearls. Put all ingredients except pearls in the blender, pour into a glass and add your "bubbles". You can make smoothies as well, by blending equal amounts of powdered juice, powdered milk or non-dairy creamer and bubble tea syrup, with one cup of crushed ice and 3/4 of a cup of tea or water. Pour into glass and drop in your bubbles!


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