‘Iced Tea Recipes’ Tagged Posts

Bubble Tea: A Fun Iced Tea Recipe

Not a lot of people know about bubble tea. Originating in Taiwan, this is a relatively recent innovation in iced tea recipes. It has gained some popul...

 

Not a lot of people know about bubble tea. Originating in Taiwan, this is a relatively recent innovation in iced tea recipes. It has gained some popularity in the west in the past twenty years. This iced tea recipe is not easy to make, which is probably why it hasn’t quickly become popular over the world. However, this may also be attributed to the fact that bubble tea is well-loved in the Orient and its production has been carefully guarded with the aim for the recipe to remain a secret.


What Is Bubble Tea?

Bubble tea also called pearl tea. It is a specially frothy type of drink with chewy “pearls” or tapioca-like balls in it. The original pearl tea was hot Taiwanese black with condensed milk, honey and tapioca balls resting on the bottom of the cup. The name is derived from the layer of froth produced on the top that looks like bubbles. It is a sweet, rich drink that could be a dessert in itself. Many variations have come out since, using different kinds of teas, spices, flavorings and different types of “pearls”.

The tiny pearls on bubble teas average about 6 mm in diameter and are originally made of tapioca starch, but also now are made of egg pudding, aloe pieces, coconut jelly, coffee jelly, lychee jelly or konjac jelly. A popular variant of the tapioca starch being mixed with green tea, gives the pearls a green color and a much more chewy texture. Tapioca is a product from the South American cassava plant. When cassava was introduced to the Orient in the 1800’s, it became a big hit. Today, you can find cassava in almost any store and outdoor market in the Orient from Turkey to Taipei.


The Drink Is Half The Fun

You cannot call a bubble tea a real bubble tea unless it is served exactly the way it should be served. Bubble teas need to be served in paper or plastic cups with over sized plastic dome lids and over sized plastic straws so you can suck up the pearls which usually settle at the bottom of the cup. The enjoyment of the drink can only be compared by how many people in the United States feel about Slurpees: you can only truly enjoy in the Slurpee experience if you use a plastic spoon-straw.

This iced tea recipe has spawned all kinds of bubble drink variations – bubble coffee, bubble fruit juices and bubble slushies. It has stopped becoming necessary to have tea anymore in order to enjoy a bubble drink. You do need machinery to help in the making of bubble tea as in the making of latté drinks and cappuccinos. You need either a cocktail shaker or a good blender. The straw can be acquired at any supermarket. While it may take a couple of hours to bake the tapioca dough pearls into bubble tea pearls, this is certainly easier than flying off to Taiwan just to enjoy this drink.

Favoring Iced Tea

 

If they are giving out awards for the person who loves iced tea the most, they would probably choose my mother. An image of my mother doesn’t seem complete if she is not holding a tall glass of one of her favored iced tea recipes in one or even both of her hands. The tea glass becomes her scepter. She holds it very elegantly and takes dainty, little sips. Whenever I go home, watching my mother drink her iced tea is the one thing that makes me feel that I am home indeed. And my Mom isn’t the only one who favors iced tea recipes – you probably know of one or several others.


An American Favorite

Iced tea recipes began appearing in American cookbooks in the late 1860s. These cookbooks however, were not widely distributed. Iced tea became an official hit when it was served during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. It has grown in popularity ever since, especially with the advent of developments in refrigeration. Iced tea recipes have become especially popular as a summertime drink.

The popularity of iced tea recipes in the States never caught on in other countries. English and Irish children are generally raised on hot tea, so the taste of watered down cold tea may be unappealing for them. The United States and some parts of South America are really the only countries that have actively embraced iced tea recipes as part of their daily lives.


Cold Vs Hot

To make iced tea, you make a pot of regular tea, add a sweetener (this being the optional scenario), mix it in a pitcher and fill with cold water. The usual ratio of tea to cold water is about one to three. Since served over ice, iced tea does not give you the full flavor of cooled off hot tea. While some may say that iced tea recipes create only tea-favored water, it is however, incredibly refreshing. Lots of people who favor iced tea recipes like my mother like to add fresh slices of lemon or lime in their tea. Still others like to add a fresh sprig of mint as well. While some cold tea drinkers may prefer it, most people who love iced tea never put any milk in it.

Iced tea powders are quite inferior to the taste of the real thing, although they are easier to find in supermarkets. The disadvantage of powdered tea mixtures is that you have no control over the amount of sweetener, and the artificial flavorings or preservatives added into it. But if you love Kool-Aid, however, you will most likely enjoy instant tea mixes. A real iced tea gourmand like my mother would never drink instant tea, but always cooled off real tea mixed with water. If you try to fool them with instant iced tea recipes, you will never succeed. They always know the difference.