Living in a big, commercial city in southeast Asia, there’s a bubble tea stand around every corner. There is always a bright, rainbow array of colorful drinks in every flavor imaginable, but the ingredients are a bit questionable and usually include some sort of artificially flavored syrup. I started to wonder — could I make a comparable drink using real ingredients, and with a slightly healthier twist?
Reading: how to make chai milk tea
Enter Numi’s Golden Chai. It’s a rich, spice-laden black tea that’s already perfect on it’s own as a “dessert tea.” Blended with creamy coconut milk, sweetened liberally with honey, it makes the perfect vehicle for the delicious texture of tapioca pearls.
Homemade Chai Bubble Tea
Boil tapioca pearls for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let them sit for 6 minutes to absorb more moisture. Rinse, and then cover with water, tea, or simple syrup and chill. Tapioca pearls will absorb the flavor of whatever they’re in, so if you want an extra burst of flavor, soak them overnight in a combination of strong tea and simple syrup or honey.
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Next, brew a concentrated tea by steeping 5 Golden Chai teabags in 3 cups of water.
To assemble your bubble tea, fill a tall glass with ½ cup of coconut milk. Add honey to taste. If you want an authentically sweet bubble tea drink, start with a tablespoon. If you prefer a less sweet taste, a teaspoon or two will suffice.
Add a few spoonfuls of tapioca pearls to the glass.
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Mix ¾ cup of strong tea into your sweetened coconut milk mixture.
Of course, you’ll need an extra-wide straw to slurp up your bubble tea goodness! Mine is a plastic straw I saved to re-use again and again, but you can also try a glass or biodegradable paper straw.
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