Bubble tea, the popular drink that originated in Taiwan, gets its turn here as a frozen pop. The tapioca pearls start out solid, but they slowly thaw and turn chewy in your mouth. It’s a little like the bubblegum ice cream of your youth: After the creamy part is gone, the pearls remain to prolong the fun.
Special equipment: You will need freezer pop molds for this recipe. If yours don’t come with sticks that attach securely, you can buy wooden sticks and insert them about 1 1/2 hours into the freezing time.
What to buy: Black tapioca pearls, sometimes called boba or bubbles, are made of cassava root and brown sugar and are about the size of large peas. They are sold vacuum-sealed in the dried goods section of Chinese supermarkets or online. Do not purchase white tapioca, which is unflavored.
Chinese brown sugar, sometimes called Chinese brown candy, is made from unrefined cane sugar and has deep caramel flavors. It is sold in blocks or planks in the dried goods section of Asian supermarkets. Do not purchase rock candy, which is pure crystallized sugar. If you can’t find Chinese brown sugar, substitute packed dark brown sugar.
When buying tea for this recipe, look for a strong, plain Chinese black tea that is not smoked or infused with citrus or floral flavors; we like the Rickshaw brand. If you can’t find Chinese black tea, substitute English breakfast tea.
This recipe was featured as part of our 7 Ice Pops That Break the Mold.
For the milk tea base:
To assemble the ice pops: