I love the flavor of matcha as well as its pretty green color, so I knew when I decided to make bubble tea, it would have to be using matcha. If you have never used matcha before, it is a powdered green tea. You have to blend it with water or in this case milk using a whisk, so it is quite different from steeping tea leaves. You may have to go to a tea shop to get it or order it online.
This is a delicious and easy drink. The most difficult part is finding the tapioca. You need large tapioca pearls, which can not usually be found at a regular American supermarket. I got mine at an Asian market, but even there, the clerk seemed to think it was an odd purchase and had a hard time finding them. These are just a plain light brown variety, but if you get them especially made for bubble tea, you can get them in black and pastels. You can order those as well as straws big enough for the tapioca to fit through easily online. As usual though, I decided to do it at the last minute, and ended up with plain tapioca and straws that it barely squeezes through. Although, I will give you some sweetener amounts, it is really to your own taste in this recipe because I think it varies wildly from person to person, so adjust to your own liking.
4 oz. large tapioca pearls
1/2 plus 1/3 cup of sugar, divided
1/4 cup of matcha green tea powder
6 cups of milk
Cook the tapioca according to the package directions. While it cooks, make a simple syrup using 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup sugar. When the tapioca is finished cooking, drain it and rinse it under cold water. Put the tapioca in the bowl and pour the syrup over it. If they syrup does not cover the tapioca, and water until it does. Refrigerate the tapioca until it is cold. Heat the milk, matcha, and remaining 1/3 cup of sugar together in a large sauce pan whisking briskly to dissolve the matcha. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Refrigerate until cold. To serve, use a slotted spoon to remove the tapioca from the bowl into 4 large glasses. Pour the tea-milk mixture over the top and serve with large straws.
Source: adapted from A Food Lovers Journey