With the start of this blog, I shared my love for Thai iced tea. I guess now it’s time to admit my obsession with Thai pearl milk tea, the wonderful Thai tea drink served with tapioca pearls (also known as bubble milk tea or boba tea).
It started when I had my first gulp of pearl milk tea in college about 10 years ago. This was right about at the height of the pearl milk tea craze in the US, when cute little boba tea cafes were popping up on every street corner. Pearl milk tea had become so popular in my college town that the university actually opened a pearl milk tea stand on campus, just so students without cars could enjoy this sweet drink.
The draw of pearl milk tea was two-fold for me. First, there was the cold, sweet tea that appealed to my Southern roots. Some additional creaminess with all kinds of different flavors to choose from just heightened this appeal. But then there were these unusual, chewy tapioca balls that somehow slid straight down your throat as you drank. This combination of familiar and unusual was enough to hook me.
I frequented these boba tea shops with my college friends, sitting outside and enjoying the sweet, milky drink with tapioca. And one summer when I went back home to Louisiana, where the boba tea trend hadn’t quite caught on yet, I bought a 5 pound bag of tapioca pearls, just to last me through the summer. Yes, my parents thought I was crazy :)
My obsession with pearl milk tea lasted for a year or two. Although this drink is still fairly popular in my area, I’ve moved on and found newer foods on which to expend my daily calorie intake! But last week, I saw a small bag of tapioca pearls at the store and decided to relive my college days by making some Thai pearl milk tea. After it was prepared and chilled, I found a spot in the sun and sat down, gulping the cold, sweet concoction while remembering with fondness those fun college days.