Written by: Marissa Saini
From dalgona coffee to banana bread, experimenting with fun recipes in the kitchen has never been so popular. Next on your stay-at-home agenda? Making homemade bubble tea!
Since the circuit breaker extension announcement, bubble tea shops have been deemed as non-essential services. Beloved standalone bubble tea shops islandwide will shut their doors until 1st June. This means that the once widely available drink around every corner in Singapore is now only sold at hawker stalls.
On the bright side, bubble tea is easy and fun to make at home.
Each cup of bubble tea has three main components: black tea + tapioca pearls + sugar syrup.
Here’s how to make bubble tea (with pearls) at home
1. Boil black tapioca pearls
What’s a cup of milk tea without its piece de resistance; that signature, chewy tapioca pearls? You can easily buy them online on Qoo10. Once you’ve brought two cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, add ¬º cup of pearls in. Be sure to stir them occasionally. At this stage, they’ll start floating to the top.
Continue to cook for about 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the stove and set it aside for another 15 minutes. This will ensure the pearls are fully cooked and achieve that chewy-but-soft texture.
Tip: soak your pearls overnight to cut the cooking time.
2. Brew and strain black tea
Boil 500ml of water in a separate pan and add your tea of choice – black tea is the most traditional option – and let it brew for about five minutes. Once that’s done, leave it aside to cool before straining it to remove any loose tea leaves.
3. Prepare the sugar syrup
While practically invisible, sugar syrup gives bubble tea its yummy saccharine taste. Your friendly neighbourhood bubble tea shop staff would allude to it whenever they ask the age-old question, “Sugar level?”
Luckily, this is simple enough and only takes three ingredients; white sugar, brown sugar, and water. Combine three teaspoons of white sugar with two teaspoons of brown sugar in a saucepan. Then, add three teaspoons of water and cook the mixture till all the sugar dissolves.
4. Put together your homemade bubble tea
It’s best to use a tall glass cup for this. Firstly, add your tapioca pearls, followed by your sugar syrup to taste and then your freshly brewed tea. Last but not least, stir in some milk (you can be creative here and go with plant-based milk if you prefer) and lots of ice. Give everything a good stir with a boba-sized straw.
Tada! You’ve got yourself a refreshing and totally delicious cup of milk tea! Enjoy!