Are you, by chance, in the mood for something bubble-y? Like, maybe, bubble tea? Because I have some for you. Creamy, bubbly, tropical bubble tea. Because it is gray and wet outside and you could use something colorful and . . . “bubbly” in your life. And so could I.
This is another recipe inspired by someone else’s pantry. One of you suggested using the large tapioca pearls for bubble tea. Someone else suggested making tea out of the dried hibiscus. I decided to combine the two excellent suggestions into one. Because, why not?
Now, it turns out that this is the kind of thing in which all of the ingredients are “to taste.” Not such a fan of creamy tea? Skimp on the milk. Prefer your tea super-sweet. Go to town with the sweetener. Like to load up on the bubbles? Be generous with the tapioca pearls. And so the recipe isn’t so much a list of things to do as it is a guide. Feel free to do things your way, knowing that it doesn’t really have a way that it is “supposed” to taste. Personalize it. Let it speak to you. It’s yours, after all.
Hibiscus Boba (Bubble) Tea adapted from the Kitchn
2 cups boiling water
several dried hibiscus flowers (or one tea bag, or one tsp. powdered tea)
milk, cream, or condensed milk (I actually used coconut milk, which was okay, but I probably wouldn’t do it again)
sweetener of choice (sugar, honey, agave, corn syrup)
prepared tapioca pearls (aka boba) (instructions below)
Steep the dried flowers/tea bag/etc. in the boiled water until very strong. Add milk and sweetener to taste. Put the prepared boba in a tall glass and pour your tea over it. Serve with a straw. It can be served hot or cold. If you want it cold, either make the tea ahead of time and let cool, or add ice.
To make the boba, boil a few cups of water. Add the tapioca pearls — however many you want, from a few teaspoons to 1/4 cup — and stir gently so they don’t stick to the pan or to each other. Once they float, cover, reduce the heat, and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Test by eating one. If it is still hard in the middle, let cook for a few more minutes. If it is soft and chewy, it is done. And remember, the pearls will swell as they cook, so give them plenty of room and water to do so.