Skip the pricey stores and make refreshingly sweetened Bubble Tea at home! Make it once, and you’ll see how easy it is and way tastier!
Boba Milk Tea is an Asian drink that has become wildly popular due to being ridiculously delicious and of course, the sweet fun addition of tapioca pearls, also known as bubbles! Black tea, brown sugar, tapioca pearls, and milk are all you need for this perfect summertime beverage that is so fun for the whole family to enjoy.
Who Doesn’t Love Boba?!
Have you ever been out and noticed someone carrying a drink with beads in it and thought to yourself, “I need to try that!” Boba Milk Tea not only looks super fun but is really refreshing and such a treat to drink.
The black tea is lightened up by the milk and the brown sugar syrup sweetens the drink perfectly but those scrumptious tapioca pearls (boba) are seriously the star of the drink! I personally like my tea on the sweet side so I add more of the syrup. That’s the beauty of this drink- add the tea, milk, syrup, and boba in the proportions that you like, it’s all amazing!
Other Recipes to Serve with Boba Milk Tea
- If you’ve got a sweet tooth that you love indulging, especially when having special drinks, then snacking on Brown Sugar Cinnamon Monkey Bread while enjoying your tea is perfect!
- Are you making this Boba Milk Tea on a hot day? You know The Best Fruit Salad would be an amazing partner to your tea.
Tea: Pick up your favorite loose leaf black tea, such as Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey, or Assam. Pre-bagged tea also works well for this recipe and you will need 4 tea bags.
Tapioca Pearls: You will need tapioca pearls for the tea, which you can find in the baking aisle or find online.
Sugar: For a wonderful, lightly caramel flavor dark brown sugar is needed but you can also substitute light brown sugar if that’s what you have.
Milk: Whether you like half and half, milk, coffee creamer, or plant-based milk or cream, be sure to grab some for the Boba Tea.
Water and Ice: You will need a good amount of water for brewing the tea and a bit for making the syrup. You will also need enough ice for four glasses of tea.
How to Make Bubble Tea
STEP ONE: Using a large pot or teapot, bring water to a boil and then add the tea and reduce the heat to a simmer. After 2 minutes, take the tea off the heat, allow it to steep for 5 minutes and then strain the water to remove the loose leaf tea. If you are using tea bags simply discard the tea bags after 5 minutes.
STEP TWO: Once the tea has cooled to room temperature, place it in the refrigerator and start on the tapioca pearls. Prepare the tapioca pearls according to the directions on the package and then set the finished tapioca aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar and water and simmer for 3 minutes, avoiding a rapid boil or boiling over. The thickened syrup can now be poured over the tapioca pearls and left to cool.
STEP THREE: When you’re ready to serve, spoon the tapioca pearls and syrup into the bottom of a glass and then add ice. Pour one cup of tea into each glass and then top with a few tablespoons of half-n-half or milk of choice.
Tips for Success
- Even with the sweetened tapioca pearls, this Boba Milk Tea is not very sweet so if you want to add more of the syrup then go for it! This drink is completely customizable to what you like by adding as much or as little sweetness as you want.
- Half and half gives the milk tea a great richness and you get those “special drink treat” vibes, but again, use what you prefer- milk, plant-based milk, or plant-based cream. You can even include sweetened condensed milk for a 1-2 punch of creamy sweetness, instead of adding more of the brown sugar syrup!
- There are so many different teas you can try that can slightly change the Boba Tea flavor in really great ways! Start off using any black tea you like and then check out other teas, like Rooibos or even a green tea, like Matcha. You may find a tea you fall head over heels for!
- If you like to drink your tea through a straw, be sure to grab some boba straws. They’re big enough to let the tapioca pearls come up with the tea.
What is Boba Tea made out of?
Bubble Tea is a unique Taiwanese drink that is layered and typically consists of tea, milk, fruit, and of course, delicious tapioca pearls, known as “bubbles” or “boba”. There are slight variations depending on where you buy your Boba Tea, whether premade or prepackaged, but all variations will contain at least tea, milk, and bubbles. There are so many incredible ways to make Boba Tea and by enhancing the tea flavor or adding fruit you can experience a whole new Boba Tea every day!
What’s the difference between boba and bubble tea?
Generally, this type of tea is known as Bubble Tea and the tapioca pearls in the tea are known as boba. But some folks find it easier to just refer to it as Boba Tea. There really is no difference between the two except for what each person likes to call them. The tea is known by both names far and wide so you can pick which you like best and go with that!
Tea up the perfect drink for every occasion
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For the Tea
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup loose-leaf Chinese breakfast black tea (see note)
- 1/2 cup half-n-half
- In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the tea and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes. Take off the heat and steep for 5 minutes.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the tea into a large heat-proof bowl. Discard the leaves. Let the tea cool to room temperature, then place it in the fridge to chill.
- Cook the tapioca pearls per the package directions. Then place them in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
- Place the brown sugar and water into a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Place the pot over medium heat, bring it to a simmer, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly the whole time. (Be very careful as this can boil over easily.) Take the pot off the heat if it starts to rapidly boil.
- The syrup should be slightly thickened once simmered. Pour the warm syrup over the tapioca and stir to combine. Let cool to room temperature, do not refrigerate.
- To serve: Add the tapioca pearls with some of the syrup to the bottom of four large glasses. Top with ice. Add 1 cup of the tea to each glass. Add 1-2 tablespoons of half and half to each glass to your taste. Gently stir to combine.
- This boba tea is not overly sweet even though the pearls sit in brown sugar syrup. If you like it sweeter, add more of the brown sugar syrup to the glass. You can also add simple syrup to your taste.
- I like to use half and half to give the tea a little richness. Instead of half and half, you can use milk, or heavy cream.
- I used loose-leaf Chinese breakfast tea. You can use any black tea you like. You can also use tea bags, you will need 4 tea bags for this recipe.