This popular drink, originally invented in Taiwan, is easy to make at home with many different variations. The classic version consists of creamy milk tea and chewy tapioca balls, also referred to as boba or pearls.
I went to the 626 Night Market last month and there was a vendor, Squidies, that was selling drinks in light bulb glasses. They had the longest line at the event, and even though I know it’s really gimmicky, I just had to have it. So now I have two light bulb glasses which I haven’t done much with. They are super cute though aren’t they? And I thought they’d be perfect for making bubble tea with.
Bubble tea is something I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of. I drink it at least once or twice a month. I don’t often make my own, but it is pretty easy to make at home and when you have a large group, it saves a lot of money too.
I actually didn’t realize until now that I’ve never posted a recipe for bubble tea. So here it is.
There are so many different variations of bubble milk tea and it really comes down to personal preference. You usually start with a strong brewed tea. Mr. K and I really like oolong and I also like green tea. Then you add milk and sugar. In Taiwan, they often use powdered milk and/or condensed milk. I prefer powdered milk, which I think makes the tea creamier without diluting it, and then condensed milk to sweeten. Your drink can be mixed with a spoon or with a cocktail shaker which is how it is traditionally made. The hand shaken drinks have a frothy finish and they do taste a little better.
And of course you don’t have to stick to milk tea. If you’ve been to bubble tea shops, it can be iced coffee, fruit teas, slushies, ice cream frappes, and more.
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Bubble Milk Tea
- 1/2 cup uncooked black tapioca pearls (see note)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups strong brewed hot tea of your choice
- 1/4 cup powdered milk or 1/2 cup milk
- sweetened condensed milk or sugar to taste
- Cook tapioca according to the instructions on the back of the package. Scoop tapioca from water when finished cooking and set aside into a small bowl. Stir honey into the tapioca. The honey will sweeten the tapioca and will also keep them from clumping together.
- Mix either milk or powdered milk into the hot tea. Add either condensed milk or sugar until it reaches your desired sweetness. If desired, you can add these ingredients along with 1/2 cup of ice into a cocktail shaker and shake to blend. Otherwise, you can mix with a spoon.
- Split cooked tapioca evenly between two tall glasses. Add ice. Pour in milk tea. Serve with wide straws. (The bubble tea straws can also be purchased at Chinese supermarkets.)
- You can find tapioca pearls at Chinese markets like Ranch 99.
- Nutrition estimate includes fat-free milk and does not include the optional sweeteners.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.