This homemade grass jelly milk tea makes perfectly refreshing drink on hot summer days. With a combination of the creamy goodness of iced milk tea and the delicate and slightly chewy texture of grass jelly, this drink is truly one-of-a-kind.
Whether you're a seasoned milk tea lover or just looking to try something new, this grass jelly milk tea is a must-try drink. It's easy to make and delicious too!
❤️Why you will love this recipe
- The recipe on this page requires only 5 key ingredients - water, black tea, milk, sugar and grass jelly.
- It's cooling and delicious, and makes a great thirst quencher.
- Making it is super easy too. All you need to do is make the milk tea with the black tea, milk and sugar and the add thinly sliced grass jelly into the tea. Top the drink with some ice cubes and you have a glass of perfectly cooling milk tea with grass jelly.
- Unlike boba pearls, you can purchase grass jelly in ready to serve packaging, and all you need to do is cut and add it into your drinks. It's super quick.
What is Grass Jelly
Grass jelly, also known as leaf jelly or suong sao in Chinese, is a popular plant based jelly (herb jelly) commonly used in desserts and beverages in East Asian and Southeast Asian countries. It is made from the leaves and stalks of a member of the mint family (Mesona Chinensis or Chinese Mesona), and has a dark brown or black color and the same texture as jelly or agar agar.
In its original form, this jelly is quite tasteless and has a slightly bitter taste. It is often sold slightly sweetened, but in most instances, the grass jelly is almost never eaten on its own like other jellies. Instead is it cut into cubes or strips and added into sweet desserts and drinks. It's chewy texture makes it a perfect addition to milk tea or bubble teas and is a great substitute for boba pearls or tapioca pearls.
Grass jelly is often sold ready made in tubes, cans and even containers. You can find this in Asian stores. Once unpacked, the jelly should be kept chilled and can last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Grass jelly can also be found in grass jelly powder form which you can buy and make your own jelly based on the package instructions.
The grass jelly milk tea recipe on this page requires only 5 ingredients - water, black tea, milk, sugar and grass jelly. Making it is super easy too. All you need to do is make the milk tea with the black tea, milk and sugar and the add thinly sliced grass jelly into the tea. Top the drink with some ice cubes and you have a glass of perfectly cooling milk tea with grass jelly.
- Water - To make the tea. Best to use drinking water or filtered water.
- Tea bags (black tea) - for the milk tea. Tea bags are convenient as you do not need to strain them, but loose tea leaves will do as well.
- Sugar - use brown sugar to sweeten the milk tea.
- Milk - use whole milk for a creamy milk tea.
- Grass jelly - boxed or canned grass jelly and can be purchased ready made from local Asian stores.
*Refer to the recipe card below for exact quantities of the ingredients above. For best results, use a digital kitchen scale where applicable*
🧾Substitution and variations
- Tea - I used regular black tea to make this drink. Any other black tea such as oolong tea, or Earl Grey tea will also work fine for this recipe.
- Sugar - this milk tea is sweetened with brown sugar. You can also use granulated sugar, or regular coarse sugar. Replace in the exact same quantity as the brown sugar. You can also use simple syrup or brown sugar syrup or other sweeteners but do note that these sweeteners might require different amount to be added to achieve the desired level of sweetness to your tea.
- Milk - this recipe requires whole milk for a creamy and delicious taste. You can also make the tea with skimmed milk, or with powdered milk. Other milk options include oat milk, almond milk and even coconut milk. Do note that the taste of the milk tea will differ depending on the type of milk used.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you do try, please let me know in the comments section below!
👩🏻🍳How to make
Making the milk tea
- Fill a small pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- Turn off the heat and dip the tea bags into the hot water. Let the tea steep in the hot water for 3 minutes.
- Cover the pot with a lid while waiting for the tea to steep.
- Remove the teabags (squeeze out all the liquid tea from the bags) and discard them.
- Add sugar to the tea and stir to dissolve. Since the tea is hot, this should not take more than 1 minutes.
- Once the sugar is all dissolved, add in the milk. Stir well. Place the tea in the refrigerator to cool further.
Preparing the grass jelly
- Remove the grass jelly from its packaging. Slice it into thin discs on a cutting board.
- Slice each disc into thin strips.
Assembling the grass jelly milk tea
- Fill the bottom of a tall glass with the thinly sliced grass jelly strips.
- Top it with some ice cubes.
- Pour in the chilled milk tea.
🍽️Serving & storage
- Once assembled, this grass jelly drink is best consumed within the same day. Keep the tea chilled as the milk in the tea will turn bad if left at room temperature, especially if kept for long hours.
- Without assembling, the milk tea can be kept in the fridge for 2 days while the grass jelly can be kept for 3 to 4 days. Both must be kept chilled all the time.
- Make the tea in advance (without the grass jelly) and refrigerate it. That way, you need not add too many ice cubes when serving which dilute the tea.
- Adding ice cubes will dilute the tea. Keep this in mind when making the tea. For best results, the tea should be slightly concentrated and with sufficient milk and sugar added.
- Instead of cutting the grass jelly into cubes, you can cut them into small cubes, but make sure you cut them small enough to go through the bubble tea straw.
Grass jelly is a form of plant based jelly that is dark brown or black in color. It is often cut into strips or small cubes and added into beverages and desserts. It has a slightly chewy texture, similar to jelly and tastes great when served with sweetened milk tea.
It tastes similar to other milk teas, or bubble teas, but instead of the chewy boba balls, you get to chewy into thin strips of jelly that is quite tasteless on its own but adds great texture to the milk tea.
I used black tea to make the milk tea in this recipe. And for the quantity in the recipe below, I used 2 tea bags.
If you like stronger tea for your milk tea, you can add another tea bag when making the tea drink.
If you prefer a lighter tea, reduce it to one. Do take note that too light a tea will not taste as good. Your tea will end up tasting more like milk rather than tea.
The amount of grass jelly used in making this drink is really a matter of personal preference. If you like lots of jelly in your tea, you can add more and it you like just a little jelly in the tea, you can reduce it accordingly.
You can also choose to cut the grass jelly in anyway you like. I prefer to cut it into thin strips, but you can always cut them into small cubes (about 0.5cm to 1cm cubes) or randomly slice the grass jelly block into small pieces.
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Grass Jelly Milk Tea
For best results, use the metrics measurements. US customary measurements have not been tested and are only meant for guide.
- 300 ml water
- 250 ml milk
- 100 g grass jelly
- 2 tea bags
- 2 tablespoon white sugar
Making the milk tea
- Add water into a small pot. Bring it to a boil.
- Add the tea bags. Cover the pot and let the tea steep for 3 minutes.
- Open the lid and remove the tea bags. Squeeze out all the tea into the pot (press the bags on the sides of your pot with the back of a spoon to remove all the tea). Discard the tea bags.
- Add sugar into the tea and stir to dissolve.
- Measure and add the milk into the tea. Stir well and keep the tea chilled in the fridge while preparing the grass jelly.
Preparing the grass jelly and assembling the tea
- Remove the grass jelly from its packaging.
- Slice it into thin pieces and the slice each piece for thin strips of jelly.
- Divide the grass jelly strips into 2 drinking glasses.
- Top it with some ice cubes.
- Pour in the milk tea and serve.
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