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Feb 10, 2009 07:46 PM

Boba Tea Using Fresh Taro - How?

I'd very much like to make boba tea using fresh taro, not the powder. Has anyone attempted this? Any suggestions would be welcome!

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  1. You are not supposed to use fresh taro in boba tea -- powder is the standard way.

    The taro is just for flavoring (and a bit of a purple hue to the tea). Using fresh taro -- which very much resembles yucca root or sweet potatoes in flavor and texture -- would really gum up the tea, making it almost impossible to sip.

    1. maybe blanche and puree the taro?

      1. I just read about a boba tea + taro puree drink to be had at one of Taiwan's street food stand. Not sure if it's what you're looking for, but it mentioned having a good basic boba tea (Black tea and cream/non-dairy cream(?)) to which you add the freshly cooked purple taro that's been mashed or puree. The blogger mentioned how it tastes great to have little bits of real taro in the mix.

        1. Thank you everyone! I'll start experimenting. I'll update if it turns out well.

          3 Replies
          1. re: zhongliqiu

            By the way, I have gotten "ube powder" from HK market that I've yet to use. It's not instant powder, and has to be cooked for 15 mins, or so the instructions says, but it's a nice purple color. I'm not sure ube has the same flavor as Taro though. It might just be the purple yam, which is also available to buy fresh along side the taros in asian super markets. Roasted thoroughly the purple yam has a very sweet and grape-like fragrance that might go well with the taro. It's less of a hassle to roast than taros.

            Good luck!

            1. re: HLing

              Ube has a very similar flavor to taro, though I think it is somewhat stronger as taro is prone to absorbing the flavors around it. It should be a good addition to your tea.

              1. re: JungMann

                so I looked up ube and purple yam online: I've never seen real ube - irregular clusters with the dark purple outer skin here in the States. The purple yam is dusty white on the outside and look more like sweet potato than the ube in the pictures I've found.

                The purple yam is very sweet but doesn't have the same flavor that I associate with the taro I grew up eating in Taiwan. I DO like the fragrance of the purple yam, though.

                Maybe I'll have to dig up that pack of ube powder and do a taste comparision so I'll know once and for all.

          2. Are you trying to make tea or a shake? The best taro boba drink in San Francisco is the fresh taro milkshake with fresh taro at Wonderful Foods or Sweet Delite (owned by Taiwanese brother and sister using same recipes). Personally, if you're going to the trouble of cooking the fresh taro, go for the straight stuff and most taro flavor.