We aren't just making the flavored milk tea... When I say homemade, I mean everything. From the fresh brewed milk tea all the way down to the brown sugar syrup and the homemade tapioca pearls, also known as boba pearls!
Brown Sugar Boba Pearls:
1 cup (120g) tapioca starch
1/3 cup (78ml) water
1/3 cup packed (65g) brown sugar
Brown Sugar Syrup:
1.25 cups (250g) brown sugar
6 1/2 Tbsp or 100ml water
1 Tbsp (19g) molasses (added after boba is mixed in)
2 cup milk
2 Tbsp black tea
2.5 tsp (6g) matcha
2 Tbsp (30ml) hot water
2 cups milk
Brown Sugar Boba Pearls Method:
In a small saucepan, add in water and brown sugar and heat until boiling.
Reduce heat to low and add in half the tapioca starch, quickly mixing in for 6-8 seconds, turn off the heat, and mix in the rest of the tapioca starch mixing until it forms a dough.
Dump the dough out onto a work surface, and knead until a smooth dough forms.
Divide the dough into four equal pieces, and roll each piece into a long rod (½-inch thick) then cut into small cubes.
Roll the small cubes into balls and toss them into a bowl with tapioca starch to coat.
Dump into a fine-mesh sieve to shake off the excess. Store in an airtight container in the freezer or use immediately.
To cook, heat a medium pot of water over medium-high heat until boiling then add the pearls to the water. Boil for 30 minutes.
Cut the heat and let the pearls rest in the water for 20-25 minutes.
For the syrup, add water and brown sugar to a small saucepot, swirl to combine, and heat over medium heat until it dissolves and starts to bubble. Increase heat to medium-high. Once large bubbles form and reduced, check the thickness by placing a dollop on a plate and checking with your fingers.
Once syrupy, cut the heat.
Drain boba pearls through a fine-mesh strainer. Stir into the syrup mixture along with molasses.
Traditional Milk Tea Method:
To a small saucepan, add whole milk (or nut milk) and heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until it reaches 162F then immediately remove from heat.
Mix in loose leaf black tea and let steep for 4-8 minutes, or until it reaches the desired strength of flavor.
Strain the tea through a fine-mesh strainer. Cool in the refrigerator or over an ice bath before using.
To a glass, spoon in as many boba pearls as desired then top with syrup.
Add in the ice cubes before pouring in the chilled milk tea and serving.
Matcha Boba Tea Method:
In a small bowl, add and mix in matcha powder with hot water until combined.
Add pearls to a tall glass along with the syrup, ice cubes, pour in whole milk (or nut milk) leaving a little room for the matcha, and top with the matcha.
Mix to combine and serve.