Bubble-tea shops are as prolific in Asia as coffee shops are in the United States, in San Francisco, we have several shops in Chinatown and Japantown. Bubble tea is a refreshing cold drink infused with fruit purées, powdered flavorings, tea, water, or milk. Whatever their flavor, they all have marble-sized tapioca pearls that sit at the bottom of the drink, resembling bubbles. The pearls have a slightly chewy consistency, not unlike gummy bears. Another signature trait is the fat straw that accompanies it, large enough for the tapioca pearls to be sipped up. Bubble tea comes in different colors, depending on its flavoring. It is as fun to drink as it is delicious.
In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and
Bring the remaining
Combine the watermelon pieces and the reserved
Bubble tea should be served immediately after it is made. The tapioca pearls can be made an hour or two ahead. The tapioca pearls will be too chewy if cold or made the day before. The watermelon can be cut a day ahead.
© 2006 Emily Luchetti. All rights reserved.