- 4 cups water
- 6 black tea bags
- 1 cup quick-cooking tapioca pearls
- 1/2 cup milk, oat or soy milk
- Preheat an oven to 300°F.
- Pour sugar evenly into a 9.5-inch glass or ceramic pie dish. Toast for 1 hour. Stir thoroughly, spread the sugar out again, and continue toasting, pausing to stir every 30 minutes until sugar has darkened to desired color. Toasting sugar for 4 hours achieves an almost brown sugar color and intense caramel flavor.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. If you have any clumps of sugar, pulse in a food processor until fine. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container.
- For toasted sugar simple syrup, add 1 cup toasted sugar and 1 cup water to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
- For tea, bring 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tea bags. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to a glass container. Chill in refrigerator.
- For tapioca bubbles, prepare tapioca pearls according to package directions. Strain pearls from hot water into a bowl of cold water. Allow to sit for 30 seconds. Strain into a dry bowl. Add 6 tablespoons toasted sugar simple syrup. Stir to ensure tapioca pearls are evenly coated in toasted sugar syrup. Let soak in mixture for 5 minutes.
- Spoon bubbles and syrup divided evenly among 4 glasses. Add ice and 3/4 cup tea. Add 2 tablespoons simple syrup and 2 tablespoons milk to each glass. Stir and serve with bubble tea straws.
Note: Make toasted sugar ahead of time. The remaining toasted sugar is great to use in baked goods just as you would regular sugar for an intense caramel flavor.
Recipe developed for Imperial Sugar by @WhitneyMiller.