Many, many years ago when I was in middle school, there was a overwhelming boom of boba cafes that opened in Southern California. It was the new fad, smoothies, milk teas, and coffee drinks filled with sweet tapioca pearls. It’s been quite a while since it became popular but I still enjoy my boba at least once a week. The best boba spot will not only have chewy, sweet, perfectly cooked tapioca but great drinks to go with it. I have my usual drinks that I order, such as matcha tea and taro smoothie, but nowadays my go-to drink is rose milk tea. The beverage has a slight floral hint with a beautiful pink tint and just the right amount of sweetness. After I purchased rosewater syrup last week for rosewater blueberry waffles, I knew I had to make the tea at home. Now I can make my own batch at home anytime I want!
- 1/2 cup small tapioca pearls
- 16 oz hot water
- 1 tsp black tea leaves
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp rose water
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Soak tapioca pearls in cold water for 20 minutes. Drain. Boil 4 cups water in a medium pot. Remove from heat and add tapioca pearls, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Bloom tea leaves in the hot water in a large cup. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add milk, rose water syrup, and sugar, adding more sugar for a sweeter drink. Add ice for chilled rose milk tea or serve warm. Divide tapioca pearls in two cups and pour in rose milk tea. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Rose milk tea is originally made from rose petals – yes, rose petals! They can be a bit difficult to find and it isn’t exactly ideal to dry your own rose petals, so I chose to use rosewater instead. The flavor is more potent so you only need a small amount per drink.
I had small tapioca pearls lying around so I decided to add these to my drink. You can also add boba instead or just have the rose milk tea as is.
To prepare the tapioca pearls, soak in water for 30 minutes. You can choose to add 1 tbsp sugar to the water if you want a sweeter beverage. Make sure not to soak for any longer than 30 minutes or else the tapioca will become mushy.
After the tapioca is cooked, you can see the difference in texture and color. They now have a chew factor and are translucent.
Since I didn’t have rose petals, I used black tea as the base.; you can also use green tea instead. The beverage tasted exactly like the rose milk tea I purchase at boba shops – success! Now I can have my rose milk tea every day!