Thai Pearl Milk Tea | Cha Nom Khimuk | ชานมไข่มุก

With the start of this blog, I shared my love for Thai iced tea.  I guess now it’s time to admit my obsession with Thai pearl milk tea, the wonderful Thai tea drink served with tapioca pearls (also known as bubble milk tea or boba tea).

It started when I had my first gulp of pearl milk tea in college about 10 years ago.  This was right about at the height of the pearl milk tea craze in the US, when cute little boba tea cafes were popping up on every street corner.  Pearl milk tea had become so popular in my college town that the university actually opened a pearl milk tea stand on campus, just so students without cars could enjoy this sweet drink.

Thai Pearl Milk Tea | Cha Nom Khimuk | ชานมไข่มุก

The draw of pearl milk tea was two-fold for me.  First, there was the cold, sweet tea that appealed to my Southern roots.  Some additional creaminess with all kinds of different flavors to choose from just heightened this appeal.  But then there were these unusual, chewy tapioca balls that somehow slid straight down your throat as you drank.  This combination of familiar and unusual was enough to hook me.

I frequented these boba tea shops with my college friends, sitting outside and enjoying the sweet, milky drink with tapioca.  And one summer when I went back home to Louisiana, where the boba tea trend hadn’t quite caught on yet, I bought a 5 pound bag of tapioca pearls, just to last me through the summer.  Yes, my parents thought I was crazy :)

My obsession with pearl milk tea lasted for a year or two.  Although this drink is still fairly popular in my area, I’ve moved on and found newer foods on which to expend my daily calorie intake!  But last week, I saw a small bag of tapioca pearls at the store and decided to relive my college days by making some Thai pearl milk tea.  After it was prepared and chilled, I found a spot in the sun and sat down, gulping the cold, sweet concoction while remembering with fondness those fun college days.

Thai Pearl Milk Tea | Cha Nom Khimuk | ชานมไข่มุก

Thai Pearl Milk Tea | Cha Nom Khimuk | ชานมไข่มุก

Makes 2 servings

Thai Pearl Milk Tea | Cha Nom Khimuk | ชานมไข่มุก

Ingredients

    For the Thai Tea:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Thai tea mix
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tablespoons evaporated milk
  • For the Tapioca Pearls:
  • 1/2 cup tapioca pearls
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Steep the Thai tea in boiling water for 5-10 minutes or until it's very dark orange in color.
  2. Strain to remove the tea mix. Add the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Add more or less of the sugar and sweetened condensed milk depending on how sweet you like your tea.
  3. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge.
  4. To cook your tapioca pearls, bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the tapioca pearls and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes or until they are thoroughly soft.
  5. While the tapioca pearls are boiling, prepare a simple syrup by heating 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Drain the tapioca pearls and immerse in the simple syrup solution until ready to use.
  7. Add 1/4 cup cooked tapioca pearls to each glass. Pour the chilled and sweetened Thai tea over the pearls and serve with a large boba tea straw. Enjoy!

More Thai Recipes:

Thai Pork Toast | Khanom Pang Na Moo | ขนมปังหน้าหมู thumbnail

Thai Pork Toast | Khanom Pang Na Moo | ขนมปังหน้าหมู

Thai-Spiced Cashews thumbnail

Thai-Spiced Cashews

Stirfried Mixed Vegetables | Pad Pak Ruam Mit | ผัดผักรวมมิตร thumbnail

Stirfried Mixed Vegetables | Pad Pak Ruam Mit | ผัดผักรวมมิตร

Pork Noodle Soup | Guay Teow Moo | ก๋วยเตี๋ยวหมู thumbnail

Pork Noodle Soup | Guay Teow Moo | ก๋วยเตี๋ยวหมู

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Irina @ wandercrush July 30, 2013, 1:52 am

    Thai tea is the epitome of luxurious and refreshing! I love your blog that much more now that I’ve finally visited Thailand… that first travel post is finally up, by the way, in case you’re interested :) But now that I’m back, I’ll be getting all my Thai food from you!

    Reply
    • Rachel July 30, 2013, 2:28 am

      Irina, your pictures are stunning!! It looks like you had an absolutely amazing time with all kinds of fantastic Thai food! You’ve definitely made me excited for my next trip there :)

  • iet July 30, 2013, 8:03 pm

    Didn’t know Thailand had bubble tea, I thought only Taiwan did because its origin came from there. Lovely pictures

    Reply
  • Meridyth August 5, 2013, 6:42 pm

    Looks so yummy! Beautiful photographs too! Where did you get the bottle that you stored the tea in?

    Reply
    • Rachel August 6, 2013, 2:17 am

      Thanks, Meridyth! The bottle is from Ikea…

  • Ash- foodfashionparty August 14, 2013, 9:45 pm

    omggg, this looks so good. I’ve been looking for a nice pearl drink and I have it. You’ve used condensed milk and I am with you..love it.

    Reply
  • Cath August 20, 2013, 6:11 am

    Uwaaaa!!!! Cha!!!

    Love this post Rachel. Absolutely love it!

    Reply

Leave a Comment