In the early to mid 90s, several U.S.-based chai concentrate manufacturers began marketing their concoctions, and chai lattes became the rage in a few cafes around the country. Those serving it believed chai would become an integral part of a growing consumption of tea in the U.S. But acceptance of chai into the American cafe scene has been slow. Even though U.S. tea consumption rose eight percent last year, many market analysts chalk chai’s slow growth to the decrease in coffee consumption among Americans. See, the majority of American cafes serve chai more like a latte than like a cup of tea. Thus, chai competes more for the everyday coffee drinker than it does for the tea sipper.
What is Chai?
So the chai we drink here, hot or cold, tends to be in the form of a chai latte, infused with spices we commonly consume in pumpkin pie — cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla and star anise. For the hot version, milk (whether whole, skim, rice or soy) is steamed at the espresso machine and added to the concentrate; for the cold one, straight milk is incorporated and the drink served over ice. An iced chai latte might also take a few whirls in a blender. Regardless how it’s served, the comparisons to pumpkin pie in a cup are uncanny.
Chew on This!
|Tapioca Pearls for Bubble Tea
(approximately 6-10 servings)1 cup tapioca pearls
6-8 cups water
The ratio should be a minimum of 6 parts water to 1 part tapioca pearls. Boil water in a large pot. Add pearls to boiling water. The tapioca pearls should float in the water. Boil (with cover on) for about 25 minutes, depending on the pearl size. Turn heat off and let sit 25 minutes. Rinse cooked tapioca pearls in warm water, then drain. Cover with bubble tea sugar syrup (below) or brown sugar, and serve.
Bubble Tea Sugar Syrup
1 cup white sugar
Mix sugar and water in large pot. Cook at medium to high heat. Once mixture boils, remove from stove immediately. Let cool, and serve. Refrigerate any excess.
Bubble Tea Flavor Powder Drink
1 scoop bubble tea powder flavor
Put all ingredients, except tapioca, into shaker and shake. Make sure flavor powder and creamer are mixed well. Add bubble tea tapioca pearls to a cup, and pour drink over. Sip with big fat bubble tea straw, and enjoy. (Add more flavor powder and creamer for thicker drink.)
|Boba Fresh Fruit Drink
The best tasting fresh fruit drinks include strawberry, watermelon, mango, red bean (adzuki) and papaya.1 cup fresh fruit
1/2 cup milk
1 scoop bubble tea sugar syrup
1 cup ice
2 oz. cup cooked bubble tea tapioca pearls
Put all ingredients, except tapioca pearls, into blender and blend well. Make sure fruit is ground up into the milkshake. Add bubble tea tapioca pearls to a cup, and pour drink over. Sip with big fat bubble tea straw, and enjoy.
3 1/2 cups water
Boil water. Then, using four layers of cheesecloth as a filter, pour the water through the tea four times, or until tea reaches right color. Mix together Thai tea, bubble tea sugar syrup and sweetened condensed milk, and shake until little bubbles form on top of drink. Add tapioca pearls to a 16 oz. cup, and pour drink over.
*Recipes courtesy of Bubble Tea Supply
|Chai and Bubble Tea on the WebHere are some sources for info about the two teas. They not only serve as sales sites, but they also offer much entertainment and information to boot.
www.chaistall.com (loose-leaf chai and some history)