How To Make Bubble Tea At Home
Bubble tea or boba is the latest trendy beverage to take the world by storm. Everyone is loving it – but what if you can’t find any shops nearby? Or if you’re sceptical of the ready-made ones in stores?
Have no fear! This definitive guide will tell you about everything you need to know about this delicious drink and even how to make it at home!
If You Wanted To Make Milk Tea Instead You Can Brew
How to make vanilla milk tea boba. Boba shops and cafes have this drink. For a creamy tea, add a splash of your favorite milk or stir in some milk powder. While all of the other ingredients form the base for bubble tea , the true flavor comes from the flavoring ingredient such as a syrup or powder.
It started off with an obsession with taro boba smoothies in the early 2000s, and more recently, fresh taro milk tea from one of my favorite boba shops 7 leaves cafe. The chewy tapioca pearls are made from partially cooked tapioca flour, a starch extracted from the cassava root. Add a spoonful of brown sugar soaked boba pearls and you have a very delicious milk tea.
To make the slushie, choose your desired flavor and blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Rotate the jar around to coat the sides with the syrup. Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, milk tea, black pearl tea, tapioca tea, and zhen shu nai cha, originated in taiwan.
Pour into the prepared glass and serve with wide straws. The smell of vanilla is a wake up of a sweet flavorful scent which asks to be tasted, and tasted some more. The best of both worlds!
Its summer and we need more light drinks like this. Add personality to your caramel milk tea. With its delicate, sweet and smooth flavors, jasmine tea, in general, is very similar to an oolong tea but sweeter and even more delicate!
It may be created using extracts or made from scratch. Add a bubble tea straw and enjoy!
Coconut Bubble Tea Savory Tooth
For The Hojicha Milk Tea :
Place hojicha powder into a small bowl or measuring cup. Slowly pour and whisk the cold water into the powder. Whisk vigorously to ensure powder is dissolved.
Measure the cold milk into a large measuring cup or pitcher. Stir the tea concentrate into the milk. If not making the drinks immediately, place into the fridge to keep cold until needed. Stir tea before pouring into glasses.
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What Are Boba Tapioca Pearls
The term boba generally translates to bubbles or big pearls, referring to the chewy black tapioca pearls at the bottom of every cup. Boba pearls are made from the starch of the cassava root, also known as tapioca starch. Its rich in carbohydrates, yet stripped of most other nutrients like fiber and minerals. Granted, boba pearls contain minimal-to-no added sugars, just loads of starchy carbs. Thats why bubble tea pearls are very chewy but sort of flavorless.
Big Stainless Steel Straws
The oversize straws are a must-purchase item. You see, in order to eat the boba balls at the bottom of your drink, you need large straws to suck them up. And believe me, the little straws arent big enough. The cool thing about these stainless steel straws is that they are perfect for fruit smoothies as well. I love that they are reusable, and they come with their little cleaning brush.
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Add Your Flavorings Now
In this step, you can add any other flavor that you want to your drink. You can use things like vanilla extract, coconut extract, or almond extract I like to add a little bit of caramel syrup to mine! The caramel syrup will make the color of your boba tea much richer and darker. You can also add different types of milk if you want.
Making Bubble Tea With Powder
Most bubble tea powders are 3 in 1 meaning that they have 3 ingredients already in them. For example, taro bubble tea powder will have the taro flavoring, non-dairy creamer and sugar already mixed together in the bag.
Once you have found quality powder and tapioca , now you need to get your method right. Bubble Tea can be made with many different bases Green Tea, Black Tea, Earl Grey Tea or even hot water. The base will change the taste of the drink and some flavored powders are better with certain bases than others. One of my favorites is Jasmine Green Tea with Taro Bubble Tea powder!
Tapioca Pearls takes the longest to cook so you should start that first:
Once your boba is cooked its now time to brew your tea . Its really important that you use HOT tea or HOT water when mixingyour Bubble Tea Powder. Otherwise it wont dissolve completely and will end up lumpy!
For a single serving, boil 350 ml of water and add 6 grams of Green Tea. Let it brew for 4 minutes.
This will make double strength tea because you will be mixing it with ice later which will dilute it.
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Bubble Tea With Powder Recipe
Can You Make It Ahead Of Time
You can make the tea ahead of time, but we recommend only making the amount of boba pearls you are planning to consume. Tapioca pearls can be stored in sugar syrup for about 4-6 hours at room temperature. However, the longer it is out, the more mushy it will get. We don’t recommend putting it in the fridge because it will harden and won’t have the same soft, chewy, gummy like texture.
