I love vanilla, but what a difference it makes when you use the real thing!!! I love fresh vanilla beans… warm, sweet, tropical… and when a good Argentinian friend of mine gave me this lovely Vanilla Comodoro Harney and Sons tea I was a little skeptical about it being decaffeinated, but anyway I love tea and vanilla so I knew I was going to like this wonderful dessert tea. The tea leaves, liquor and flavor are a little lighter due to the decaffeination process, it’s lovely mild and delicate. While I was looking for my cinnamon sticks I found some tapioca pearls (boba) and I decided to make this tea a bubble tea.
You will need:
1/4 cup boba tapioca pearls per person
1-2 Comodoro Vanilla Tea bags
Half a vanilla bean cut in half, seeds scraped
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
First I cooked the tapioca pearls according to package instructions, If you cannot read them because the whole package is written in Chinese LOL, do the following: measure 2 cups of water for every 1/4 cup of boba into a saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the boba and stir gently until they begin floating to the top of the water.
Turn the heat to medium and cook the pearls for 12-15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, cover, and let the pearls sit for another 12-15 minutes.
While they are cooking, make a simple sugar syrup to sweeten and preserve them once they are done. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil over high heat. Remove and stir in 1/2 cup sugar until dissolved. Set aside to cool.
You can prepare your tea either while the boba are cooking or ahead of time. Allow enough time for the tea to cool completely before making the bubble tea. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the tea bag, vanilla seeds and cinnamon stick. Use one tea bag for regular-strength bubble tea or two for a stronger tea flavor. Let steep for 15 minutes and chill.
Once the tapioca pearls are done cooking, drain them from the water and transfer them to a small bowl. Pour the sugar syrup over top until they are submerged. Let sit at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate until ready to use. They are better when used within a few hours of cooking, but will keep refrigerated for several days. They will get hard and crunchy as they sit.
Now that you have everything you need, simply pour the vanilla tea into a tall glass and add the pearls. Add the almond milk for a creamy and nutty bubble tea. Sweeten to taste with the simple syrup.