Wintermelon milk tea is a quirky new beverage trend that became increasingly popular after the surge of influencers endorsing boba drinks. As summer approaches, you are naturally going to steer towards cooler and more refreshing drinks. A boba drink like this one is a perfect way to combat the summer heat and chill out.
With its increasing popularity, you will find different variations of its recipes online. We have compiled a recipe with ingredients you can easily get a hold of from your nearby supermarket. Our recipe is simple and can be done within just 15 minutes at home!
What Is Wintermelon Milk Tea?
Essentially a combination of milk tea with the fruit syrup, this beverage is a recent flavourful phenomena among Western boba lovers. At the centre of the beverage is the staple Asian medicinal ingredient, wintermelon.
A wintermelon is a versatile fruit that can make either a savoury soup or a delicious, sweet refreshing drink. Instead of your usual tea leaves, you boil and infuse the fruit itself. A homemade wintermelon syrup used in the beverage can be stored for up to 2 weeks in your fridge.
This fruity dish originated in Southeast Asia where it is a part of the staple traditional food fare to this day and is also used in eastern medicine.
It is popular for its medicinal properties as well as unique recipes that are home to Taiwan. However, wintermelon milk tea is not limited to this part of the world. Many boba enthusiasts have picked up the various recipes and are fervently looking to introduce them to their own countries and cultures.
The fruit thrives on the Hawaiian coast so it is now more within reach even for commercial purposes. Combined with milk and tea, this fruity beverage is an explosion of taste likely to leave you asking for more.
What Does It Taste Like?
The wintermelon has a distinct flavour that closely resembles caramel. The fruit has a squash-like consistency with a mild taste but much to offer. Mixing that with sweet milk tea is a combination that has gradually become popular over time.
Is it healthy?
Wintermelon milk tea is considered a healthy option among boba drinks due to the medicinal properties of the melon. This unique drink is rich in vitamin and antioxidant content which can aid gastrointestinal distress, maintain weight, and reduce stress. It also lowers the overall cholesterol levels in the body.
The wintermelon syrup is still widely used in traditional medicine. It is used in the form of hot soup or drinks for relief from high blood pressure. A study by the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research found wintermelon powder or extract to have anti-diabetic potential. The study states that it has helped control blood glucose levels.
Of course, adding milk and/or artificial sweeteners to wintermelon milk tea would work against its health benefits. As a high-sugar diet is generally unhealthy, we would recommend reducing the sugar content if you would like to enjoy this beverage regularly.
Much like most milk teas, the base ingredients of this drink consists of tea, milk, sugar and the key ingredient: wintermelon.
The tea base will determine the consistency of the taste. We recommend using jasmine but oolong works just as well with this fruity flavour. Similarly to preparing oolong milk tea and jasmine milk tea, we recommend following a simple steeping framework to improve the flavour of your wintermelon milk tea.
If you’ve previously tried our strawberry boba recipe, chances are you’re going to find this recipe easy to follow.
How To Pick Out Good Wintermelon?
When looking for one at your nearby Asian supermarket, the fruit will either as a whole fruit or pre-cut slices.
If they are pre-cut, make sure to pick out ones which have a firm, clean and whitish flesh. The more yellow the flesh appear, the less fresh it is. However, do note that pre-cut slices will not remain fresh as long. You should keep them in the refrigerator and use them in 3 to 4 days.
When buying whole ones, pick out ones which feel firm, heavy and dense. You can also tell whether the fruit is ripe by tapping on the underbelly of the fruit. If it gives out a deep hollow sound when tapped, then it is ripe and full of juice.
Syrup vs. Milk Tea Powder
The wintermelon milk tea powder milk is generally considered a cheaper and a lower-quality option because of the preservatives added for it to last longer. In comparison, the wintermelon syrup is fresher, with a strong and thick concentrate that infuses well with boba drinks. Some syrups even contain pieces of real fruit in them. They are also favoured because they provide a more refreshing taste, enhancing the overall flavour of the beverage.
