Tuesday, 25 August 2015
DIY Bubble Tea: Where To Buy Flavoured 'Boba' Tapioca Balls & Bubble Tea Kits
Over the past few years, the tea-crazy UK has become slowly obsessed with Taiwanese bubble tea, with new cafes popping up everywhere just to serve this tasty, flavoured tapioca ball-filled treat (Jo gave us a beginner's guide to bubble tea last year.).
If your location (or, frankly, budget) prevents you from basically moving into a bubble tea cafe (as is The Dream), then you can make your own bubble tea at home instead! It's super easy!
The problem is, making your own tapioca balls or bursting juice balls is a big old mess, and ain't nobody got time for that. And coming up with syrups etc to perfect your favourite flavours just doesn't quite seem to live up to the cafes' Real Thing, so I've been hunting for some helpful DIY bubble tea kits and readymade boba balls/pearls in as many amazing flavours as I can find. Yes, I'm that lazy.
Here's some the best places to buy bubble tea supplies in the UK:
These are the big daddies of bubble tea supplies and I was so excited when my friend Sophie told me about them last week!
They sell a wide range of the bursting fruity bubbles in amazing flavours like blueberry, cherry, lychee, passionfruit, and even kiwi! There really is nothing nicer than the sensation of popping the bubble and filling your mouth with juicy fruity syrup.
A 125g tub (that's enough for about 3 bubble teas) is £2.99, or you can buy a 5 or 6-box selection pack of boba balls where you get to choose your own flavours! I love the level of choice in the shop, and a 6-pack is £14.99, which I think is great value for such a treat.
You can also buy bubble tea powders in flavours like pina colada, raspberry, mango and more! And a pack of chunky straws is just 49p.
Popaball also sell through popular gift site Firebox, including a 'make your own bubble tea' kit which includes tapioca starch so you really can make your own boba balls at home. The kit is £14.99 and it comes with easy to follow instructions, so it really is the perfect gift for beginners.
3. Cream Supplies
If you want to buy more in bulk (bubble tea party, anyone?) you can get brilliant big tubs made by Wild Monk from the wholesaler Cream Supplies.
The stock levels seem a bit sketchy, but right now you can get a 1.2kg tub of mango pobbles for £7.99 and the likes of chocolate tea mix and coconut tea mix for £14.99 for a 1kg bag.
If you're looking more for one-off ingredients to really make the teas from scratch, you can buy quick-cook tapioca pearls for £1.99 and bubble tea syrups for £5.99 from Liverpool-based Bobamix.
The range isn't quite as good as the other stores, and the website isn't the easiest to navigate, but the prices are reasonable.
5. Bubblelicious Tea
Probably my second favourite place to shop for bubble tea ingredients other than PopaBall, this bubble tea wholesaler has a brilliant wide range of different flavoured juice balls, syrups and tea powders.
The only downside is they do only sell them in quite large quantities (although they're a wholesaler, they stress they're suitable for domestic purchases too!) but the prices are very reasonable.
For instance, you can get the likes of avocado tea powder for £10.99 per kilo (and they do about FIFTY different flavours, from pomegranate to rose to almond!) and incredible syrup flavours (around 30 different flavours!) for around £9.99 to £12.49 for around 2-3kg! Watermelon particularly appeals - but the flavour combinations of pearls/tea/syrup are endless.
The syrups do have a shelf life of up to one year, too.
So there you have it, that's five of the best places to buy bubble tea gifts and supplies in the UK. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to start my own cafe...