It's no secret that I love me some milk tea boba. Middle school fad turned current obsession, boba is something I just can't seem to pass up lately. My favorite boba spot in the city is, hands down, Four Leaf Cafe in Little Tokyo. Their boba is sweet, has the right amount of chew (and believe me, I'm picky) and their milk tea is just right. After far too many trips to Four Leaf to get my boba fix, I decided to try making some at home.
Since there aren't too many ingredients, I didn't want to skimp on quality. I bought some of Four Leaf's loose leaf black tea, and took a cue from SF-based Boba Guys (one half of which is YMFY - super cool blog) and got Strauss Creamery milk and creamer. I bought some soy milk too cause I wanted to experiment to see which milk base I liked best. (Verdict? Three way tie.) Finding the tapioca pearls required a bit of a hunt, but I found them at a market in Alhambra. When looking for tapioca pearls, all Asian markets are not created equal. Make sure to go to a Chinese one, they'll have what you need.
I've still got a bit of perfecting to do before I get something Four Leaf-worthy, but I'm stoked that I can whip up a cup of milk tea whenever a craving strikes. (Not gonna tell you how often that is...)
- Brew the tea extra strong if using it for iced milk tea.
- Boil boba a little longer than seems necessary. It hardens after it cools down.
- Hate to sound all Rachael Ray, but you really can use whatever you have on hand. Use green tea instead of black, rice milk instead of creamer, agave instead of honey, etc.