Yields two large servings, about 16 oz. tumbler-sized each. Make the simple syrup and brewed tea 1 day ahead of time, that way they’ll be well-chilled so there’s less waiting around for delicious bubble tea!
Make the simple syrup: Combine the water and sugar in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes at 100% power. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. If granules remain, heat at full power in 1 minute intervals thereafter until the sugar is melted. Add vanilla extract if using. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to cool. If you don’t have a microwave, the simple syrup can be made in a saucepan on the stove top.
Cook the Boba: Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the boba and cook for 7 minutes, stirring gently until the pearls float to the surface of the water. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove the pot from the heat source and let it stand for 5 minutes. Drain the boba with a colander, and rinse them in cool water for 20 seconds. Remove the simple syrup from the refrigerator and transfer the boba to the simple syrup. Let stand until completely cool, about 1 hour.
Make bubble tea: Put as little or as much boba as you like in the bottoms of two 16-ounce glasses. Add a handful of crushed ice to each glass. Pour tea over the crushed ice until it reaches halfway up the glass (you may have a little leftover tea – it depends on how much ice you use). Top with mango nectar and two tablespoons each light cream. Serve immediately with bubble tea straws or with spoons.
I cook the boba slightly longer than the package directions. This keeps them softer longer.
Boba pearls are best fresh. Leftover boba should be tossed at the end of the day.
Use some of the simple syrup to sweeten the tea to taste.
Use sweetened condensed milk or a non-dairy milk such as almond or rice milk in place of the light cream.
The cream may be omitted completely, if you prefer.
Any fruit nectar may be used in place of the mango nectar.
Use your favorite tea in place of black tea. I’ve used peach rooibos and hibiscus tea – no rules!
Finish the glass with a scoop of mango sorbet -my fave!