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DIY: Make your Bubble Tea at home

Bubble thee recept thuis maken

When you walk around in major European cities, you will probably have noticed that a new hype has blown over from Asia: Bubble Tea! In major cities, one new Bubble Tea Shops opens its doors after another. Bubble Tea or "奶茶" (Nǎi chá) in Mandarin is the hippest and most popular drink among young people in Asia and is growing in popularity in Europe.

In this blog, I will tell you all you need to know about the ”Bubble tea” and teach you how to make delicious bubble tea at home (It’s super easy!)

Bubble thee shop

The queue in front of a popular bubble tea chain in China (Photo: Sohu.com)

What is Bubble Tea?

Bubble tea is a kind of milk tea with toppings. The classic bubble tea was originated from Taiwan in the 80s. The locals add chewy tapioca balls ("boba" or “pearls") into the milk tea and created the so called “black pearl milk tea”. Different from the traditional milk tea, the bubble tea is commonly drank as a cold drink, similar to the concept of ice coffee.

I grew up in a southern Chinese town, where bubble tea was introduced and became popular when I was a teenager. Almost all the snack shops around my school sell bubble tea. Go and get a cup of bubble tea was and still is a way of socialising among teenagers.

Along the years, bubble tea has also developed into different variants. By changing the topping of the bubble tea, you can easily create different flavours of bubble tea. Besides the classic chewy tapioca balls, pudding, sweet beans, taro balls are also popular choices of topping.

What!? "Cheese" Bubble Tea??

Perhaps inspired by the art of latte, another trend of popular topping is the thick milk foam. With the extremely creamy milk foam poured on top of the bubble tea, this new variant is call “Cheese tea”. Well, I know what you are thinking, but don’t get shocked. There is no salty smelly cheese in the “Cheese tea”. The “cheese” refers to the creamy foam on the bubble tea, which reminds the drinker of the creamy cheese cake.

Cheese thee bubble tea

Don't get shocked! Cheese Bubble Tea is ...

Why do we like Bubble Tea?

The fresh taste from the tea, the creamy taste of the milk or foam, the various flavors and textures of the topping… There are so many variants of bubble tea and there are also so many reasons to love bubble tea. Another reason for liking the bubble tea is that it can be enjoyed all year long. In the summer it’s delicious ice cold and in the winter it’s soothing to drink it warm.

Bubble tea is also very easy to adjust to your personal taste. Simply change the base tea to achieve different tastes and adjust the portion of tea and milk to reach the perfect balance to your liking. If you have a sweet tooth, then you can make it sweeter, if you prefer it “pure”, simply skip the sugar.

Bubble thee zelf maken

Is Bubble Tea the new 'cocktail'?

Make your own bubble tea at home

Although its not difficult to get a nice cup of bubble tea if you live in the big European cities, it is still more convenient and healthier to make your own bubble tea at home. In this way, you can control the consumption of sugars, aromas and the quality of ingredients used in your bubble tea. Following my recipes below, you can also easily make amazing bubble teas at home!

Stap 1: Make your own caramel for the Bubble Tea

Of course, you can also skip this step by adding white sugar directly to your bubble tea, or use pre-made caramel or syrup as a replacement. In order to create the most creamy taste and silk texture of the bubble tea, we highly recommend to make your own caramel, it only takes around 10 mins!

You will need this to make your own caramel cream base: white caster sugar, butter and whipped cream.

  1. Pour the sugar in an even layer in a large saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium heat and beat the sugar until melted. This step requires a lot of patience. Watch the fire to make sure the sugar liquid doesn't burn.
  3. Once the sugar has melted, add the butter and beat until blended. The caramel is ready!
  4. To make it more creamy, slowly pour whipped cream into the caramel and whisk until incorporated.


Stap 2: The topping (optional) for Bubble Tea

You can either buy the pre-made tapioca balls from the tokos (Asian supermarkets) or add puddings to the bubble tea. You can be creative at this, try different sweets that you normally like, sometimes the result might surprise you!


