Bubble Tea and Progressive Desserts with the Cultural Centers
What brings people together better than a shared meal—especially when it’s dessert? In the words of Angela Rola, founding and current director of the Asian American Cultural Center, “Food is the wonderful gatherer of people. It’s the one venue and medium that people of all different backgrounds will come together for.”
At Huskies Forever Weekend, the UConn Cultural Centers hope to appeal to the sweet teeth of attendees at the Progressive Desserts Party. At the event, alumni, friends and students will have the opportunity to sample a variety of tasty ethnic desserts, as well as learn about the great work the Cultural Centers are doing both on and off campus.
One unique dessert that will be offered by the Asian American Cultural Center is bubble tea, prepared by the H.A. Café in downtown Storrs. Never heard of bubble tea? We sat down with Ronald Liu ’11 (BUS) and Jessica Chiep ’12 (CAHRN), two owners of the H.A. Café, to get the inside scoop.
“Bubble tea has two facets,” say Ron and Jessica. “The first is the tea itself that comes in different fruit and creamy flavors. The second is the bubbles, or toppings, which can be any little surprises in the drink. The standard bubble is tapioca, a chewy gummy that tastes a little sweet and like caramel.”
Can’t wait until the Progressive Desserts Party to try some? Ron and Jessica provide a basic recipe and some pro-tips for making your own bubble tea at home:
- Buy a very strong black tea from any grocery store.
- Purchase tapioca pearls from your local Asian specialty grocery story.
- The pearls will be pre-packaged and can be multicolored, white or black.
- PRO TIP: Black tapioca pearls are the most ideal.
- Head to the kitchen and brew your black tea.
- PRO TIP: Double-brew your tea, or use four bags for one individual tea. The tea is the base, and most important part, of your drink.
- Boil some water and prepare the tapioca pearls according to the package instructions.
- PRO TIP: For cold bubble tea, put the prepared tea in the freezer or fridge while your tapioca is cooking—you don’t want to dilute your tea.
- Once your tea is done, add cream and sugar to your individual taste.
- Grab a large cup and mix your tea and tapioca pearls
- PRO TIP: Add the tapioca pearls before your tea.
- Stir, sip and enjoy!
During your Huskies Forever Weekend voyage, make sure to stop by the Progressive Dessert Party to learn more about UConn’s Cultural Centers, as well as sample H.A. Café’s bubble tea, and other delectable ethnic morsels.