April 30 is National Bubble Tea Day, and I can’t be more excited to celebrate. There is such an appeal to these creamy, shaken milk drinks, especially when they are topped with tapioca balls which resemble bubbles and come with an assortment of flavors and varieties.
What to know about bubble tea
- Bubble tea became a hit in the 1980s in Taipei, along with other locations such as Taiwan. Milk tea was already a big part of the culture in Taiwan since tea drinking is a part of everyday life in East Asia. A food stall owner decided to switch up the milk tea recipe and turn it more into a dessert drink; to do this, he put tapioca balls at the bottom, followed by a layer of shaved ice and filled the rest with milk tea. Bubble tea is seen mostly in night markets in Taiwan where people stop after work for a snack or quick pick-me-up.
- In the late 80s and early 90s, bubble tea quickly became mainstream in American culture due to the influx of immigrants from Taiwan, along with the increased popularity of cafe culture.
How to make bubble tea
This is a general recipe on how to make this delicious tea. You can choose out of an enormous variety of what flavor tapioca balls and tea you’d prefer.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, add water and sugar.
- Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Once water is boiling, remove from heat and add tea bags.
- Allow tea to cool to room temperature, remove tea bags and transfer tea to the fridge to chill completely.
- Boil tapioca balls for 15 minutes, then let the pearls sit in hot water for about 10-15 minutes.
- Drain and rinse pearls and transfer to a bowl.
- Divide cooked tapioca pearls into 2 large glasses.
- Add ice cubes to each glass and pour 1 cup of tea into each glass.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk on top, stir and serve.
- Add more milk or tea, to taste.
- Enjoy your homemade bubble tea!
How you can celebrate
- Go out on a bubble tea date with your friends or family
- Share a pretty picture of your bubble tea on social media with the hashtag #NationalBubbleTeaDay
- Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is coming up! Maybe make your mom some homemade bubble tea or take her out to a place that serves quality bubble tea.