A couple of weeks ago we went to our local Asian specialty grocery store. I needed some dried mushrooms for a hot and sour soup (that ended up being one of the most disgusting things I have ever made… I was so disappointed, I don’t know what went wrong!). It was late in the day on a Sunday and I was feeling like a treat. I wandered over to the bubble tea counter and the black sesame and almond milky iced bubble tea really caught my eye. Then the dozens of giant syrup bottles behind the counter caught my eye too and I decided that I would pass on the bubble tea. I am sure I sound like a snob, but nothing beats bubble tea that actually uses fresh fruit and homemade flavourings. Either way, the flavour combination of black sesame and almond stuck in my mind and I knew that I would make my own at home when I had the chance.
The first time I heard of bubble tea was when we were in Hong Kong. I remember feeling so intimidated walking up to the bubble tea stall and pointing to one of the flavours to try this mysterious drink. The drink was sealed with plastic by a machine, shaken up and handed to me. It tasted like a very sweet, milky, drink with a hint of black tea and vanilla. It was delicious. The most mysterious part of the drink were the black, rubbery balls at the bottom of the glass. To suck up the ‘pearls’, you are given a super fat straw, which also has a pointy end to puncture the plastic seal. I had no idea what they were and wasn’t sure if I liked them (they have since grown on me) but it was certainly interesting.