Bubble Tea is a tea-based drink that contains chewy tapioca balls for some added texture. It is sometimes called Boba Tea or Boba Milk Tea. You can find it at Asian tea shops or now you can make it at home with this easy bubble tea recipe.
The tapioca pearls, or Boba, has little flavor on their own, but their appeal is for the texture that they add to the drink.
Bubble Tea is often served with a wide straw so that you can suck up the ‘bubbles’ through it.
We’re serving our Bubble Tea in some mason jars with a wide smoothie straw.
Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.
Key to Success #1 – Make the Tea Extra Stout
I like to use English Breakfast Tea for my Bubble Tea. It has great flavor and not too bitter for my tastes.
Since we will be adding milk and ice cubes to our tea, we’re making the tea extra stout by letting it steep longer than usual.
The last thing we want is to end up with Bubble Tea that doesn’t have any tea flavor.
If you’re worried about the tea being too bitter, you can remove the tea bags from the water a little earlier than what the recipe calls for.
The best way to test the tea is to taste it with a spoon as it is steeping.
I highly recommend letting it steep a little longer so that it will have a stronger tea flavor when you combine the other ingredients.
Key to Success #2 – Cook the Boba Tapioca Pearls
If you’ve never used tapioca pearls, you can find them in the Asian section of your local supermarket or they are available on Amazon.
I get mine from Amazon and the exact variety that I use is linked below the recipe.
The tapioca pearls are dry when shipped and need to be cooked until they have softened.
They will absorb water as they cook and soften so you will need to use about 3 cups of water to 1/2 cup of dry tapioca pearls.
Boil the water then add in the pearls. Stir the tapioca pearls until they float in the water.
Next, reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer the pearls for about 5 minutes until they are softened to your liking.
If you like softer boba, you can cook it a few minutes longer.
It is best to cook the tapioca pearls right before you need to use them because they will dry out over time.
If you are cooking them in advance, place the cooked tapioca pearls into a cup of sugar water or in your simple syrup to keep them moist.
If the pearls start to get too hard, try microwaving them for 1 minute to soften them up again.
Key to Success #3 – Assemble the Drinks
We served our Bubble Tea in mason jars and with a wide smoothie straw.
To assemble the Bubble Tea, start by putting 1 cup of tea into each jar or glass.
Next, divide the tapioca pearls between the two jars and add a few ice cubes.
From here, you can customize each glass of Bubble Tea depending on your preferences.
Add in one or two tablespoons of your favorite milk. It can be whole milk, low-fat milk, almond milk, oat milk, non-dairy milk, or even sweetened condensed milk.
Finally, add in your sweetener of choice.
If you are making simple syrup, you will need one or two tablespoons of syrup.
You can also use honey, monkfruit, Splenda, granulated sugar, or any other sweetener that you like.
Stick your straw in it and your treat is ready to enjoy!
Save this Bubble Tea recipe to your favorite Morning Drinks board or your Tea Recipes board.
- 4 bags black tea, such as English Breakfast Tea
- 5 cups water (divided)
- 1/2 cup tapioca pearls
- milk (any variety, such as whole, low-fat, almond, dairy-free)
- sweetener (any variety, such as simple syrup, honey, monkfruit)
For the Simple Syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add in tea bags and allow to steep for 15-30 minutes. Remove tea bags.
- While tea is steeping, combine 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool completely.
- In a clean saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add tapioca pearls. Stir often until the tapioca pearls float to the top of the water. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for about 5 minutes until the tapioca pearls are soft.
- Remove the pan from heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the tapioca pearls from the water. If not using right away, cover the pearls with simple syrup to keep them soft.
- To assemble the drinks, pour 1 cup of tea into each glass. Divide the tapioca pearls evenly between the glasses. Add a few ice cubes. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of milk of your choice. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of simple syrup, honey, or the sweetener of your choice, to taste. Serve with a wide straw that is large enough to let the tapioca pearls pass through.
- You can use any variety of black tea that you like. Green tea would work as well. We like ours with plenty of tea flavor so this is why we let the tea bags steep for so long. You can remove them after 5 minutes if you want less of a tea flavor.
- You can use white sugar or brown sugar or a combination of both in the simple syrup.
- Cooking tapioca pearls is a lot like cooking pasta. You can choose how chewy or soft you want them to be. Simmering for 5 minutes after the tapioca pearls start to float will yield a fairly soft bite. You can adjust to your preference.
- Tapioca pearls will get hard if they dry out. They are best if used within a few hours of cooking. If you refrigerate them, be sure to cover them with liquid to keep them soft.
- If your tapioca pearls start to harden after a few hours, try microwaving them with liquid for about 1 minute. Check them and stir often!
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Tapioca Pearl - Black Sugar Flavor (Ready in 5 Minutes) 8.8oz(250g)
Cooks Standard 3-Quart Multi-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Saucepan with Lid
Premium Regular Mouth Mason Jar 32 oz by Soul, Crystal Clear Glass, Airtight Stainless Steel Lid, Dishwasher Safe, BPA Free, Drinking Jar, Canning Jar [3rd Gen] [1-Pack]
[100 Count] Jumbo Smoothie Straws - 8.5" High - Assorted Colors
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 92gFiber: 0gSugar: 52gProtein: 4g
Nutrition Information Provided For Educational and Informational Purposes Only.