Bubble Tea Three Ways
Making bubble tea at home is easy! This recipe introduces three popular versions, as well as tips on sourcing and cooking tapioca pearls, sweetener options, vegan alternatives, etc.
Originating from Taiwan, bubble tea is a popular tea-based, milk-flavoured, sweet, non-alcoholic drink. What makes it special is the bouncy, chewy tapioca balls in the drink that offers another interesting dimension in texture.
Its original Chinese name Zhen Zhu Nai Cha literally means pearl milk tea. Bo Ba Nai Cha , translated into bubble tea, Boba tea or simply Boba, is a more popular name nowadays.
With different ingredient combinations and ratios, bubble tea can be created in many different ways. In todays post, Im introducing three of my favourites: the classic version, the brown sugar version and the matcha version.
What Kind Of Milk Should You Use
Now, you may be wondering what kind of milk you should use? Is regular best or should you give cream in tea a try? Or, would half and half in tea taste better?
It really is all up to your preference. Cream will naturally add more creaminess to your drink and may eclipse more of the natural flavors of the tea as well. Half and half, on the other hand, may allow more of these flavors to shine through.
You should know that certain tea and iced tea recipes may use evaporated milk or condensed milk instead of regular milk. These, of course, will create a far sweeter and thicker drink as well.
Milk Tea Drinking Cultures
Do you put milk in tea? Then, youre not alone! There is plenty of milk tea drinking cultures around the world. This includes India, Britain, Hong Kong, Thailand, Qatar, Malaysia, and a whole lot more.
In some cases, milk is simply an addition. In other parts of the world, milk is just as important as tea. The amount of milk poured into the brew can be rather varying as well. Sometimes, the drinker has control over how much is contributed to the cup. Otherwise, the tea maker introduces a measured quantity to the batch.
Now that it is clear that you are in good company, lets take a look at the kind of teas that you can and cant add milk to
What Kind Of Tea Should You Use
First theres the tea blend: many purveyors of great Hong Kong Milk Tea closely guard the blend of teas they use, but its always a blend! So when in Rome Hong Kong
Ceylon is the undisputed common thread across Hong Kong Milk Tea recipes. I used a Ceylon Orange Pekoe that we had in the pantry. From there, I did a little experimenting with my mothers stash of tea to see what kind of flavors they each yielded, and I was surprised to find that the humble Lipton black tea bag, also made from Orange Pekoe, did a great job at cutting costs AND packing the right flavor.
My parents have actually been to tea farms in China, and apparently, Lipton buys up their tea dust or tea fannings, i.e. the crushed remnants from the production of the more expensive loose leaf tea. So in a weird way, you might be getting some quality stuff! To round out my tea blend, I threw in some Earl Gray for another citrusy, robust layer of flavor.
From there, theres the pesky question of tea ratios. I did a lot of tearing open of tea bags, and here are a couple of helpful tips for formulating the right Hong Kong Milk Tea blend:
- 6 cups of water boils down to about 4 1/2 cups of tea, or about 4 servings
- 2 standard tea bags equals about 1 tablespoon.
Its surprising just how much tea you need to make an authentic cup of Hong Kong Milk tea, as it is traditionally so strong. I watched countless Hong Kong Milk Tea vendors on YouTube scooping huge cups of tea to make just one large pot!
Learning How To Make Milk Teais Not Difficult At All
Making hot milk tea
Hot milk tea is prepared using water, tea, milk, and sweeteners such as honey, and you will have honey milk tea or sugar.
Your hot milk tea is now ready and it is better taken when it is hot.
Making iced milk tea
Iced tea is prepared using ice, water, teabags and condensed milk. The best tea to prepare using this method is the black tea or oolong tea, provided its strong.
- Boil water in a kettle, whether stovetop or electric. You can also use the microwave to boil the water.
- Put teabags in a cup or mug and then pour the hot boiled water inside.
- Steep the tea. The tea should be left to steep for about two minutes. You do not need to cover the cup or mug as you steep to prevent heat loss because the tea is iced and is meant to be cold.
- Remove the tea bags, add condensed milk and stir. You should add milk depending on your preference. There is no need to add a sweetener because the milk is sweet.
- Put ice in a glass until its about half to two thirds full. You can put in crushed ice or ice cubes. This way the ice is not too little as to cause no effects neither is it too much to dilute the tea.
- Pour the milk tea into the glass with ice. Now you have your iced milk tea ready. You should take it immediately when ice cold.
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Best Authentic Milk Tea Recipes
Is there anything more soothing than a cup of warm milk tea during cool autumn days? Or any days in fact. From China to Malaysia, India and Oman, Somalia and the tops of the Himalayan Plateau, milk tea is the ultimate warming and soothing drink in the world. Learn about different types of milk tea and try out our milk tea recipes to make the best authentic cup at home.
