Pearl Ice Tea ( again...)

1/2 C. of chilled, cooked large tapioca pearls
1 C. of crushed ice
1 C. of milk
1 C. of strong chilled black tea
Honey or sugar syrup (see below)

Preparing the tapioca pearls
Usually, the more water, the better the tapioca pearls will cook. For best results, use about 7 parts water for one 3 kg of pearls or 3 litres for cooking 1 kg of tapioca pearls.

  • Add in the tapioca pearls into a pot of boiling water gradually. Remember to spread out the pearls and prevent them from sticking to each other.
  • Allow them to boil for about 30 minutes or until they are soft, stirring often.
  • Turn off the fire and let the tapioca pearls steep for another 30 minutes with the lid on.
  • Next drain and rinse the pearls with cold water using a strainer until the water is clear.
  • Place the tapioca pearls in a solution of hot water and sugar syrup (see below). The solution prevents the pearls from sticking to each other.
  • For the sugar solution, a combination of brown and white sugar is recommended and usually 1 part water to 1 part sugar is preferred.
  • Soak the pearls for a few minutes before serving
Preparing the sugar syrup
2 parts white sugar
1 part brown sugar
3 parts water
Bring the water to boil and add the sugar. Reduce the heat and allow the sugar to dissolve.


Place the pearls in a large glass. Combine pearls, crushed ice, milk, black tea and sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until mixture is frothy. Accordingly, the more froth, the stronger the flavour. Pour into the glass and serve with thick straws.

For variation, you could add sugar or other flavourings like coffee, almond, sweetened condensed milk or green tea. You could even experiment with fruit juice flavourings like mango and green apple. Just mix in the following proportions: 2 parts juice to 3 parts tea.

Additional tips
For the pearls, use 20 minutes of boiling (first 5 mins high heat, next 15 mins low heat). During the first 3-5 mins, stir the pearls to prevent them from sticking to the base of the pot. Next steep the pearls in the hot water with the lid on.
The washing of the pearls under cold water makes it chewy or rather the taiwanese call it "Q".
The sugar mixture could be add after the washing. The sugar need not be melted.

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