Pi Pa Gao Milk Tea Recipe: How to savour cough syrup with milk tea?

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Pi Pa Gao

The Next Big Drink.

Looking at the number of bubble tea stalls which have sprung up all over Singapore, this new wave of bubble tea trend shows no signs of abating. All thanks to the king of all bubble tea drinks – Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea. But will people eventually get sick of drinking bubble tea? That eventually begs the question, what’s next? Pi Pa Gao Milk tea, I believe, will be the next big DRINK.

What on earth is Pi Pa Gao?

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Nin Jiom Pi Pa Gao

Pi Pa Gao (or Pei Pa Koa in Cantonese) is a Chinese herbal syrup which has its origins since Qing Dynasty, about 400 years ago! Today it is widely used as a remedy for coughs and sore throats in Asia. In recent years, it has gained popularity across western countries too.

Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa

The company behind this herbal syrup is Nin Jiom Medicine Manufactory in Hong Kong. This product is raking in a lot of money for the company as many swear by its efficacy in relieving cough and sore throats. Many companies have even hopped on the bandwagon to produce their own brand of Pi Pa Gao, nut nothing is quite like Nin Jiom’s, as it is already a household name for most of us.

How natural is Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa?

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Nin Jiom Pi Pa Gao

It is a concoction of natural herbs, loquat and honey extracts. There are a total of 15 herbs blended together to form this thick, dark and dense syrup. Some of these Chinese medical herbs do not have a common name. Hence, you will only see a list of ingredients written in its scientific jargons on the back of the packaging. I have not even seen or heard about many of these herbs before!

What this herbal syrup is actually for?

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Nin Jiom Pi Pa Gao

It relieves cough from cold, reduces phlegms, soothes sore throat and restores lost voice. It is also purportedly said to nourish the lungs, reduces body heat and improves skin complexion.

For adults, it is recommended that you take 1 tablespoon of the syrup 3 times a day. For children, keep it to 1 teaspoon 3 times a day or as advised by the doctor.

How this herbal syrup is used as an ingredient?

This Chinese herbal cough syrup has been paired with almond cream, dark rum and even ice cream. It has a natural minty and caramel-like taste which complements well with most drinks and desserts.

How did Pi Pa Gao enter in the world of bubble tea?


Based on my research, Wobbee, a Singapore bubble tea house is probably the first to use Pi Pa Gao in their milk teas since early 2017. They called it Herbalmint Milk tea using real Pi Pa Gao. But I only got to know about this last December where more people starting reviewing this peculiar drink on Instagram.

Sometime in late 2018, there was news that a Californian bubble tea house called Labobatory had incorporated Pi Pei Gao into their green tea to make Cough Syrup Green Tea.

Earlier this year 2019, Ice Dream Cafe KK in Sabah decided to make Pi Pei Gao ice cream instead. It was a hit among their customers.


Around the same time, Singapore’s all-time favourite ice creamery, Tom’s Palette also featured their Pi Pa Gao ice cream. And they are not the only ones who joined the #PiPaGaoTribe. Are you one of them too?


Will this drink make a bigger comeback in 2019? The force is strong with this one.

I personally love it and I’ve even gone to the extent of making one for myself at home. So here’s the recipe. It’s simple and easy to make it yourself at home. Is that perhaps why people rather drink it at home than to buy it at bubble tea houses? Cooking brown Sugar pearls is a more time-consuming process than making Pi Pa Gao milk tea at home.

Pi Pa Gao Milk Tea Recipe


Nin Jiom Pi Pa Gao ( 1 tablespoon or 15ml)

Milk (Full cream is the best) (100 ml)

Tea (Any black tea) (100ml)

Grass Jelly (unsweetened) (50 to 100ml)

Sugar (Brown, Palm or Red date Sugar works best) (1.5 to 2 tablespoons)

Ice ( 50ml)

Quantity: It makes 1 cup of 500ml-drink.


1.Slice the grass jelly into long thin slices.

This large packet of grass jelly costs me only 95 cents. I bought it from NTUC.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Grass Jelly

This brand of grass jelly isn’t that fantastic. If you can find a better brand of grass jelly, do let me know.

You can also replace grass jelly with boba too. I wonder how the drink would taste like if I add brown sugar pearls in it.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Grass Jelly

2. Scoop everything into a cup or a bottle.

Here, I am reusing Nayuki’s milk tea bottle.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe

3. Brew the tea for about 5 minutes.

You can use any kind of black tea.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe black tea TWG English Breakfast tea

4. Instead of using plain white sugar, I used date slab sugar to enhance the taste of the drink.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Taikoo Premium date slab sugar

5. In comes in long hard slabs, so you have to really chop it finely so that you can stir it into the hot tea.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Taikoo premium date slab sugar

All you need is about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of sugar. For me, I added about 1.5 tablespoons of sugar.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe date slab sugar

6. Mix 1 tablespoon of Pi Pa Gao in 100ml of black tea.

You wouldn’t want to go overboard with the Pi Pa Gao as the minty herbal taste is quite strong.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Nin Jiom Pi Pa Gao

7. Then pour the tea mixture into the bottle.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe

8. Add 100ml of full cream milk.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Full cream milk meiji

9. Almost there! See the beautiful ombre effect of the drink?

Top it up with some ice cubes till the drink reaches the brim of the bottle.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Nin Jiom Pi Pa Gao

10. And that’s it! Enjoy!

I figured this heavenly milk to tea ratio of 1:1 has the right balance of the Pi Pa Gao tea to milk flavour. It’s very smooth and very soothing for the throat.

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe

Who says that medicine always tastes bitter?

Pei Pa Koa bubble milk tea recipe Nin Jiom Pi Pa Gao

Have you tried Pi Pa Gao milk tea or ice cream before? Do you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comment box below!

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