A bubble tea smoothie is basically just a combination of bubble tea and a smoothie (hence the name!). However, it is more like a smoothie than a tea as it doesn’t always contain actual tea.
What it does contain are the characteristic chewy tapioca pearls that you find in bubble tea drinks everywhere, plus fruit juice, fresh fruit, or frozen fruit. In this article we’re going to take a look at how to make this delicious treat, but first of all, what is boba or bubble tea?
The basic ingredients of bubble tea include:
Traditional bubble tea is made with black tea or green tea as the main ingredient, but other flavors can also be used. Fruity bubble tea (also known as bubble tea smoothies) are also popular and most are fruit based rather than having the traditional milk tea base.
Bubble milk tea or pearl milk tea (as the names suggest) contain milk, and this can be anything from dairy milk to one of the popular plant based alternatives such as soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk. Whole milk gives the tea a milky, creamy texture whereas the alternative dairy-free options such as coconut milk give the tea a slightly different flavor.
Most bubble teas contain additional sweeteners such as sugar, brown sugar syrup, maple syrup, or simple syrup.
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Boba Tapioca pearls
These are small, chewy, and gelatinous pearls made from tapioca starch (from the cassava root). The boba pearls are cooked and then sweetened or flavored and added to the bottom of your glass. Black tapioca pearls are a particularly popular ingredient as they give the drink a decorative look and a fun, chewy texture.
This brand is my favorite brand of tapioca pearls. They turn out great every time.
There are lots of ways to customize your bubble tea and adding a topping is just one of those ways. Fruit jelly, grass jelly, aloe vera pieces, chia or basil seeds, and popping boba are some favorites with boba lovers.
Bubble tea is usually served in a tall glass with large straws (so that you can get the boba as well as the drink). If you’re new to this drink and want to give it a try but you’re not ready to make it yourself, check out your local bubble tea shop or tea house. Most major towns and cities have seen tea shops and boba cafés pop up in recent years where you can try all your favorite drinks.
What are Bubble Tea Smoothies?
A bubble tea smoothie is a real fruit-based version of the popular Taiwanese drink that has taken the world by storm in the last few years. The base of the drink is a fruit-based smoothie made with blended fruits, ice, and sometimes yogurt or milk. You can choose from almost any fruit you can think of, but common options that work well in a smoothie include strawberry, fresh mango, banana, peach, melon, and others.
How To Make a Bubble Tea Smoothie
If you want to make your own tapioca pearl drink, mango smoothie, watermelon smoothie, and strawberry banana smoothie are some of the most popular bubble tea smoothie options. Here’s how to make one – it’s simple!
Start by gathering your fruit of choice – this could be fresh mango for mango bubble tea and tropical flavors, watermelon for a watermelon bubble tea, or strawberries and bananas for a strawberry banana boba smoothie. Prepare your fruit by washing, peeling, and dicing (or slicing).
Next, prepare the tapioca pearls by cooking them according to the package instructions (these are available in most Asian grocery stores, your local Asian market, or can be bought online). Normally this involves boiling them at high heat for around 6-8 minutes and then lowering the heat and cooking for another 5-10 minutes.
Start by boiling approximately 8 cups of water in a large pot and add a cup of tapioca pearls to the boiling water. You’ll know the boba balls are cooked when they rise to the top of the water and have become soft and translucent.
Drain the water and rinse the pearls under cold water to stop the cooking process. You can sweeten the cooked pearls by soaking them in a sugar syrup at room temperature for added flavor.
In a blender, add the prepared fruit for your boba smoothie recipe and a cup of ice cubes. You can also add a splash of milk or a dairy-free alternative such as coconut milk for some tropical vibes. Some people like to add a drop of vanilla extract.
For added sweetness, you can include a tablespoon of honey, agave syrup, or any sweetener of your choice. Process at high speed for 1-2 minutes until all the ingredients are combined and have made a thick and luscious fruity mix.
Now it’s time to assemble your drink! In a serving glass, place a spoonful of the sweetened tapioca pearls at the bottom. Pour the fruit smoothie mix over the pearls, ensuring they’re evenly distributed, and enjoy! If you’ve got some leftover, it can be stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Bubble Tea Smoothies are Delicious Even Without the Tea
So now you know the basic formula for making bubble tea smoothies. It’s as simple as blending your favorite fruit with some sweetener, a dash of milk, and some ice cubes, and then pouring into a glass over some chewy tapioca pearls.
Fruity bubble tea is the perfect option for a quick and easy breakfast or just a cool refreshing drink on a warm day. And if you keep the sweeteners to a minimum, it can be a healthy option too!
If you’re been around here long, you know I love bubble tea. Here are some of my favorite boba tea recipes.