Now that you’ve got your caramel and perhaps some topping you like, we are going to prepare the bubble tea. I will share 4 different variants of bubble tea recipes below.

Bubble tea zelf maken

Stap 3: Bubble Tea recipes

1. Classic black tea bubble tea 🧋

To create the most classic flavour of bubble tea, you can use the India Assam black tea to be the tea base. If you like the fragrance of the bergamot oil, you can choose one of the Earl Grey black tea to be the base. Another recommendation is the black tea with rose petals. This black tea has the light sweet taste and fragrance of rose, which will add a pleasant taste and smell to your bubble tea.

  1. Once you’ve decided which black tea to choose, brew the tea according to the instructions on the packing. Most of the times, it takes 3-4 mins to brew the black tea.
  2. When the tea is brewed, take out the leaves and pour the caramel and milk into the tea. You can adjust the amount of caramel and milk to your own tasting. If you are a fan of super creamy taste, consider adding some condensed milk.
  3. Add the topping if you have prepared some. Drink it warm or let it cool down in the fridge. Enjoy!


2. Bubble Tea - Jasmine & Matcha🧋

Green tea is also a good base to make bubble tea. The green tea base bubble tea is especially delicious to drink ice cold!. We recommend to use the jasmine tea as the base because it’s not too strong and it brings in the refreshing fragrance of jasmine flower.

  1. Brew the jasmine tea per instruction on the package. Normally it takes around 3 mins to brew.
  2. When the tea is brewed, take out the leaves and pour the caramel and milk into the tea.
  3. Let it cool down in the fridge. When it’s ready to drink, you can add some ice to make it even colder.
  4. Add the topping if you have prepared some.
  5. Sprinkle the matcha powder on top of the tea.


3. Fruity Bubble Tea🧋

Fruit tea is also a good choice for making the bubble tea base. The fruity bubble tea normally tastes better in cold than warm. Our top recommendation will be this Pineapple, papaya and mango tea. Full of the tropical fruit flavours, it will make your bubble tea a real summer treat!

  1. Brew the Pineapple, papaya and mango tea per instruction on the package. Normally it takes around 8-10 mins to brew a fruit tea.
  2. When the tea is brewed, take out the leaves and pour the caramel and milk into the tea.
  3. Let it cool down in the fridge. When it’s ready to drink, you can add some ice to make it even colder.
  4. Add the topping if you have prepared some.
 

4. Oolong-Cheese Bubble Tea🧋

The last recipe for bubble tea is for the real lovers of milky, creamy taste! We will use the famous “Milky Oolong” as the tea base, which already brings in a nature fragrance of creamy milk. The slight sweet and fresh taste of this oolong tea will balance the strong taste of milk and make the end result more soothing.

  1. Brew the milky oolong tea per instruction on the package. Normally it takes around 2-3 mins to brew milky oolong.
  2. When the tea is brewed, take out the leaves and pour the caramel and milk into the tea.
  3. Let it cool down in the fridge. When it’s ready to drink, you can add some ice to make it even colder.
  4. Add the topping if you have prepared some.
  5. Now we will make the creamy “cheese” foam. To make the cheese foam, you will need cream cheese, whole fat milk and whipped cream.
  6. First let the cream cheese is softened at room temperature, use a whisk to beat evenly, add milk and continue to beat evenly.
  7. Add whipped cream and beat until the foam can come up with the spoon when you lift it up. Then simply pour the foam to your bubble tea.


Enjoy your Bubble Tea!

Your own Bubble Tea

Which bubble tea is your favourate? Let us know in the comments below!
 

Read more (in Dutch):

Welke thee drinken voor het slapen gaan?

Recept voor het maken van een citroen merengue taart

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1 comment

  • leuk artikel en recepten. Ik heb gehoord van de cheese tea en dat vond ik vreemd. Maar nu wil ik eigenlijk die oolong-cheese bubble tea wel eens proberen te maken XD

    Angela

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