I love Boba.
For the last few weeks, I have had this craving for Boba (Bubble) Tea. I think that it started after I went into this tiny Chinese Handicrafts store in a mini strip mall that I pass daily on my way home from work. The sign outside, “Bubble Tea” sparked my curiosity. The first time that I tried it was down at Uwajimaya a few years ago. I remember thinking that while good, it was quite the surprise to take a sip through such a large straw and have these balls sucked up through it. I remember thinking it was something that could definitely grow on me, being that Tapioca was never my favorite thing as a kid. I did love that drinking a beverage also meant that you got to chew on something, which to me makes having an iced tea all the more exciting. I also remember being fascinated that there is a machine that actually seals the beverage on top, and in order to consume, you must poke your fat colorful straw through the plastic seal complete with an Asian cartoon. How fun is this?
We live fairly close to the U district, which is filled with ethnic food options and at least 5 bubble tea spots, so I decided to try them all out, when the urge hit..
The first place that I went into was fine, but while waiting for my drink, I chose to stand instead of sitting on their chairs that were filthy with what I will call “mystery stains”.
The second place was the best, and I had to laugh at the name of it, “Gossip.” I will definitely go back..
The third place was a bit of an interesting experience. It was called ‘WOW! Bubble Tea.’ Thinking that it was because, “WOW, this Bubble Tea rocks”, I went inside. While waiting for my Green Milk Tea, I took in the atmosphere. Being in the U district, the place was full of young students, giving it that after school youth group kind of feel. I actually felt old. Then, I looked over to a mural on the wall where it said, “WOW!” and underneath, it said, “Wonder Of Worship.”
It was only then that I tuned into the Christian Rock being pumped out by the sound system and the accompanying cheesy video on the multiple screened large television in front of me that it dawned on me..
I think “WOW! Jesus Rocks…oh yeah, and Bubble Tea, too” is the more appropriate name for this place.. It was just so strange, the combination of Bubble Tea and Jesus. Who would have thought the two went hand in hand?
After consuming a record number of Bubble Teas this week, it dawned on me to look up the nutrition facts. A lot of these tea places use a non-dairy creamer mixed with powdered “tea” bases, I came to learn. I was a little discouraged too, to learn that each drink that I was getting had an upwards of 30 grams of fat! (don’t quote me on this, hopefully I am wrong) I watch what I eat for the most part, and I like to indulge like everyone else, but this was quite the shocker for me, especially because I have been consuming these like they are water.. I guess sometimes it is better not to know what goes into every little indulgence, but learning this made me want to create a similar drink experience at home.
I was able to find some tapioca at this new Asian Market nearby and I was so tempted to buy their “bubble tea mixes” but, I refrained for this was the whole reason I was here, to buy the Tapioca so I could make a refreshing and healthier alternative to the powdered Bubble Tea. What I came up with was definitely not quite as exciting as going out to get the tea, and, making Bubble Tea at home won’t quite take the place of this guilty pleasure of mine, but it wasn’t half bad!
Black Milk Tea with Tapioca Pearls, my way.
1 c milk heated and steeped with 2 tea bags. cooled.
½ c ice
2 Tablespoons Simple Syrup & ½ c prepared Tapioca Pearls
In a Cocktail Shaker, pour cool tea and ice. Close and shake. Place tapioca pearls in glass, pour tea over, and enjoy!