I absolutely love boba. It’s the one drink that I could drink for days. It’s sweet, creamy, flavorful, and refreshing. Paired with the sweet, chewy,soft tapioca pearls, it was the perfect concoction. And I actually have drank it for days on end once. I ended up with feeling super sick, and I HIGHLY DO NOT RECOMMEND you try it.
It was a weekly ritual for me to get milk tea after school. Milk tea always hit the spot after a long, tiresome school day. I kept up this habit for about half a year, until I came to a realization.
As delicious as it is, bubble tea contains a lot of empty calories, added sugar, artificial flavors,carbs and sometimes even artificial colors!To add on to that fact, a cup ranges from $4-5 depending on which store you go to. With all the competing boba stores, it was only getting more expensive. That’s when I dropped my cup, and headed straight to the kitchen.
I was determined to craft my own “healthy” bubble tea. It took a few runs of trial and error to get the final product, but I was nonetheless satisfied with the outcome. The drink was sweet, milky, creamy, and had a pleasant strawberry flavor. The pearls were also chewy and gummy-esque, resembling the ones cooked in the boba shops. This version uses natural sugar as well as non-dairy milk, making it great for those who are lactose intolerant (like me!). If you don’t like the tapioca pearls, you can omit them, or use another topping such grass jelly, coconut jelly, or just fresh strawberry slices.
Servings: 2 (8 oz drinks) or 1 16 oz drink.
Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
-1 c. of hot water
-1 bag of green tea
-1 tsp. honey or agave (add more or less, depending on how sweet you want your drink to be)
-1/4 c. strawberries (fresh and frozen work fine!)-> about 2 to 3 large strawberries
-1/3 c. of unsweetened nondairy milk (almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc)
-*2 tbsp. cooked tapioca pearls (you can find these in an Asian grocery market or online)→ see note
-1/4 c. ice
-A few strawberries to cut into the drink and garnish with
-Measuring cups and spoons
-Boba straws (these are larger so the tapioca pearls can fit through)
- Start off by cooking your boba according to the package directions.
- While waiting for the boba to cook, you can start to steep your tea. Heat one cup of water, then pour over your tea bag and let it steep from 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how strong you would like your flavor.
- In a separate bowl, add in your strawberries. Heat at 15 second increments until they are soft enough to mash.
- Mash the strawberries with the back of a spoon until they are completely mashed. Alternatively, you could also use a food processor if you want it to be more fine.
- Once the tea is finished brewing, pour your strawberries through a sieve and into the tea mixture. Using the back of the spoon, try to extract as much liquid from the berries as you can.
- Combine the strawberry juice and green tea until fully incorporated.
- Add your boba and cut up strawberries into the bottom of your glass
- Add in a few ice cubes.
- Pour the strawberry tea into the glass, followed by your non dairy milk.
- Stir until all the the tea and and milk have been combined.
- Garnish with a fresh strawberry and enjoy! This is a pret-tea good drink and it’s berry good!
*Extra tips and insights: 🙂
1.I attempted to cook my tapioca pearls in the microwave as I wanted to experiment to see if I could acquire the same chewiness similar to the ones cooked in boiling water over the stove. However, in my experience, it did not work. The boba was gummy on the outside, but as hard as a rock on the inside.
2. Depending on the brand of tapioca pearls you buy, the cooking times will vary as well as the amount of water needed. Some tapioca pearls are quick cooking five minute ones, while others take longer. My personal recommendation is the one that cooks longer. The brand I prefer to use is the Bolle tapioca pearls. Yes, I know, they do take a longer time to cook, but the reason I choose the longer cooking ones is that the ingredients listed are simple. If you read the label, there aren’t any weird additives or ingredients listed, unlike some other brands.
3.When cooking boba, the consistency you are looking for is that it is soft, yet still be chewy and sweet. It shouldn’t be mushy (overcooked), or hard (undercooked/raw).Most people describe it as a gummy bear consistency.
4.Most boba places soak their pearls in a bath of syrup or sugar. A few of my recommendations of what to soak it in include a 1:1 ratio of honey to water or 1:1 ratio of brown sugar to water.
What are your favorite places to grab milk tea and favorite flavor?
DISCLAIMER: I am not sponsored by Bolle Tapioca pearls, but it is a brand that I have been using for a while that I like, so I recommend it. 🙂