This is not to say that flavoured powder does not get the job done just as well. Rather, powders come in varying qualities. Premium Grade “A” powders are flavorful and have a strong taste as real fruits are used to create that flavour. However, low-quality powders have a higher percentage of creamers and sweeteners added to enhance the flavour instead of bringing out the natural fruit taste.
Many prefer to use the powder as it is more convenient and easier to store.
How to Make Wintermelon Milk Tea?
You can make the drink at home provided that you have the fruit on hand, along with a few spices to give it a necessary kick. The beverage can be made in more than one way. Usually, the preparation process includes boiling, extracting juice, and straining the fruit into a cup. After that, you simply add it to some already-prepared milk tea.
Can this beverage be made in advance? Yes and no. The tea itself is likely to last a few hours. However, homemade syrup used can be stored for up to 2 weeks in your fridge. We recommend you use it within a week or use a store-bought one as the preservatives help it last longer.
Instead of a warm beverage, you can also use the wintermelon syrup to make an ice-cold beverage. Therefore, making it all the more refreshing beverage for the coming summers. Here is what you need for a chilled cup of wintermelon milk tea.
Wintermelon Milk Tea Recipe
For The Syrup
- 6½ cups wintermelon fruit
- 1 cup brown sugar powdered
- 4 tablespoon rock sugar
For Milk Tea
- 1.5 tablespoon fresh milk or creamer
- 1 tablespoon jasmine tea leaves
- 1.5 tablespoon wintermelon syrup as prepared
- 1 tablespoon sugar or agave or fructose syrup
- 5 pcs ice cubes
For Wintermelon Milk Tea Syrup
- Start by washing and peeling the fruit. Deseed the fruit and cut it into small pieces, enough to be cooked easily. Make sure not to discard the seeds, just set them aside. Get a large pot and add the cubed fruit into it.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar on the fruit as you turn on low heat and let it sit for an hour or so. After a while, you will start noticing a layer of water at the bottom of the pot. The water from the melon is collected in this way. Don’t get rid of the water; just place the pot over medium heat afterwards.
- When the water starts to boil, add the rock sugar to the pot. As an option, add the seeds we previously set aside to intensify the taste of the melon.
- Reduce the heat from medium to low, cool the infusion for 90 minutes as you want the fruit to turn transparent. After it does, remove the pot from heat and let it cool. Extract the wintermelon syrup from fruit with a linen cloth or mesh strainer.
For Milk Tea
- Add a teaspoon of jasmine tea leaves in 200ml boiling water, and steep for 3-5 minutes. Once done, mix the sugar in and set the hot drink aside to cool down.
- Pour the chilled tea and syrup into a glass cup with ice cubes. Then add 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Serve your wintermelon milk tea chilled!
- Adding the seeds will enhance the subtle earthy tones of the melon which is well sought out by tea enthusiasts.
- You can also omit the ice cubes if you prefer to have a warm drink instead.
- You can also make the taste even more exciting by adding tapioca pearls and turning it into a boba drink!
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
For a more detailed reference of how to prepare the syrup, The Straits Times has made a video on how to prepare it for usage with your beverage.
The most popular wintermelon milk tea topping is definitely plain tapioca pearls. However, here is a full list you can have fun and experiment with!
- Ice cream
- Chia seeds
- Crushed oats
- Mung bean
- Honey boba
- Red bean paste
- Whipped cream
- Sweet potato balls
- Mango popping boba
- Strawberry popping boba
- Green tea tapioca pearls
- Brown sugar tapioca pearls
This chilled beverage is generally preferred by those who are looking for a refresher on a hot day. The drink is light and soothes the senses from the unforgivable heat. Naturally, it makes sense that there are multiple variations of the drink available in the market. These are some you can experiment with at home too!
- Latte boba drink with whipped cream
- With rock salt and cheese fondue
- Green jasmine tea base
Wintermelon milk tea is perhaps one of the more unique drink flavours today which you could try today. It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of boba. However, once you try a few variations of it, chances are you will end up with a new favourite. Whether you take it hot or cold, the distinct taste of wintermelon is going to keep you coming for more.
If you’re looking to try more exciting recipes that are easy to follow, check out our Instagram @honestfoodtalks.