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Bubble tea, pearl milk tea or boba tea is a Taiwanese hot or cold tea drink made out of flavour infused tea served with tapioca ball and or nata de coco. It was given the name bubble tea due to the foam created when preparing the tea which itself is called “pàomò” tea which if translated means “frothy/foamy” tea. Bubble tea is usually accompanied with a rather large hole straw in order to easily sip the tapioca balls in the bottom of the drink and if you like using straws, try a reusable boba tea straw as opposed to the plastic ones, which can help save our environment.
This was invented in Taiwan and it was credited to the Chun Shui Tang Teahouse in Taichung, Taiwan. It was said that the owner “Liu Han-Chieh” of the tea house was inspired by the Japanese preparation of cold coffee when he visited Japan during the 1980’s, he then applied the same process to his tea and the rest was history. Lin Hsiu Hui, the teahouse’s product development manager then experimented in adding sweetened tapioca balls into the iced tea drink during one of their meetings in 1988, it was well received which then resulted to adding it to their menu, it became their top selling product. It was then copied by many leading to its success nowadays.
I just started with black tea flavour with milk then since then different flavours were introduced and it can be distinguished into two types the fruit-flavoured teas and milk teas hence you see flavours like taro, red bean, strawberry, peach, melon and mango to name some. Today we will be making some red bean version which is our family favourite, with this we will be using some fresh milk and real red beans.
Place 2 cups water and red beans in pot, bring to a boil then simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the red beans are soft, drain. Place red beans, sugar and 2 tbsp water in a food processor then process until it becomes a smooth paste.
In a pot combine all black tea ingredients together, bring it to a boil, once it starts to boil turn heat off then let it cool to room temperature. Place the liquid with the tea bags in a container, keep in the refrigerator until needed.
In a pot boil 6 cups of water, add tapioca pearls and cook until soft. It will take around 25 minutes. Drain tapioca pearls, rinse with running cold water then set it aside.
Make your syrup, combine hot water and white sugar, mix well until sugar is totally dissolved.
Soak tapioca pearls in this mixture for 30 minutes. Drain reserving the syrup.
Using a hand blender, per serving, pour black tea in a large glass together with the red bean paste then blend until mixed. Place the tapioca pearls, then pour the milk, cream and sugar syrup then top it with ice. Serve.
You can buy ready-made red bean paste so you don’t have to cook them at home You can adjust the strength of the tea by adding or removing tea bags.