Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bubble Tea: Rhymes with 'Catastrophe'

You can't always get what you want. Someone should write a song about that.

Lots of interest in bubble tea lately in the blogosphere, and I decided to try my hand at getting some ingredients and making it at home. Does it look refreshing and tasty?

It was blech, bleaach, ptooey, awful.

1. "Yer doin it wrong." Yes, I made a bad mistake while cooking the giant tapioca. Can't add tapioca to cold water and bring it up to a boil, then forget to stir. You will produce a giant evil looking gelatinous mass.

2. "Caveat Emptor". Ordering online is a fun adventure but you should expect the occasional bad choice or random substitution by someone in a warehouse in California who just wants to get off work dammit and go home.

3. "Better living through chemistry" doesn't always hold. Specifically, mango flavored powder whose ingredient list reads like your brother's Christmas chemistry set lo those many years ago is going to disappoint you.

4. My husband is a saint: He drank it all and struggled with getting the glob colonies to travel up the straw, almost to the point of turning his head inside out, and then said, "it's not really all THAT bad".

The good news? It went down the drain without a struggle. The bad news? I have 4 3/4 pounds of giant black tapioca pearls in my refrigerator, and about 2 pounds of methyl-ethyl-cellulose mango substitute in the pantry. Partay!!!


  1. Ahhhh.... I am soooo sorry... Boba Tea is such a wonderful experience - what a disappointment on your first try! Okay. No worries! Let's salvage what we can.

    FIRST QUESTION: Did you cook ALL of the tapioca pearls or are they in the fridge "raw"? If they are still raw - you can turn them into other desserts or you can try boba tea again but maybe without the mango milk tea. If they are all cooked - you might as well throw them away as the texture will get gross after they sit for awhile. I am going to assume they are raw.

    1. You can make the tapioca pearls again (stir this time, sister!) and add them to a beverage you might enjoy more - home made sweet milk tea, iced coffee, any fruit juice or tea will work, really.

    2. Cook and cool the tapioca pearls. Add a sweetener like sugar, honey, agave nectar, etc - and a bit of water. This will sweeten them up and you eat them just like that! Maybe use the sweetened pearls to top yogurt?

    3. As for your mango powder... hmmmm.... maybe you can try making it again in different ratios with water to make it taste better? You can keep it on hand and use it as a sweetener for iced tea?


  2. ROFLMAO - well if you have kids (or kids as neighbors) see if it can be passed off as a science experiment - tis the season for that around here!!

    I gave in to this too but have not tried it yet - BUT I bought mine as the local Asian market and took flavor that the girl working there preferred.

    Also got the milk tea.

  3. btw - have not tried either yet
    we are just getting over finding iron filings in Total cereal (my son's science fair project)

  4. Avie: I am going to try all those thoughts and thanks for the encouragement! My tapioca bubbles are flavored - and not what I ordered -- they taste like maple. I think I can work with this but it cuts down on my combinations. I'm going to try cooking them better today!

    Eilismaura: Smart of you to buy local with advice. Iron filings!!?? Gaaa; what next?