The delicious beverage that involves drinking tea and sucking tapioca pearls through a wide straw: Bubble Tea (also known as Pearl Tea) is fast-becoming an American sensation. Our Thai-inspired version is outstanding.We also offer traditional Thai icetea, click here
The Tea: Place Thai icetea mix into stainless tea filter and place in a large pot with 8 cups gently boiling water. Leave the filter handle out of water so you can easily remove the tea later. Keep over medium heat for one hour, then remove tea and fill pot with water to same level you started with (8 cups). Let tea cool and pour into a pitcher. You can leave in refrigerator for a few days, if desired.
The Syrup: In a small saucepan combine sugar, mint leaves and 4 cups water. The recipe still tastes great if you omit the fresh mint, but we recommend mint for not only the mint taste but also the way it blends with Thai tea to create a very "earthy fresh" flavor. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved, then strain out the leaves and place in a separate container. Refrigerate.
The Pearls: Start by bringing 12 cups water to a boil in a large pot, then gently add tapioca pearls. Let the pearls cook for 30 minutes, stirring often to keep the pearls from sticking together. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for another 30 minutes. If you prefer the pearls to be more "al dente" you can reduce the cooking time a bit. Strain the pearls and rinse with cool water, transfer to a storage container and mix with about half of the syrup. This allows the pearls to soak up the sweet flavor and keeps them from sticking together. They will keep in the refrigerator like this for about 12 hours.
Using a slotted spoon, place pearls into 16 oz (or larger) serving glasses. The pearls should fill 1/3 of the glass. Pour 2 tablespoons syrup over the pearls. Add more syrup if you prefer a sweeter taste, and add any syrup flavor you like. Mix (or shake) tea separately with fresh milk and ice. We suggest 1 cup milk, more or less as you prefer. Pour the ice/tea/milk mixture into each glass and stir. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint leaves, and serve with jumbo straws that allow the tapioca pearls to be sucked up as you drink. And there you have it, possibly the greatest tea beverage ever!