When bubble tea chains were taken off MTI’s list of essential services in the latest national address, it caused an uproar among many bubble tea lovers in Singapore. Many rushed to get “that one last cup of bubble tea” before they had to suspend their services until 5 May 2020, and it was upsetting when they couldn’t find a delivery driver or were too late when ordering our nation’s beloved drinks.
Let’s be honest—we died a little inside when we heard these delightful beverages will no longer be available until the end of the Circuit Breaker. But as the saying goes: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. In this case, we’re looking at the next best thing—making our own bubble tea at home!
- 70ml water
- 50g dark brown sugar
- 100g tapioca starch
- 1 ½ tbsp tapioca starch
- 100g dark brown sugar
- 350ml water
- Condensed milk (vary amount according to your preferred level of sweetness)
- Teabags (any black tea like the English Breakfast blend would work)
Preparation time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 45 minutes
Pearls made for three to four cups
- Prepare all your ingredients beforehand for a smoother cooking experience.
- Heat up the 70ml water and 100g brown sugar in a pot at low heat.
- Mix it and bring it to a boil.
- Add ¼ of the 100g tapioca starch into the mixture and keep stirring till the entire mixture thickens.
- Turn off the heat and take the pot off the stove.
- Mix in the rest of the 100g tapioca starch while the mixture is still hot until it reaches a dough-like consistency.
- Knead the “dough” thoroughly until all the ingredients are combined well.
- Separate small pieces of “dough” in portions of your preference for the pearls.
- Roll them into little balls and put them in the bowl with 1 ½ tbsp of tapioca starch.
- Toss the little balls of dough in the tapioca starch and ensure that all the balls are covered in starch.
- Use a sieve to remove the excess starch.
- In an empty pot, fill it with water and bring it to a boil.
- Add the pearls into the boiling water and stir constantly to prevent the pearls from sticking to one another.
- Cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
- Prepare a bowl of water with ice.
- Remove the pearls from the heat, strain them, then add to the water and ice to chill.
- While waiting for it to chill, add 350ml water and 100g of dark brown sugar into an empty pot.
- Heat it up at medium-low heat and stir occasionally until it boils.
- Add the pearls into the boiling mixture and stir constantly.
- Turn the heat to low and let it simmer until it adopts a gooey consistency.
- Remove from heat and transfer it to a cup.
- Let it chill while you prepare your tea.
- Prepare your tea in a different cup with either a tea bag and condensed milk or an instant milk tea packet.
- Add the milk tea into the cup with the pearls and add ice.
Recipe (In Pictures)
Step 1: Prepare all your ingredients in separate bowls for a smoother cooking experience.
Step 2: Heat up 70ml water and 50g dark brown sugar at low heat.
Step 3: Add in ¼ of the 100g tapioca starch to the boiling mixture until it thickens.
Step 4: Turn off the heat and add in the rest of the 100g tapioca starch and mix till it reaches a dough-like consistency.
Step 5: Knead the dough and separate the pieces of dough to pearl portions.
Step 6: Roll the little pieces of dough into balls and add them to the bowl containing the tapioca coating.
Step 7: Toss the pearls in the bowl to ensure they are all covered in the tapioca starch. Sieve to remove excess starch.
Step 8: Add the pearls to boiling water and stir constantly to make sure they don’t stick together. Cook this mixture for 15 minutes.
Step 9: Prepare a bowl of water and ice, strain the pearls and transfer them into the bowl to chill.
Step 10: Add the ingredients for the pearl syrup into a pot and bring it to a boil at medium-low heat.
Step 11: Add the pearls into the pearl syrup mixture and remember to stir occasionally to make sure the pearls absorb some of the syrup.
Step 12: Turn the heat to low and let it simmer until it reaches a gooey consistency.
Step 13: Transfer your pearls into a cup and let it cool while you prepare your tea.
Step 14: Add your tea and ice into the cup and enjoy your very own homemade bubble milk tea! (You can also replace milk tea with just fresh milk to enjoy some delicious brown sugar fresh milk.)
There you go! Why worry about bubble tea shops being temporarily closed during this extended circuit breaker when you can make your own?
I was pleasantly surprised at how these pearls were chewier than those you can find at famous bubble tea chains—I never thought that I’d be making my own bubble tea at home to feed my sinful addiction. If you’re into pearls with a chewier bite, this might just be the recipe for you.
It’s time to rely on your inner chef during this crisis. Since the temporary closure of McDonald’s Singapore and bubble tea chains, you never know what else could be affected. For now, try making your own bubble milk tea tailored to your own preferences this COVID-19 crisis, and share your results with us!
Expected Damage: S$3 – S$5 per portion