How to Make Tapioca Pearls

Have you ever wondered what’s in those big pearls at the bottom of your bubble tea? If you want to cut out preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and commercial colors, make your own tapioca pearls. It’s easy to mix together a dough of water and tapioca starch that you can form into small balls. Boil these tapioca pearls until they’re tender and enjoy them in your favorite tea or bubble drink.

EditTapioca Pearls
1/2 cup (65 g) of tapioca starch

of water

A few drops of black food coloring, optional

Makes 75 to 100 tapioca pearls

EditSugar Tea Syrup
of hot water

2 tablespoons (25 g) of brown sugar

1 teabag of black tea

Makes of syrup

EditClassic Milk Bubble Tea
1 black teabag

of boiling water

1/4 cup (80 g) of cooked tapioca pearls

of sugar tea syrup

of cold milk


Makes 1 drink

EditMixing the Dough
Bring of water to a boil. Pour the water into a pot or kettle and heat it until it’s vigorously boiling. Keep in mind that some of this water will evaporate as the water comes to a boil, but you’ll only need for the dough.[1]

Put the tapioca starch and boiling water into a bowl. Place 1/2 cup (65 g) of tapioca starch into a heat-proof bowl and carefully pour in of the boiling water.[2]
You can find tapioca starch near cornstarch and flour in your grocery store’s baking aisle or at local Asian markets.

Stir the mixture to combine the ingredients. Use a spoon or chopsticks to stir the boiling water into the tapioca starch until the dry powder isn’t visible. The mixture should look chunky and somewhat dry.[3]

Knead the mixture to make a thick dough. Once it’s cool enough to handle, you can use your hands to knead the mixture into a thick dough. This should take about 1 minute for the dough to come together into a firm dough.[4]
If the dough is too sticky to handle, sprinkle a little more tapioca starch over and work it into the dough.

Keep in mind that if you dyed the dough, it may stain your fingers or work surface. Consider putting the dough on a plastic mat or piece of parchment paper to prevent staining.

EditShaping the Pearls
Line a sheet with parchment paper and cover the dough with a towel. Place a rimmed baking sheet next to your work surface and lay a piece of parchment paper on it. To prevent the dough from drying out as you roll the pearls, cover the bowl with a damp towel.[5]
Use a rimmed baking sheet so the pearls don’t roll off if you need to move the sheet.

Roll 1/2 of the dough into a wide rope. Place the dough on your work surface and use the palms of your hand to roll the dough into a long, evenly sized rope. It should be about wide.[6]
Repeat this with the rest of the dough, so you have 2 long strips of dough ready to cut.

Cut the strips of dough into pearls. Use a sharp knife or bench scraper to cut individual tapioca pearls from the strips of dough. You can make them any size you want, but keep in mind that the pearls will swell a little as they cook.
Most standard tapioca pearls are about in diameter before they’re cooked.

Set the tapioca pearls on the baking sheet for up to 2 hours. Transfer the pearls to the parchment paper-lined baking sheet and leave them at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Ensure that the pearls aren’t touching as they dry or they could stick together.[7]
If you’d like to store the tapioca pearls for later, freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To make the pearls, boil them without thawing them, but add about 3 to 5 minutes to the cooking time.

EditBoiling and Using the Tapioca Pearls
Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Set a large pot on the stove and fill it at least 1/2 to 3/4 full of water. Turn the burner to high so the water comes to a vigorous boil.[8]
If you’d like to cook only a handful of tapioca pearls, you can use a small pot. To make a single bubble tea drink, you’ll need 1/4 cup (80 g) of cooked tapioca pearls.

Add the tapioca pearls and boil them for 15 to 20 minutes. Slowly add the pearls to the boiling water so the water doesn’t splash and the pearls are completely submerged. Stir the pearls and then boil them uncovered until they’re completely tender.[9]
The pearls will float to the top of the pot once they’re half-cooked.

You may need to adjust the heat if it looks like the pot may boil over after you add the pearls.

Drain the cooked tapioca pearls. Turn off the burner and use a slotted spoon to scoop the tapioca pearls out of the boiling water. Transfer the pearls to a bowl and let them cool a little before you add them to tea. If you’d like to sweeten the pearls, soak them in a sugar tea syrup for at least 1 hour.[10] of hot water with 2 tablespoons (25 g) of brown sugar and 1 teabag of black tea. Steep the tea for 15 minutes before removing the teabag.}}
Use the pearls the same day you boil them, since they’ll begin to stick together and become tough.

Make a classic milk tea bubble tea. To make 1 drink, steep 1 black teabag in of boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove the bag and let the tea cool until it’s at room temperature. Place about 1/4 cup (80 g) of the cooked tapioca pearls into a serving glass. Pour of sugar tea syrup (even if you used sweetened tapioca pearls) over and fill the glass with ice. Then pour in the cooled black tea and of cold milk.[11]
Serve the bubble tea with a wide straw and enjoy it before the ice begins to melt.

If you’d like to make bubble tea, but don’t have time to make the pearls from scratch, you can purchase dried tapioca pearls from most Asian markets. Follow the package instructions to boil and use the pearls.