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Cook The Tapioca Pearls
In a medium sized pot over medium-high heat, bring water to a rolling boil and add tapioca pearls. Stir pearls and let them cook for about 10 minutes. Pearls will float to top when they are done cooking.
Remove from heat, cover pot, and let pearls sit in hot water for an additional 10 15 minutes, or until desired level of chewiness is reached.
Drain and rinse pearls under cold water and transfer to a bowl.
What Are The Bubbles
The bubbles in bubble tea are tapioca pearls. Tapioca pearls are dark little balls of starch that can be made to vary in color and in texture depending on the type of flavoring and starch used to make them. Typically most tapioca pearls are made from tapioca starch taken from the cassava root.
Tapioca pearls by themselves are not always the most flavorful, which is why they are served in something sweet . You can also sweeten them even more by soaking them in a simple syrup before serving.
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How To Store Tapioca Pearls
If you have any dry, unused tapioca pearls, I like to keep them in an airtight container and keep them in my refrigerator to keep them extra fresh. In my fridge, they last a couple months.
For cooked pearls, I would eat those up ASAP because the longer you keep them out, the gummier they become due to the tapioca starch.
How To Make Bubble Milk Tea:
For a traditional boba, then a black tea base is the norm. However, you can also use a variety of herbal teas, flavoured milks and even juices/smoothies as your drink base.
If making a tea then simply steep the tea bags/tea leaves in warm milk and leave this to chill in the fridge until you want to use it.
For my recipe, I decided to use this Bantha milk AKA Blue Milk, as my base. This drink is a sweet butterfly pea flower and lavender coconut milk and the combination of flavours with the pearls is delicious.
Add the warm sugary boba to a cup or glass and roll the cup/glass to coat the walls with melted sugar.
Then add ice cubes and your liquid the cold brew tea/iced tea, flavoured milk, juice or smoothie.
You can also top it with some whipped cream and then serve.
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Option : Brown Sugar Bubble Tea
Brown sugar bubble tea is increasingly popular in recent years thanks to its unique marble look and nice caramel taste.
To create the marble stains on the glass, youll need to cook a rich brown sugar syrup.
For this version, I choose to use hot milk, instead of hot water, to brew the black tea. It tastes richer thus pairs well with the brown sugar syrup. That said, please feel free to use the normal tea with a little milk.
What Is Sugar Syrup
Sugar or simple syrup is sugar, usually white, dissolved in water. Use about 100 grams of sugar on 50ml of water and dissolve over low heat. You can store it in the fridge for at least 1-2 weeks. A fun alternative to a regular sugar syrup is a flavored sugar syrup. You can make it using tea leaves too. For making brown sugar syrup use brown sugar.
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Making Bubble Tea For Kids
Bubble tea is traditionally served with thick straws which allow you to eat the tapioca pearls as you drink.
If youre not a seasoned bubble tea drinker, these thick straws can actually pose a choking hazard as the tapioca pearls can suddenly become lodged in your throat if you sip too quickly. For this reason, I avoid giving these thick straws to children weve had other choking incidents in the past so I am extra careful on this point!
When making bubble tea for my kids, I serve it to them in a small glass with a regular straw for sipping the tea, and a teaspoon for eating the tapioca pearls. They are completely happy with this method, especially since the spoon allows them to eat the tapioca pearls more quickly.
Why Make It At Home
You might be wondering why you should make bubble tea at home. After all, there are dozens of vendors in Southeast Asia, and many chains in North America and Europe. Why would you need to make it at home? Well, there are many good reasons to do so!
For one, store-bought bubble tea may contain many harmful ingredients, such as hydrogenated palm oil and dangerous chemical sweeteners. Even traces of chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, have been found in some store-bought boba tea.
Another reason is saving money! Making boba pearls and the drink as a whole at home is much cheaper than buying them from shops.
In addition, homemade tapioca pearl drinks can be more versatile in flavour and type than those bought from shops.
However, we think that the most convincing reason is that you can control the calorie count that is in your cup of boba drink. When you are your own bobarista of your bubble tea drink, then you can fine-tune the ingredients and their amounts to best fit your taste buds, but also your current diet plans!
