Bubble Tea - Frequently Asked Questions
1) What is ‘tapioca’?
Tapioca, also known as boba, QQ balls or “zhen zhu”, is derived from the starch of a plant called cassava root. When cooked properly, tapiocas are marble-shaped balls with a gummy-like texture and a slightly sweet taste. Tapioca can be added to many types of drinks such as cold/hot milk tea, ice-blended drinks, smoothies, juices, coffee, etc.
2) How did bubble tea first get started?
Although it is difficult to trace it back to its exact origins, most experts believe that it originated back in Taiwan in the early 1980s. Some even pinpointed it to be 1983 when Taiwanese tea shop owner, Liu Han Chieh, first experimented with cold milk tea. You can read more about this under ABOUT BUBBLE TEA
3) How can I prevent the tapioca pearls (bobas) from getting too chewy or too soft?
Bubble tea enthusiasts have different views as to how chewy or soft they prefer their tapioca. If you want the tapioca softer, try cooking them a little longer than the recommended time (and vice versa). Remember, cooked tapioca pearls typically last for only the first six hours.
4) What is the proper way to cook tapioca?
Make sure to use enough water! A good rule of thumb is to boil the water and tapioca at a ratio of 8:1. In other words, use 8 cups of water for every 1 cup of tapioca; otherwise they may melt during the cooking period.
5) Do the unused/uncooked tapioca pearls (bobas) need to be refrigerated?
No, it is not recommended to store any opened uncooked tapioca in the refrigerator. The cool temperature will speed up the evaporation of tapioca’s moisture, causing them to become dry and hard. Make sure to store them in a cool and dry area. Place tapioca in airtight bags/containers to prolong its freshness.
6) How long does cooked tapioca stay fresh?
Tapioca is best within 3 hours of being cooked (it tends to get mushy after sitting out for a while.) If you are serving it for your business, try to use up as much cooked tapioca as you can to avoid excess waste. Most businesses tend to cook at least 2 batches of tapioca a day in order to keep up with demands.
7) Can tapioca pearls be refrigerated once they are cooked?
It is definitely not recommended for businesses to do so, as the core of the cooked pearls will become hard and then lose its chewy texture.
8) What is the shelf life of your bubble tea products?
Our powders typically have a shelf life of 12 months, tapioca with 6-9 months, and the juice syrups with approximately 9-12 months. This all depends on whether or not the products are stored in the recommended conditions. If they are stored as recommended, they will be towards the longer end of its shelf life.
9) What is the difference among the flavored powder, concentrated juices and jams?
Flavored powder contains creamer and are used for making bubble milk tea and smoothies. Concentrated juices have a fruit-like tang, and can be used for flavored tea and smoothie. Jams are made with real fruits and are the best ingredients for making smoothies.
10) Do your products contain sugar?
Yes, most of our powders and syrups are pre-sweetened with sugar.
11) Do I have to use fructose for my drinks?
It depends on whether or not you want sweeteners in your drink. If so, fructose is definitely preferred over regular sugar and sugar syrup. You can simply make fructose-like syrup by boiling sugar (white or brown) and warm water together. The ratio of water to sugar depends on how sweet you want it to be.
12) Should I use milk, cream or non dairy creamer for Bubble Milk Tea?
Once again, it depends on your personal preference. Non dairy creamer, which comes in powder and liquid form, is more convenient since it has a longer shelf life than milk and cream. Some people prefer using either whole milk or a tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk for their milk tea. Try experimenting with various ingredients to discover flavors of your own.
13) How many cups of drinks can we make with 6.6 lbs of pearls?
A 6.6 lb bag of tapioca can make approximately 80-100 cups; it will vary depending on the amount you use per cup.
14) How many cups of drinks can we make with 2.2 lbs bag of powder?
If following the suggested recipes, there will be approximately 30 servings (16 fl. Oz cup). Again, this will vary depending on the amount you use per cup.
15) How many drinks can we make with 5.5 lb bottle of syrup/juice?
A 5.5 lb bottle of syrup/juice can serve up to 45-50 cups of bubble tea; use measuring cups to be precise.
16) How many drinks can we make with 21 oz bag of tea?
The 21 oz. bag of tea can make approximately 120 cups (16 fl. Oz cup) of drinks. This is assuming you are using the suggested portions of tea in the bubble tea. If you prefer stronger tea then each package will make less cups of bubble tea.
17) What is the shelf life of the flavored powder and tapioca pearls?
The shelf life of the powder is up to 1 year. The powder must be kept away from moisture in order to prolong its freshness, so store them in airtight containers. An unopened bag of tapioca can have a shelf life of 6 months to 1 year (make sure to store at room temperature in a dry environment). After a bag of tapioca has been opened, seal as airtight as possible to prevent the moisture from escaping. Once the moisture escapes, the tapioca will begin to fall apart.
18) Is there a minimum age suggested for consuming bubble tea?
The beauty of bubble tea is that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages! However, children under 3 years of age should not consume bubble tea with tapioca pearls as it may cause choking.