Children under the age of 3 can choke on the tapioca pearls.

EditThings You’ll Need
Measuring cups and spoons

Heat-proof bowl

Large pot with a lid

Slotted spoon

Spoon or chopsticks


Rimmed baking sheet

Parchment paper

Knife or bench scraper

Serving glass

Wide straw

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Today in History for 14th February 2019

Historical Events

1630 – Dutch fleet of 69 ships reaches Pernambuco, Brazil
1859 – Oregon admitted as 33rd state of the Union
1966 – Wilt Chamberlain breaks NBA career scoring record at 20,884 points
1978 – 1st “micro on a chip” patented by Texas Instruments
1980 – Soviet cross-country skier Nikolay Zimyatov wins first of 3 gold medals at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics when he takes out 30k event; also wins relay and 50k gold
1982 – “Night of 100 Stars” takes place at NY’s Radio City Music Hall

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1923 – Jay Hebert, American golfer (PGA Championship 1960), born in St. Martinville, Louisiana (d. 1997)
1931 – Phyllis McGuire, vocalist (McGuire Sisters), born in Middletown, Ohio
1967 – Calle Johansson, Swedish NHL defenseman (Washington Capitals), born in Gothenburg, Sweden
1968 – Jules Asner, US television personality, born in Tempe, Arizona
1987 – Joseph Pichler, US actor, born in Bremerton, Washington
1992 – Freddie Highmore, English actor, born in Camden Town, London

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1714 – Maria Luisa of Savoy, Queen consort of Spain to Philip V (1701-14), dies tuberculosis at 25
1885 – Jules Vallès, French writer (b. 1832)
1908 – Georges Jean Pfeiffer, French composer, dies at 72
1942 – Adnan Bin Saidi, Officer of the Malay Regiment killed in the defense of Singapore (b. 1915)
2006 – Lynden David Hall, British singer (b. 1974)
2010 – Doug Fieger, American musician The Knack (b. 1952)

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Style Flannel

Flannel, a warm material usually made from wool or cotton, is a closet staple during the cooler months, but styling it correctly can be a little tricky. If you get it wrong, you could be giving off lumberjack vibes in all the wrong ways. Luckily, flannel shirts are extremely versatile, and there are plenty of ways to incorporate them into cool outfits that will keep you warm in any weather.

EditPicking the Right Flannel
Choose from classic flannel colors for a conventional or grungy look. Flannel is a warm fabric that usually features checks or plaid, but it can also be a solid color. The most common colors for flannel are red, green, and black. Choose one of these options if you want to go for a more classic or grungy look.[1]
Other common colors for flannel include grey, white, and brown.

These colors are perfect for wearing with jeans and sneakers for a casual weekend outfit.

Opt for unusual colors if you want to stand out. If your style tends to be more eye-catching, look for flannel in unconventional colors. This will give your look a little extra edge.[2]
Look for fashion flannel in purple, yellow, neon, or pastels, then wear it unbuttoned over a T-shirt in a coordinating color for a unique outfit.

Wear your flannel oversized for a slouchy look. If you’re going for a casual, slouchy vibe, pick a flannel that’s 1-2 sizes larger than what you normally wear. This will give off you a cool, grungy look that channels the 90s.[3]
To keep your outfit from looking too dated, opt for a slimmer silhouette in the rest of your outfit. For instance, you could wear your slouchy flannel with a pair of skinny jeans and ankle boots for a night out.

Choose a slimmer fitting flannel to look more put-together. If you’re planning to wear your flannel buttoned-up and tucked in, look for a flannel that fits a little closer to your body. Choose a shirt with a shoulder seam that sits right at the edge of your shoulder. Look at the shirt sleeve, as well, to ensure the cuff doesn’t hang past your wrist.[4]

EditGoing Casual
Wear your flannel open over a T-shirt with jeans for a cool feel. An unbuttoned flannel over a T-shirt is one of the most classic fall looks, and it suits almost every personal style. You can opt for a plain white T-shirt, a solid color like grey or black, or a graphic tee. The options are endless![5]
For instance, a classic red-and-black checked flannel looks just as great over a white T-shirt as it does over a black graphic tee featuring your favorite band or a cheeky slogan!

Wear loose-fitting jeans for an ultra-casual weekend look, or opt for sleek boot-cut jeans for a night out!

Pair a long flannel with leggings and boots for a casual feminine outfit. If you’re going to be running errands on a cool day, stay warm by wearing an extra-long flannel over a pair of leggings, either in black or in a coordinating color. Then, finish the outfit with a pair of knee-length boots, and you’ll be ready to go![6]
Top off this outfit with a chunky scarf, but keep the rest of your accessories simple. For instance, you might add a pendant necklace or a pair of stud earrings.

Make sure the flannel is long enough to cover your rear, since leggings aren’t typically considered acceptable as pants otherwise.