We at Honest Food Talks think that homemade is better than store-bought, which is why we have written this ultimate guide!
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What Type Of Tea To Use
Bubble tea is traditionally made with a strong black tea with a distinct tannin flavour. My preference is Jasmine tea or Chinese breakfast tea, but you can also use Ceylon or Assam . English breakfast tea is also a good option.
For a milk bubble tea, simply add enough milk to taste.
I like it when you can actually taste the tea flavour in bubble tea, but I know many who prefer a more fruit-based drink, especially young kids.
For young kids, I typically use a fruit-flavoured iced tea, which means that all I have to cook are the tapioca pearls.
What Kind Of Tea Can I Use
You will want to use a strong flavored black tea. The tea will have to stand up to the added cream to give your bubble tea flavor. The most classic flavor of Bubble Tea is straight black tea, such as an Earl Gray or breakfast tea. You can also use a more unique strongly flavored tea to match your personal tastes. Below are some fun variations to try:
- Jasmine Tea
- Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream
- Almond Milk
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Why This Is The Best Brown Sugar Milk Tea Recipe:
- It looks fancy but its easy to make. This might be the fanciest looking boba tea recipe but its also the simplest to make.
- It can be made vegan and dairy-free. Replace the milk with your favorite dairy- free milk for a bubble tea that everyone will enjoy.
- Its way cheaper than buying it from the store. Theres no need to spend $7 on a bubble tea that you can easily make at home.
Where To Start
If you have white boba, I have a separate post about how to cook white tapioca pearls. While it is very similar, there are some brand-specific differences which could matter if you happened to buy those.
If your package of tapioca pearls comes with instructions, following that is your best bet since cooking methods and times can vary greatly between brands.
If the silly manufacturers sent you packing with a bag of boba without instructions for some reason, the 30 & 30 method below is a good start, since it worked for most brands of boba I tested, whether it required a slight time reduction, or multiple rounds.
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How To Make It
This is such an easy recipe I cant really think of many things that can go wrong: you just need a strong black tea, brown sugar, milk and heavy cream if desired. Ice to make it extra chilled.
Brew black tea. Boil the water. Pour the boiling water over the tea or tea bags, and steep for 5 minutes. Let it cool for about 10 minutes.
Add brown sugar. Remove the tea bags/tea leaves and stir in the brown sugar. You can use dark brown sugar or light brown sugar.
Add milk and heavy cream. If using dairy, prefer using whole milk for this recipe. Its smoother and makes the black tea even more delicious, as it hides its bitter notes along with the brown sugar. If using plant milk, almond and cashew milk are great matches for this recipe. Skip the heavy cream if making a vegan/dairy-free version.
Whip remaining heavy cream. Its the perfect topping for your milk tea. Stop whipping it before you get peaks: you dont want it to sit on top of your tea, you want it to blend with your delicious black tea milk.
Honey Milk Tea Benefits
Nutritionists widely acknowledged that the natural sweetener is one of the healthiest foods around today. The polyphenols and phenols in the tea can also fight against medical issues such as heart disease. Unfortunately, it does not make honey milk tea, or honey boba a remarkably healthy drink.
You can use raw, unfiltered honey, which contains bee pollen that gives the natural sweetener its massive health benefits to make boba. Even still, that will not help.
Tapioca pearls are not healthy because of it is high in carbohydrates. In addition, it is also high in calories. Unfortunately, tapioca pearls has no vitamins, no nutritional values, and little minerals.
If you prepare your beverage with whole milk, it adds to the fat and calories. In other words, boba has no real health benefits, but only its taste. Adding honey will not get you the health benefits you want.
Does it mean you should stop taking honey boba? Of course, not! However, it is not advisable to make it your daily diet.
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How To Cook Tapioca Pearls
There are two types of tapioca pearls quick cooking and raw. The quick cooking version will cook in about 15 to 20 minutes and the raw tapioca pearls can take up to 45 minutes to soften. Then depending on your preference and the type of tapioca pearls you use, you may want to rinse them and soak them in simple syrup to sweeten them up.
I personally recommend you use the quick cooking tapioca pearls I bought . You will need to boil them in water for about 15 minutes, they are done when they float to the top. You will then remove them from the heat, cover the pot, and let the pearls sit in the hot water for an additional 10 15 minutes.
They are done when they reach the desired level of chewiness. Drain and rinse pearls under cold water and transfer to a bowl.