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How to Make Bubble Tea - a simple tutorial on how to make bubble tea at home!
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Servings: 4 drinks
Author: Lisa Lin

How to Make Bubble Tea

I used Chinese breakfast tea for my bubble tea recipe, but any other black tea or strong tasting green teas will also work! For my version of the Jasmine Green Bubble Tea, check out my recipe on Numi's blog!
In the recipe, you may notice that I use 8 tea bags to steep in just 4 cups of water. Because the tea will be watered down with milk and ice cubes, you want to start off with a pretty strong tasting tea.
If you enjoy a lot of tapioca pearls in your drinks, I recommend cooking 1 cup of tapioca pearls instead of the 3/4 cup I listed below. You can also halve ingredients for simple syrup if you don't think you'll need that much.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 8 bags of black tea or 3 tablespoons loose-leaf black tea
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca pearls
  • whole milk to serve, or your choice of milk
  • simple syrup to serve, or your choice of sweetener

For the Simple Syrup (see note 1)

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions

  • Prepare the tea: Steep the tea bags or leaves with 4 cups of freshly boiled water. Let the tea sit in water until it cools completely. (See note 2)
  • Prepare the simple syrup (if using): Add the water and sugar to a saucepan and quickly stir everything together. Heat the water on medium-high and cook until the water boils and the sugar completely dissolves. Remove the saucepan from heat and let the simple syrup cool before transferring to a jar.
  • Cook the tapioca pearls: Bring about 4 cups of water to boil and add the tapioca pearls. Stir the pearls and wait for them to float to the top. Then, cook them for another 5 minutes. Test a pearl to see if it has reached the desired level of softness. Cook the pearls for another few minutes if they are still stiff. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pearls from the hot water. Quickly rinse the pearls with water. Transfer the pearls into a bowl, and mix the pearls with a few tablespoons of simple syrup (to taste).
  • Assemble the drinks: Strain the tea into a pitcher. Divide the cooked tapioca pearls into 4 large glasses. Next, add a few ice cubes to each glass. Pour 1 cup of the tea into each glass. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons of simple syrup into each glass. Stir and taste the milk tea. Add more milk or simple syrup to your taste.
  • If you are serving the beverage to guests, have a small pitcher of milk and the jar of simple syrup ready so that each guest can adjust their drinks to their taste. The drink is usually served with large boba straws (large enough for the tapioca pearls to go through). If you don't have the straws on hand, you can use spoons to scoop out the tapioca pearls.

Notes

  1. You will likely have some simple syrup left over, which you can refrigerate for 3 to 4 weeks. You can use any kind of sugar to make simple syrup, such as light or dark brown sugar or coconut sugar. I also like to infuse my syrup with ginger by adding a few slices of ginger to the saucepan as I make the syrup.
  2. Typically, I leave the tea steeping the entire time so that the tea is strong and bitter. Otherwise, I find that the tea flavor is too faint when I add milk and ice cubes to the drink. Some tea leaves definitely have a stronger bitter flavor. Feel free to remove the tea bags or tea leaves after 5 minutes if you are concerned about the bitterness of the tea.
  3. If you are making the pearls about an hour ahead, don't drain the pearls from the saucepan. Leave them in the hot water as the heat of the water will help keep the tapioca pearls soft.

Nutrition

Serving: 1drink | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Cholesterol: 3.1mg | Sodium: 20.6mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 11.9g
Did you make this recipe?Tag @hellolisalin or leave a star rating and comment on the blog!