After lunch, Pu Wei and Baohe returned to working the cafe out front while Su Tang brought Yu Caihe and Zhang Cuilan to help her with a task. She had ‘bought’ both brown sugar and cassava flour beforehand, and she had them mix both ingredients with water in a large pot and begin stirring them all together. Soon, a thick brown-colored dough was produced.
Luo Xingchen and Su Nuo both stood right next to Su Tang and watched as she directed the servants over the pot. Su Nuo couldn’t help but wonder out loud, “Is my sister making sugar?”
Luo Xingchen was a bit more knowledgeable than Su Nuo so she shot that idea down, “It should be some kind of dessert, I think?”
Su Tang was free for the moment since Yu Caihe and Zhang Cuilan were busy stirring and rolling the dough so, hearing the spectators were curious, she began to explain: “It’s similar to a dessert. Maybe instead of dessert, it would be better to call this thing a dessert accessory. Of course, it’s also quite sweet and can be eaten as a dessert by itself.”
Finally, the dough was rolled into two long noodle shapes and then cut into many small pieces. From there, the small pieces were rolled into small balls that were roughly equal in size. When that was done all the little brown sugar balls were placed in a large bowl.
Luo Xingchen looked at the inside of the bowl curiously and said, “A dessert accessory? You mean it needed to be served with something else?”
Su Tang nodded. “En, that’s right. I call them pearls. Don’t you think they look like little black pearls?”
The little guy was young and brutally honest. He took one look at the little brownish-grey balls and shook his head. “No.”
“Pff!” Luo Xingchen couldn’t help herself and laughed.
Su Tang rolled her eyes and said, “Well that’s because it’s still not ready yet, Ms. He, put them in this boiling water.”
While the two servants had been busy handling the dough, Su Tang had boiled some brown sugar water. And, after the pearls were tossed into the boiling water, a magical transformation occurred. The little grey-brown balls slowly turned a glossy black color and immediately became beautiful to the eye.
Su Tang used her ladle to slowly stir the pearls in with the brown sugar water and, after a moment, she pulled one up to show to Su Nuo and Luo Xingchen, “What about now? I call it a black pearl.”
Su Nuo looked at the ‘black pearl’ with a surprised expression. “Wow, it really changed. Now it’s so black and bright, it looks good!”
Of course, Luo Xingchen had seen a real black pearl before. Looking at this so-called ‘black pearl’ that Su Tang had created she knew at a glance that it was a fake, but she still nodded along and said, “Well, it seems a little interesting.”
“These pearls are dessert accessories that can be added into milk tea and also put on top of cakes. Of course, for my purposes, its most important function is how it can be added to my milk tea to make pearl milk tea.”
In Su Tang’s previous life, pearl milk tea had been everywhere and had come in all sorts of varieties and flavors. Su Tang was looking forward to doing the same with her milk tea, perhaps she could find coconut or other interesting flavors.
“Pearl milk tea?” Luo Xingchen heard the name and nodded, “That sounds good.”
“It doesn’t sound ‘good’, it sounds expensive and high-end, okay?” Su Tang said quickly retorted. In fact, Su Tang had always felt that the name ‘Pearl Milk Tea’ was quite impressive. She had respect for the talented mind that managed to combine pearls and milk tea together to create an intuitively high-end product name.
“Haha, that’s true as well!” Luo Xingchen said.
Su Tang laughed along for a moment and then asked Yu Caihe to go to the cafe in front and bring back a fresh pot of milk tea for them. Once that was done, she poured a cup for all three of them and added a few of her new ‘pearls’ to each cup. After she finished serving everyone else Su Tang took one of her small teaspoons and scooped out a pearl and some milk tea and ate them together.
The chewy brown-sugar taste of the pearl, coupled with the sweetness of the milk tea, came together to create an excellent taste, and Su Tang’s eyes narrowed happily.
Seeing her like this, Su Nuo and Luo Xingchen quickly tried their own cups as well. Su Nuo liked all kinds of sweets, so he was happy after the first mouthful and exclaimed: “It’s so sweet. It’s good”
Luo Xingchen tried it as well and was stunned. She had tried the milk tea that was made by those northwest herdsmen, but the milk tea that Su Tang made was completely different compared to what they made. And now, with the addition of these ‘pearls’, it was even more different. “Hmm, it’s delicious. Also a bit chewy.”
After the pearl was cooked, it would be chewy, sweet, and fragrant. Then, when combined with the unique taste of Su Tang’s milk tea, it created an interesting and delicious taste.
tl begging corner:
tl note: If you don’t know what milk tea is it’s also known by Bubble Tea / Bobo Tea in English. If you google Bubble Tea you can see all sorts of real-life kinds of milk teas, which often included ‘pearls’ like the ones described in the chapter.