How to Make Easy Bubble Tea (Boba Tea)
by Rachel Tan on Jun 03, 2021
How to Make Easy Bubble Tea at Home
What is bubble tea, you ask? Bubble tea is a tea-based drink that originated in Taiwan in the early 80s. The refreshing drink is most commonly made with tea, milk, sugar and tapioca balls, and has a cult-like following, much like coffee does. The tapioca balls, also known as boba, are the key ingredient that gives the drink its name "bubble tea".
Sometimes you just want to enjoy a bubble tea on the couch, right? Hello Lockdown 4.0 here in Melbourne!
Here's an easy, road-tested and fuss-free recipe for bubble tea lovers to enjoy at home.
- 8 bags of black tea or 3 tablespoons loose-leaf black tea
- 4 cups hot water
- 3/4 cup tapioca pearls
- whole milk to serve, or your choice of milk (we used oat milk)
- simple syrup to serve, or your choice of sweetener (we used brown sugar)
simple syrup (see note 1)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Prepare the tea: Steep the tea bags 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 brown 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 desired 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.
Enjoy this beverage using your We Might Be Tiny reusable Bubble Tea Straw which is wide enough for the tapioca pearls to go through.
- 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.
- Typically, leave the tea steeping the entire time so that the tea is strong and bitter. Otherwise, the tea flavour is too faint once adding milk and ice cubes to the drink. Some tea leaves definitely have a stronger bitter flavour. Feel free to remove the tea bags or tea leaves after 5 minutes if you are concerned about the bitterness of the tea.
- 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.
This recipe was originally published by Healthy Nibbles.