Homemade Bubble Tea
2 Servings | 2 hr prep | 30 mins | Intermediate
- 478g brown sugar (or any sweetener of your choice)
- 230g water
- 4 servings tea of your choice (approx 1-2 tbsp loose leaf per serving)
- milk of choice
- 100g water
- Optional: Ice
- a pot
- knife/ scraper
- plastic wrap
Tapioca Pearls - ** quick hands **
- Heat water in pot until boiling, turn the heat down and add the sugar.
- Once all the sugar is dissolved, add about 1/2 of the tapioca starch into the pot and mix vigorously within 10 secs.
- Turn off the heat and add the rest of the tapioca start. Mix vigorously until all incorporated
- Generously sprinkle excess tapioca flour onto your workspace, plate and hands
- Transfer the tapioca dough onto the workspace and begin kneading. Reapply tapioca flour to surfaces as needed. You may use a spoon or scraper to help you knead.
- Knead until the dough is smooth.
- Divide into 4 portions, working with one portion at a time. Use plastic wrap to snuggly cover the unused portions.
- Roll one portion into a long log about 1.5cm in diameter. Use a knife or scraper to cut into small cubes.
- Quickly roll each cube into pearls and transfer onto the flour covered plate. Swirl the plate around gently to ensure the tapioca pearls are covered in flour and won't stick to each other
- Repeat steps 8 and 9 until all the tapioca dough has been used
- Shift the excess flour from the tapioca pearls and store any unused portions in ziplock bags or air-tight containers and keep in the freezer.
- Ready a pot with water 6 times the volume of the pearls you will make. Bring to a boil.
- Gently drop the pearls in and cook for 20-30 mins or until translucent and soft. Test for doneness.
- While tapioca pearls are cooking, prepare brown sugar syrup.
- Once the tapioca pearls are done, strain the pearls and add them into the reserved brown sugar syrup so that all the pearls are covered. Soak for at least 10 mins. Prepare milk tea.
Brown Sugar Syrup
- Add water and sugar into the pot and bring to medium high heat.
- Constantly stir the content until everything is incorporated and the mixture is at a gentle boil
- Continue to mix the content for another minute before bring the heat down and letting it simmer slowly
- Keep stirring until the consistency is that of maple syrup
- Turn off the heat and pour the syrup into a sealable jar. Reserve some in another glass to be use for the cooked tapioca
- Add tea leaves and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 4-5 mins.
- Once the tea has been made, strain away the tea leaves and pour the tea into two cups
- Spoon in syrup and tapioca pearls to your liking.
- Add milk to your liking.
Troubleshooting and Modifications
- Cooked Tapioca should be soft and chewy, not crumbly
- Dough Hydration: your dough may be stickier or drier dependent on your environment (some places may be more humid). Work with the dough by adding more flour or water until you get the right consistency of bread dough or soft taffy.
- Keeping the dough warm and hydrated: tapioca dough becomes crumbly and hard to mould once it cools down. You can keep the dough in a warm water bath or in a steamer, or steam it back up to make it more malleable
- Recipe asks for brown sugar, however, if you would like to use sugar alternatives, you may switch out the brown sugar according to the specified ratio of your sugar of choice. You can keep the tapioca pearls white, or if you prefer black pearls, use activated charcoal in small increments. You may also use natural food colouring such as freeze-dried fruit powder, or hibiscus flower to create different coloured pearls. Beware that this may alter the flavour of the pearls.
- The pearls are placed in syrup to prevent sticking and to add flavour. This is important to do as quickly as possible as the pearls will stick to each other once cooled