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Skie

Bubble Tea

110 posts in this topic

Has anyone else had this stuff?  Who came up with the idea?  I just had my first today - Green tea flavor - and boy it was weird.  :blink:

It's hard to get a GOOD bubble tea in the DC metro area. They just don't get it right. The only place where you can get a semi-bubble tea (which pale in comparison to the tea houses on Mott Street in Chinatown up in NYC) is at Ten Ren's in College Park, MD and Maria's Bakery & Cafe in Rockville, MD. To experience a GOOD bubble tea...no, make that a GREAT bubble tea, go up to NYC.

And try the classic milk tea with bubbles. Ahhhhh.... :biggrin:

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I once tried Bubble Tea at a place called Tealuxe, in Providence, and boy, it was bad. Kind of like green tea slurpee with black balls of rubber in it, the size of a small marble. The cool thing about it was that the balls flew down the large straw a la spitball oh so well..... Look out stop sign, here it comes, I got about 40 ft. in distance, no joke!!!!!


Tonyy13

Owner, Big Wheel Provisions

tony_adams@mac.com

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I say if you've had bad balls, it can ruin the experience for ya. :raz:

The first time I tried them, the tapioca balls just weren't that good (from a latin joint nearby). A new "Little Saigon" opened up in town and there's a new drink shop now and the boba balls they use are great. They even have a little machine they imported from Asia that seals the cup with plastic instead of using a lid.

To wander off-topic, I tried mung bean ice tea recently and it was just too weird for my tastes (gummy bear-like shreds, mung beans & ice tea all mixed together :shock: ).


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

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i like bubble tea with the lighter-colored tapioca balls..unlike the darker ones which i'm not fond of. does anyone know where bubble tea originated?? yes, in asia..but does anyone know which country?

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Here in Sydney bubble tea has really taken off, whereas last year there were only a few outlets there are dozens now.

I've tried bubble teas of various levels of quality, with hard bubbles being the most common drawback (this happens if the bubbles are overchilled or left in a cup with ice for too long). I've found that EasyWay is always the best (http://www.easyways.com.tw/). If you haven't tried their salted plum green tea you're really missing out! They're also good because I don't like mine too sweet and you can specify how much syrup you want as well as what kind of bubbles (or 'pearls' as they call them).

There a few different kinds of "bubbles" (or 'tapioca starch balls' - bubbles sounds better!). I found this info on how they are made:

"They are made from cassava after the root is peeled and grated, and the juice extracted. This is a complex process that yields a tapioca flour later compressed into brown or white cakes. When round, they are known as tapioca pearls, and once boiled, can be found lurking in sweet drinks."

I've also often seen pearls made of aloe vera and cocnut jelly.

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Yep, in Vancouver, bubble tea is extremely popular and quite common.  Flavours and quality definitely range from place to place.

Watermelon kicks ass!

Yum, I love watermelon. We just got our first Bubble Drink place in Toledo. I was excited. They even made a mini one for my daughter. She was not a fan of the bubbles. :blink:


Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Has anyone else had this stuff?  Who came up with the idea?  I just had my first today - Green tea flavor - and boy it was weird.   :blink:

It's hard to get a GOOD bubble tea in the DC metro area. They just don't get it right. The only place where you can get a semi-bubble tea (which pale in comparison to the tea houses on Mott Street in Chinatown up in NYC) is at Ten Ren's in College Park, MD and Maria's Bakery & Cafe in Rockville, MD. To experience a GOOD bubble tea...no, make that a GREAT bubble tea, go up to NYC.

And try the classic milk tea with bubbles. Ahhhhh.... :biggrin:

I love the green tea flavor! (But of course I love green tea ice cream as well, and NYC can't be beat for that, either) I had heard that place in Wintergreen Plaza was supposedly pretty authentic...how does that compare with Ten Ren's and Maria's? (and where exactly is Ten Ren's in College Park?)

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I misunderstood the title/subject of the thread, and read all through still wondering about a (regional?) drink we were served a couple of years ago. We took a couple of our sons to Niagara Falls during the summer, and at the first restaurant on our trek, we ordered Iced Tea, only to be served a fruity-fizz concoction which resembled the bastard child of KoolAid and Coke.

We asked for "regular iced tea" and were told that this was IT---everyone served it and everyone liked it. And so it went. There WAS no brewed, poured-over-ice Lipton or Tetley or whatever other brand might flourish north of Pennsylvania.

At every meal we asked, were put in our places as the Southern Hicks-come-to-see-the-FAWLS that we were, and settled for ice water. We bought our own bags and some humongous carrycups, and made our own daily supply in the hotel room each morning.

So what IS it with that NorthEastern/Canada fizzy stuff? And RASPBERRY with salmon!!?? :blink:


Edited by racheld (log)

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I love milk tea boba, unblended. The best way to avoid bad balls is to go to a place with high turnover. Balls go bad when they have to be refrigerated, fresh balls are soft, plump and chewy. They also get hard when they get too cold because the drink is blended.

The best places to get boba in Honolulu is at Coffee or Tea in McCully or Bea's in the 99 Ranch complex.

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I love the green tea flavor! (But of course I love green tea ice cream as well, and NYC can't be beat for that, either) I had heard that place in Wintergreen Plaza was supposedly pretty authentic...how does that compare with Ten Ren's and Maria's? (and where exactly is Ten Ren's in College Park?)

Hey squids, Ten Ren's is the place in Wintergreen Plaza. I have had their bubble tea several times now (it's about a minute from my house) and my initial "what the heck" reaction was due to an inferior version somewhere else because theirs is pretty good.


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Can you get the bubbles at Asian markets? -- hillvalley

Yes. At the Asian mart near me they have both black and 'rainbow', though I can't tell a difference in flavor. A bag of dried boba costs about $2, and is enough to make more bubble tea than I'll consume in this lifetime.

