Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bubble Tea and a Birthday

Gail and I (Gail and me?) at an office Christmas Party.  Yes, she is wearing a chicken hat, and I am a pirate.

Yesterday was a day for vegan treats!  My best friend and co-worker Gail celebrated her birthday, so naturally I needed to bring in some vegan cupcakes.  Really, this is just another shameless plug for Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, because… well, they do!  Cupcakes really are the vegan gateway food.

I’d never made the Mucho Margarita cupcakes before, so that seemed like a good choice.  And I figured after that boozy delight, we’d all need to sober up and get back to work, so I made some chocolate cupcakes with the Coffee Buttercream recipe found later in the book.

And lucky me, when I got home later that afternoon, I had all the fixings in the fridge for Bubble-Pearl Tea.  This is another one of those recipes I had read about on the interwebs but had never had before.  I’m too cheap/lazy/non-caring to order exotic flavor powders on-line, but quite frankly I really enjoy just the flavor of the black tea, along with the sweetness and creaminess of this drink.  The tapioca pearls are just a fun, chewy little bite on the way to tea nirvana.

If you look REALLY HARD, you can see one little baby tapioca pearl at the bottom of the glass.
I had a sit on the porch, sipped my bubble tea, and daydreamed about whether we ought to seriously think about rescuing my VW Bug from the woods, or just fill it with dirt and plant strawberries.  My ten minutes of quiet before dinner.  Peace.

The elusive wild Volkswagen makes a rare appearance.

Bubble-Pearl Tea

First, make a simple syrup:
Boil 1 cup water with 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar.  Stir until sugar is dissolved, then put in a jar in the fridge to cool.

To make Tapioca Pearls:
First, you need to get yerself to an Asian grocery store and find the tapioca pearls - this is the hardest part.  They come in different colors and flavors.  I had some green tea pearls in the cabinet, so that's what I used:

Most of the packages have some directions for cooking on the back, but here's the basics:  Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and mix in about 1/2 to 1 cup of pearls (depending on how many you want).  They will plump up a little as they cook.  Bring the water back to a boil, then drop the temperature a little, cover the pot, and let them boil for about 15 minutes.  You really need to cook them this long or they won't be cooked all the way through.  After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let the pearls sit in the hot water for another 15 minutes.  Drain in a colander, rinse with warm water, and put in a tupperware.  Add enough simple syrup to cover (stir) and then put in the fridge.

Brew some black tea (or whatever flavor tea you want) and put in the fridge to cool.

Ready to drink?  Get a glass and put two tablespoons of pearls in the bottom.  In a container that you can close tightly and shake, add 1/2 cup crushed ice, 1 cup cold brewed tea, 2 Tbsp. simple syrup, and 2 Tbsp. soy milk creamer.  You can also add a flavor powder now if you are so inclined.  Cover tightly then SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE!!!!  Pour the now bubbly, sweet, creamy mixture over the pearls and drink with a straw.  I don't have a big enough straw to actually suck up the pearls, so I just stab them with the end of my straw and put 'em in my mouth.  Yum!

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