Get Your Jelly On – Day 22: Bubble Tea Agar

I love bubble tea. I remember years ago when I was working next to the Petronas Towers in KLCC, I used to go to a stall during lunch time to buy bubble tea. Wikipedia: Bubble tea is the name for pearl milk tea and other similar tea and juice beverages that originated in tea shops in Taichung city, Taiwan during the 1980s. Drink recipes may vary, but most bubble teas contain a tea base mixed with fruit (or fruit syrup) and/or milk. Ice-blended versions of the drinks, similar to slushies, are also available, usually in fruit flavors.


My all time favourite is always “pearl milk tea” (珍珠奶茶). Just last week, I was in Chinatown and I stopped by Bubbleology, that sells only bubble tea. It the recent years, I started to see this drink getting popular in London, even though it was really trendy more than 10 years ago in Malaysia. Or is it bubble tea getting trendy again? Anyway, I am not a trend follower, as long as it is good, I don’t mind even if it’s out of trend!

Today, I thought to turn my favourite drink into agar agar. I just love the chewy texture of the tapioca pearls. To avoid spending too much on bubble tea, I have purchased a packet of tapioca pearls that costs me only £1.40. I am going to make it as frequent as possible at home. One thing though, I need to get some big drinking straw specifically for bubble tea!


Bubble Tea Agar

Yield: 2 persons


250ml water
1.5 tbsp Ceylon tea leaves
3 tbsp condensed milk
2g agar agar powder
80g tapioca pearls


1. Bring the water to the boil and add the tea leaves and boil for a few seconds. Remove from the heat and let it infuse for about 2 minutes. Pour the tea through a sieve. Add the condensed milk, stir well. Heat it up in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the agar agar powder, stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Bring another saucepan of water to the boil, add the tapioca pearls, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes until hydrated and soft. Drain. Add 2 tbsp of the tapioca pearls to the mould, then, pour the tea until the mould is 90% full. Chill to set.