Boil tapioca balls in 2 cups of water.Boil water in a saucepan on the stovetop then add tapioca balls. Cook on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.(Follow directions on your tapioca ball packaging if you're using a different brand than the one I’m using.)
Drain tapioca balls.Cool slightly, until tapioca balls aren't too hot to eat. They should still be quite warm.
Combine ¼ cup water and matcha in a cocktail shaker. Vigorously shake 30 times.Mak sure to add the water in first.
Put warm tapioca balls into a cup and add strawberry syrup. Add ice, milk, then matcha.Pour liquid into the drink directly onto the ice to help keep the layers separated.Serve immediately and stir before drinking. Use a wide straw to drink.
There are different grades of matcha and the brighter the green, the better the quality. In order to get that nice green color without spending too much, get matcha in the $30 range.
You can use any milk you prefer but I like it with oat milk.
The trick to creating layers in drinks is by adding drink components into the cup from most sweet to the least sweet. The strawberry syrup is the sweetest so that goes in first, on the bottom, followed by the milk which has some natural sweetness, then the matcha which is not sweet.
Pouring ingredients onto the ice slowly will help keep the layers separated as you make the drink.
The key to making the best bubble tea is to assemble and serve the drink while the tapioca balls are still warm. Let the tapioca balls cool just a bit after cooking them so that they're quite warm but won't burn your mouth.
Shaking the matcha and cold water in a cocktail shaker (or a wide mouth jar with tight fitting lid) is the easiest way to make iced matcha.
Homemade strawberry syrup should be made ahead of time and can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
This recipe makes a 16 ounces (2 cups) drink so have a big enough glass to make the drink.
Use a wide straw to drink bubble tea so that you'll get a few tapioca balls with every sip. Make sure to chew the tapioca balls.