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brown sugar boba tea - how to make boba & milk tea


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Prep Time: 80 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total: 100 minutes

Servings: 4


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Step 1

Add 40g brown sugar, 90g water, and 1/4 tsp of black food coloring (optional) to a nonstick saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Step 2

Once the mixture is boiling (make sure it's "boiling" instead of "simmering"), add 2 tbsps of the tapioca starch to the saucepan. Mix well with a spatula (do not use a whisk) until the mixture is thickened - there should be no dry powder or watery liquid in the saucepan, the mixture should look like slime. Turn off the heat.

Step 3

Add the rest of the tapioca starch to the saucepan. Mix roughly with a spatula. Transfer the dough out to a kneading mat, or countertop covered with plastic food wrap.

Step 4

When the dough is still hot, knead the dough for about 3 minutes until it turns smooth. (It might look dry at the beginning, but DON'T add water to the dough. While the surface looks dry, the inner part is wet and sticky. We need to knead the dough until the dry part and the wet part are well combined.)

Step 5

Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a ¼ inch thick square sheet. Cut ⅓ inch strips in one direction, then cut ⅓ inch strips in the perpendicular direction. In this way you will get some ⅓ inch x ⅓ inch x ¼ inch small cubes.

Step 6

Cover the brown sugar boba dough with a piece of food wrap to prevent it from getting dry. Take one of the cube dough, place it between your palms, then roll it into a small ball. (I found it's easier to roll bobas with my palms instead of my fingertips.) Repeat until you have rolled all the cube dough into bobas (See Note 1 below).

Step 7

In a medium size pot, boil half pot of water over medium-high heat. Add the bobas to boiling water. Stir gently to prevent them from sticking to each other.

Step 8

Once the water is boiling again, turn heat to medium-low, cover the pot with a lid, simmer the bobas for 20 minutes.

Step 9

20 minutes later, transfer the bobas to a large bowl filled with ice water.

Step 10

Add ½ cup of brown sugar and ½ cup of water to a saucepan, stir and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Step 11

Drain the bobas from the ice water with a slotted spoon, add the bobas to the boiling brown sugar water. Stir constantly to prevent sticking, cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes until the brown sugar water is thickened into a syrup texture.

Step 12

Transfer the bobas with the brown sugar syrup to a bowl. Set aside at room temperature (the bobas will turn hard in the fridge). Consume within 6 hours.

Step 13

Add 2 tbsps of black tea leaves, 2 tbsps of water, and 3 tbsps of cane/brown sugar to an air fryer safe bowl. Stir to make sure that all the black tea leaves are moistened.

Step 14

Air fry the mixture at 380 °F for 5 minutes, until there are some caramel color bubbles.

Step 15

Add 3 cups of milk/soy milk to the bowl. Air fry at 360 °F for 10 minutes. The bowl should be less than 80% filled to prevent the milk tea from spilling. (See Note 2 below)

Step 16

Place a strainer over a pouring cup, pour the milk tea through the strainer to filter out the tea leaves.

Step 17

Place 4 tbsps of brown sugar boba with brown sugar syrup into a tall glass.

Step 18

Tilt and rotate the glass to coat the inside wall of the glass with a layer of brown sugar syrup, so that this cup of drink would look "dirty" but appetizing. (That's why we call it "dirty milk tea" in Chinese.)

Step 19

Fill the glass 70% full with ice cubes. Pour the hot/warm milk tea directly over the ice cubes.

Step 20

Stir and enjoy using a boba straw.

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