Honestly, I've never used the long-cooking tapioca. I've never even tried it. I think I've always been a little intimidated by it. I've used the "minute" tapioca when I make peach cobbler. I sprinkle it into the filling because, as the article notes, it does help thicken the filling and make it set properly. My mom has always done this and I picked up the process from her.
I love to eat tapioca pudding, but bubble tea has never appealed to me much. It just looks a little odd. I’m just glad there are sugar-free options for ready-made tapioca pudding available these days.