I thought I read that making the tapioca pearls, even with a kit, was the hardest part about trying to make bobba tea at home. Anybody tried making them, and how did it come out?

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I thought I read that making the tapioca pearls, even with a kit, was the hardest part about trying to make bobba tea at home. Anybody tried making them, and how did it come out?

Yes, I've made bubbles. Not difficult at all but simply time-consuming in that they have to simmer for a bit. There are "quick-cook" bubbles available also but I'd heard mixed reports and when I tried them, to me they did not have as good a texture.

One of the problems is that the bubbles do not store well. Generally they are best consumed the day they are cooked, so it's best to make bubble tea for a small crowd or, of course, otherwise just for a few people who are willing to drink bubble tea all day long :biggrin: )

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Has anyone here ever tried making bubble tea at home? I saw from another thread that there's a bit of debate here about the legitimacy of the drink but I happen to like it every so often. I saw there's a website which sells a kit to make it - comes with a few types of teas (all made from powders) the pearls, straws, etc.

Has anyone tried this or have any light to shed on it?

http://www.bubbleteasupply.com/store/store...category_type=4

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I have made it! it is easy. you get the pearls an cook them, and add them to ice tea. if you shake it in a cocktail shaker it is better.

The powders are gross and i hate bubble tea made from them, they are just a generic fake flavoured milk shake. I have used diffrent teas, thai milk tea, and if i am not making it hong kong milk tea.

on that subject, any one know how to make hong kong milk tea?

I say forget the kit an just get some pearls. if there is a china town round you you should be able to find them there.

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Any hints for cooking large tapioca pearls?

I followed the instructions on a package, and it did not work out.

Soak in water over night, cook on top of double boiler.

Many were still crunchy and others dissolved.

Maybe they were just really old?


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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This recipe

Bubble Tea Mania

has specific instructions on how to prepare the tapioca pearls. Perhaps it will help.

Not sure where you purchased the tapioca pearls but I'd think that certain Asian food markets might have a faster turnover on that item as they are used in certain drinks such as the Vietnamese Three bean Dessert.

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I have a Chinatown (NYC). Maybe I'll take a look down there. The website just seems easy - comes with the straws too which I think is a critical component! I do agree though that I'm skeptical about the powders. I would just brew black tea and chill it, add milk and sugar syrup and be done. You could really do whatever you want I guess - the main key is getting the pearls done right. Thanks for the tips!

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they definitely sell the pearls and the straws in chinatown. look for the large brown pearls if that's the kind you're used to drinking/eating. they'll look a bit powdery. don't soak before cooking. phaelon's link has the correct method. sometimes, i will boil them for a minute or so and then rinse them and change the water so that the water doesn't get all gummed up, but that isn't crucial.

edited to add: make sure that all the pearls are transparent when you're done cooking them. if they have an opaque core to them, then they aren't done and you'll have that weird texture in the middle.


Edited by alanamoana (log)

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Any hints for cooking large tapioca pearls?

I followed the instructions on a package, and it did not work out.

Soak in water over night, cook on top of double boiler.

Many were still crunchy and others dissolved.

Maybe they were just really old?

Ive never heard of soaking them or using a double boiler.

This is the standard cooking method:

http://www.bubbleteasupply.com/index.php?page=recipes.html


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I had my first taste of Bubble Tea, if you haven't had this, you need to try it. Basically its a tea infused with flavorings, mine was pineapple, and blended with ice that is then served with large Tapicoa Pearls in the bottom.

Bubble Tea


Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.

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Ten Ren in Baltimore made my favorite bubble tea of all time. I liked it because they used real tea. and most of the places in Boston that i have visited use dodgy milk shake style stuff. (one exception, the bubble tea stand in the porter sq. japanese food court used to make an acceptable one)

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OK, so I know this is something for a drink, but the process does involve cooking, so I was kind of conflicted as to where I should put this post... oh well, hope no one minds.

Either way, for those of you that are unfamiliar with what boba are (is?), boba are basically pearls (think pie weight size) of tapioca starch which are added to tea drinks that include fruit nectar, milk (or not) and other flavorings.

Now, although I can order these online, how would that be fun? I've bought them before and found the texture to be much chewier and denser than what I had from vendors, and some brands just break apart as you're cooking them, which is definitely not helpful.

As I mentioned, typically, boba are made out of tapioca starch. Boba are soft yet chewy and slightly sweet. They serve the purpose of being fun to chew on when you're drinking the tea (from very wide straws too!) and make the drink more filling too.

So, the question is: is it possible to create boba or some boba style alternative at home?

I've thought about it a bit, and consulted the "Modernist Cuisine" book's chapter on gels (although I don't have much experience with them).

As far as I can tell, what I'm looking for here is a gel which is stable at cold to room temperatures, acid stable, is very stiff (MC uses gummy bears as an example, that seems about right) and mildly elastic.

Tapioca starch falls into the category of a tuber hydrocolloid, possibly other hydrocolloids would work, but they would need to be easy enough to work with to shape into balls, cut into disks, pipe out of bags or pour into spherical molds (I don't have those, but I'm not ruling it out). Since Earth gravity is too high, unfortunately we can't just make drops large enough just by dripping into water...

Expanding the definition of boba beyond just tapioca pearls gives a lot of flexibility too. Think:

  • Boba that are fruit flavored
  • Creative uses, like, bloody mary boba in bloody mary
  • Boba in soup

Aside from tapioca starch, I was thinking that mochi have a very similar texture to the pearls as well (due to the glutinous rice), but I'm not sure how it would react to being in liquid for a bit of time. I'll try to make pearls out of mochi flour and see how it goes, any other ideas?

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