Tapioca tea is everywhere in Japan these days – even in the SoraNews24 office rice cooker!

After several years of Japan being the Asian-nation outlier that didn’t really care about tapioca bubble tea, in recent months the drink has seen its popularity soaring in the country. The beverage is now basking in admiration from Instagram-savvy teenage girls and thirsty foodies, and even SoraNews24’s own Mr. Sato has been thinking about it a lot more than he ever expected to.

“Tapioca bubble tea is still a kind of tea, right?” our reporter mused while sipping from the drink’s signature large-capacity straw. “And here in Japan, we often eat a dish called ochazuke, which is rice with green tea, so shouldn’t we also be able to make rice with tapioca tea?”

We had to admit, this was actually some pretty solid logic, especially in comparison to some of Mr. Sato’s previous culinary theories, and so we grabbed the office rice cooker and the necessary ingredients to see whether his hypothesis was true.

● Rice
● Tapioca bubble tea/pearl tea/boba/whatever people call it in your neck of the woods

Being, to our knowledge, the first person to attempt to make tapioca bubble tea rice, Mr. Sato wasn’t sure how much of each ingredient to use. After the bare minimum amount of thought, he decided to use one measured cup of rice, and one medium-sized tapioca bubble milk tea.

First, he washed the rice and placed it in the rice cooker pot, and then he poured in the contents of his drink cup, making sure to shake every last tapioca bubble out.

Then he shut the lid, hit the start button, and waited for the appliance to complete its rice-cooking cycle.

After about 15 minutes, a sweet aroma began to emanate from the rice cooker as the milk tea and tapioca heated yup. 15 minutes after that, the rice cooker beeped its announcement that the cooking was done. However, Mr. Sato suddenly thought of something that had him feeling more than a little worried: What if the tapioca balls had gotten stuck to the sides of the pot during cooking?

Thankfully, that hadn’t happened at all. During the cooking process the tapioca actually gathered near the center of the pot, and they were now waiting in gallant assembly as Mr. Sato peered down at them.

Removed from the liquid of the milk tea beverage, yet glistening with moisture from the steaming, each tapioca ball now looked like a beautiful black pearl.

Okay, so it looks and smells good, but how does it taste?

Not bad at all. Rice and tea really do seem destined to go well with each other, and their flavors blended effortlessly together here. As a matter of fact, they’re so compatible that the stronger flavor here remains that of the rice itself, though each and every tapioca bubble is a sweet surprise with an interesting texture change.

▼ Oh, and if you want even more tea flavor, you can always pair your tapioca bubble tea rice with a cup of tapioca bubble tea as a beverage.

It’s just another example of how surprisingly versatile rice cookers are.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]