Pair your flannel with destroyed jeans for a carelessly casual look. Distressed denim will give any look a casual edge, but destroyed jeans take that to the next level. The more shredded and ripped up your jeans are, the edgier your flannel-and-denim look will come across.[7]
Stick to a slim-fitting T-shirt with this look to balance it out.

Slouchy sneakers are the perfect shoes to wear with this outfit.

Toss on a puffy sleeveless vest to stay extra warm. If the weather has an extra chill, even a flannel shirt might not be enough to keep you from getting cold. If that’s the case, an insulated sleeveless vest will pair perfectly with the outdoorsy style of your favorite flannel.[8]
You’ll look perfectly at home on a hike if you wear this with a pair of khaki cargo pants and a pair of rugged boots.

EditDressing up a Flannel
Stick with darker denim if you wear jeans. Light denim tends to look more casual, so if you’re trying to dress up your flannel, it’s best to wear a darker shade of denim. Also, straight-legged, skinny, and boot-cut styles tend to look dressier than relaxed-fit jeans.[9]
Black denim adds an especially edgy touch to any outfit.

The exception to this is colored or white denim. A pair of purple skinny jeans with a purple-plaid flannel, for instance, would look great at girls’ night.

Tuck in a buttoned-up flannel to look more presentable. Instead of wearing your flannel untucked or even unbuttoned over another shirt, button it up all the way to the collar, then tuck it into a pair of straight-legged slacks. This look is perfect for a dinner-and-a-movie date night![10]
Chinos and dress shoes are great for wearing with a tucked-in flannel.

For a more feminine take on this outfit, tuck a slim-fitting flannel into a skirt with a narrow waist. Finish the look with tights and ankle boots.

Wear your flannel half-buttoned over a crop top for an edgy feminine contrast. If you want to wear your flannel for a night out, but you don’t want to cover up your figure, wear a crop top under your flannel. Fasten the bottom 2-3 buttons, or leave the shirt unbuttoned if you prefer.[11]
You could also opt for a lace cami or bodysuit under your flannel, if you prefer.

Depending on your style, you could make this look more tough with boots, or more sophisticated with a sleek pair of heels.

Make baggy flannel more stylish by wearing it with skinny jeans. If you want to elevate an oversized flannel shirt, pair it with your favorite skinny jeans. This will balance your silhouette, taking this casual outfit to the next level.[12]
Give this outfit street-style glam by wearing your cleanest pair of high-top sneakers.

Add a feminine edge to the look by wearing a pair of stiletto heels.

Top with a fur vest for a glam look. A vest is a great way to stay warm, but they’re not always the most fashionable way to finish a look. Get the best of both worlds by topping your flannel shirt with a fur (or faux-fur) vest and skinny jeans.
Keep the fashionista mood going strong with a pair of oversized sunglasses and a big bag.

Wear your flannel under a sweater for a preppy, warm look. Flannel doesn’t always mean grungy or outdoorsy. If your style is more classic and preppy, slip on a flannel, then top it with a rib-knit sweater. Finish the look with chinos and a pair of loafers for an outfit that’s clean, stylish, and cozy. [13]
A capelet is another great way to top your flannel while still looking clean-cut!

EditAccessorizing Flannel
Go traditional with a chunky knit scarf and beanie in cold weather. Flannels are all about comfort. If it’s chilly out, bundle up in your warmest flannel, a big chunky scarf, and a knit beanie, and you’ll be ready to take on the day, no matter what the wind chill says![14]
Of course, you don’t have to wear both. If you prefer, you can choose just the scarf or the hat!

Keep your wristwear simple with a leather cuff bracelet or chunky watch. Flannel is a bold look, and it’s best suited by heavier accessories. A leather bracelet or a big, bold watch will complement your flannel shirt much better than a delicate tennis bracelet.

Pair your flannel with a string of pearls for an elegant touch. A string of pearls is the perfect complement to almost any outfit, and flannel is no exception. Whether you’re wearing your flannel with leggings or tucked into a pair of jeans, a simple string of pearls will let everyone know that you might be casual, but you’re still classy!
If you’re trying to create an edgy vibe, avoid pearls.

Stick with sneakers or boots for a casual feel. Flannel is typically considered a casual material, so when you’re picking your shoes, sneakers and boots are usually your best option. Just pick something that’s comfortable![15]
If you wear hiking boots, keep in mind that your outfit will look very outdoorsy. If this isn’t the style you’re going for, opt for sneakers instead.

Opt for loafers or flats to add a little dash of elegance to your look. If you’re choosing to elevate your flannel, opt for footwear that’s a little nicer. They don’t necessarily have to be dress shoes—your favorite loafers or flats should be just the right touch.[16]
Ankle boots and heels are also good options if you want to dress up your flannel and you have a feminine style.

Tie the flannel around your waist to turn it into an accessory. Give off some serious 90s vibes by tying on your flannel. Just wrap the arms around your waist and knot them in the front for an effortlessly cool look. It’s functional, too—if you get cold, you can just untie your shirt and put it on to get warm![17]
You can wear your flannel around your waist with jeans and a T-shirt, or you can tie your flannel around a slip dress for a casual twist on a dressy outfit.

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EditQuick Summary
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