Daily Cooking Quest

Winter Melon Tea

Winter melon (冬瓜) is a versatile fruit, very delicious either made as savory soup or as delicious drink like this winter melon tea. Although I call it tea, there is no tea leaves involve, but the color of the drink is just like that of a black tea, so I always call this winter melon tea. In Indonesia and Malaysia, it is also called teh kundur. It is a very humble street side drink, and sometimes you can find them sold in cans or in half gallon size plastic bottles in the Asian grocery stores.

Winter Melon Tea

Making this at home is very simple, requiring only three ingredients: winter melon, brown sugar, and rock sugar. To easily store this and make it in volume, I don’t add water when cooking this so I get concentrated winter melon syrup which can last up to 1 week when stored in the fridge. Whenever I want to drink this, I will dilute the concentrated syrup with water and add some ice cubes too, so refreshing.

Winter Melon Tea

Winter Melon Tea

5.0 from 2 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours 15 mins

Total Time: 2 hours 30 mins

Serves: 8-12


  • 1 1/2 kilogram winter melon flesh, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 250 gram brown sugar
  • 50 gram rock sugar


  1. Place winter melon flesh and brown sugar in a pot, mix well. Set aside for about 1 hour until some liquid has formed.
  2. Add rock sugar to the pot, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until winter melon is completely transparent, about 2 hours.
  3. Turn off heat, strain and press as much liquid through the strainer as you can to get the concentrated winter melon syrup. Store this syrup in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  4. To serve, make "tea" with 1 part concentrated winter melon syrup and 3 parts water. Add some ice cubes, and stir everything together. Serve cold.


  • ara says:

    Does rock sugar taste different from granulated white sugar?

    • Anita says:

      The taste is similar to sugar, but it is less sweet compared to regular white sugar. If you cannot find rock sugar, just use white sugar, but reduce the amount since regular sugar is sweeter.

  • ara says:

    Thanks so much for the response. I saw a big block looking like dark brown sugar and labeled wintermelon tea in an Asian store. I'll try that soon since I don't have easy access to the fruit.

    • Anita says:

      Ah.. I think I have seen it before. I heard that it is really sweet.

  • Cher Pada says:

    Hi, what do you mean by flesh? Is it the inner or outer? And If it the inner part should I just leave the seeds in it or remove it? And in step 1 in putting it in a pot, is it already being heated on a stove or not?

    • Anita says:

      To clarify, flesh means the inner (meat?) of the winter melon, and with seeds removed as much as possible. The pot doesn't need to be heated beforehand. I hope this helps :)

  • Aster Zhen says:

    Hi do you add water while cooking? Thanks

    • Anita says:

      Hi Aster, there is no need to add water while cooking. The melon will release quite a bit of liquid on its own. Also, we are trying to make it into a syrupy consistency.

  • Emilia says:

    I tried this recipe, how come the taste is different with winter melon tea from bubble tea place. It taste more like brown sugar liquid

    • Anita says:

      Hi Emilia, I haven't tried winter melon tea from bubble tea place, so I cannot comment. But my recipe yields winter melon tea with taste similar to the one widely sold in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. If you have ever tried white gourd drink from Yeo's, this recipe should produce tea with a very similar taste.

  • Sable says:

    how much water?

    • Anita says:

      Hi Sable, there is no need to add water while cooking. The melon will release quite a bit of liquid on its own. Also, we are trying to make it into a syrupy consistency. We only need to add water when making tea out of the syrup, and the amount of water depends on how thick and how sweet you want the tea to be at that time.

  • Leiz says:

    Hi Anita, thanks for the great recipe. How about processing the winter melon first using a blender before cooking it? Do you discard the fibers of the winter melon i.e. those left in the strainer, or mix them in the syrup?

    • Anita says:

      Hmm.. I have never tried using blender before. But your suggestion should work Leiz. I think if using blender, the first step can be skipped, and just directly proceed to step 2, but I haven't tried to confirm this yet. The strained fibers are not mixed with syrup, but since it can be a waste to just throw them away, you can use them as yogurt topping for breakfast. :)

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