A few weeks ago, I discovered the simple beauty of a homemade treat: milk oolong, honey & rose water tapioca. There was something so very satisfying about spending an hour in the kitchen sipping tea and handcrafting a simple sweet delight.
Craving the comforting sip of a matcha latte one evening, I decided to remix my first tea tapioca with a bit of the vibrant green Japanese powdered tea. While the first try at tea tapioca was subtly enhanced by the buttery milk oolong tea, this matcha infusion added its pronounced grassy and gently bitter flavor (similar to really wonderful dark chocolate) that balances the rich sweetness of the local honey and floral notes of the orange blossom water. And you can’t resist the rich green color that reminds you of freshly cut grass in the spring.
The trick to avoiding a grainy matcha tapioca is to take a few tablespoons of milk and add them to a bowl along with the 5 teaspoons of matcha. Stir in into a smooth paste to whisk into the heated milk. Just keep stirring throughout the hour and you’ll end up with a smooth, green spoonful.
When you find yourself with a free hour, turn up a vintage jazz tune and head into your kitchen. Whisk a cup of matcha to sip as the tapioca simmers. Spoon the green treat into ball jars to tuck into the fridge. Share with friends or silently devour each one over the next few days. You can always make another batch.
Matcha Green Tea & Orange Blossom Tapioca
3 cups of whole milk
5 teaspoons of matcha green tea powder
1/3 cup of small pearl tapioca
2 egg yolks (beaten with fork)
pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup of honey (I prefer to use local honey from the farmers market)
2.5 teaspoons of orange blossom water
1. Heat 3 cups of milk in a medium pot. While it comes to a boil, take a few teaspoons of milk from the pot and mix them with the 5 teaspoons of Matcha green tea powder in a small bowl until it forms a smooth paste. When the milk comes to a boil, remove it from the burner and whisk in the matcha tea until combined. Let cool to room temperature.
2. Add one cup of tea-infused milk to a medium pot and stir in the tapioca. Let the tapioca soak in the tea-infused milk for 30 minutes.
3. Lightly beat the egg yolks and whisk them into the milk and tapioca. Add honey, salt and remainder of tea-infused milk (2 cups) and gently whisk to combine.
4. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it begins to boil (about 10 minutes). Lower the heat to a light simmer and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Stir often to ensure that the tapioca does not clump together.
5. Remove the pot from the heat and add the orange blossom water. Let cool and then spoon into jars to store in the refrigerator.
Alexis Siemons is a freelance writer and tea consultant living in Philadelphia. As a tea enthusiast, she writes about her steeped adventures with tea on her website <teaspoons & petals, and teaches a series of culinary tea classes. Her recipes and stories have been published in Anthology Magazine, Grid Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, Kinfolk Magazine, Remedy Quarterly and Design*Sponge.
London - British Isles
by Nancy Ellison