Option : Matcha Bubble Tea
A type of ground green tea originated from Japan, matcha offers a slightly sweet, earthy and refreshing flavour. Loving all things matcha, I wouldnt miss the opportunity to make a glass of matcha bubble tea.
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How To Make Boba Milk Tea At Home
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If youre looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 Before getting started, prepare the black tea and the black tapioca pearls per the package instructions. These steps can vary per brand and according to taste, so be sure to check the directions.
Step 2 When ready to prepare the drinks, fill each glass with an equal portion of tapioca pearls. Add a layer of ice on top of the boba.
Step 3 Pour in equal parts tea and milk, then sweeten with simple syrup.
Step 4 Serve with a large boba straw and enjoy!
Easy Recipe For Jasmine Milk Tea
To make your jasmine milk tea, you will need three essential ingredients:
- Jasmine Milk Tea we will use about 1 tbsp of loose leaf tea
- Milk or Creamer of Choice about 4 tbsp
- Sweetener sugar or honey, about 1 tbsp
To whip up the tea, just follow these simple steps:
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What Is Bubble Tea
Bubble tea is known by various names, including pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, boba tea, tapioca milk tea, etc. All of which refer to a tea-based drink from Taiwan that became popular in the 1980s. It combines milk tea with chewy tapioca pearls and can be enjoyed warm or chilled, though these days its mostly the latter sucked up through a big boba/fat straw.
The classic versions of this boba drink were made with black tea, oolong tea, or green tea and tapioca pearls that look like bubbles at the bottom of the glass. Though these days, there are many non-tea-based bubble tea recipes too , and bubbles and other toppings that are flavored or arent tapioca based. These include aloe vera jelly, sago, popping boba, coconut jelly, mango, strawberry, and other jelly flavors. Meaning youll never get bored.
What Is Classic Bubble Milk Tea
I grew up drinking tea, especially milk tea. As a result, Ive always been picky about my teas. While hot tea was a staple for me as a kid, the adult me prefers iced tea variations, like this bubble milk tea.
This delicious drink originates from Taiwan . The name possibly comes from the bubbles that are created by frothing the milk tea, or from the chewy tapioca pearls that are like bubbles in the tea. This drink is also known as Hong Kong style boba milk tea.
Whatever the origins of the name, the drink is now a favorite everywhere!
So today, Im going to show you how to make bubble milk tea at home.
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Can I Prepare Boba In Advance
Once you make bubble milk tea or another drink with boba pearls, its best to serve it immediately.
This is because cooked tapioca pearls continue to absorb liquid. This causes them to expand more and take on a gummy texture. Additionally, you may have trouble getting them through a straw if this drink sits for quite a while!
For the best flavor and texture, I recommend using boba immediately after making it. However, if you prepare extra tapioca pearls, you can store them in simple syrup in the fridge for up to 2 days.
How To Make Taiwanese Classic Bubble Milk Tea
What type of tea to use
There are many different versions of bubble tea. Earl grey tea, matcha tea, other green teas, oolong tea, jasmine tea and even tea bags with fruit flavors. Some of these are mixed with milk to make milk tea, and others are served plain.
Taiwanese milk tea is made with black tea. The strong tannin flavor in black tea is an important factor here.
Chinese breakfast tea is the usual choice for this bubble milk tea, likely due to its Taiwanese origins.
However, if you cant find Chinese breakfast tea, you can use a more robust black tea, such as Ceylon OP tea or Assam or a blend .
Avoid black teas that are weaker than Chinese breakfast tea, since the flavor of tea would be lost with the addition of milk.
Brewing the tea
You HAVE to brew the tea properly! This is critical for the best homemade bubble tea recipe. There are two ways to brew tea.
Hot brew tea This is the traditional way of brewing tea. For this drink, its important to brew tea that is stronger than regular tea. The hot water will help extract more of the tea flavor.
But take care not to brew it for too long and over-extract the flavor, which would result in the tea being too cloudy, and also having too much of the tannin flavor. The tea being too cloudy is not necessarily a deterrent to making milk tea however, because once you add milk, it wont make a difference.
What type of tapioca pearls to use?
How to sweeten your tea
Can I use other options besides milk?
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Nutrition: Are Tapioca Pearls Bad For You
Overall, boba tapioca pearls are delicious and fun to eat, though theyre not a rich source of nutrients. In cup boba pearls, there are around 100 calories, 25g of carbs, 2g of fiber, and thats pretty much it. And, for those who are gluten conscious, boba pearls are gluten free! Again, I tend to steer clear of calling any foods good or bad. I enjoy eating tapioca pearls, and I also recognize that theyre mainly a source of starchy carbohydrates.
Where toFind Bubble Milk Tea Pearls
I bought my black tapioca pearls online, and they conveniently came with a set of classic boba straws! This is a great set of boba tea cups, which you can purchase separately for serving if desired. You can use any cups and straws that you like, just know that those tapioca pearls will be far too thick to sip through a standard-size straw.
Add boba tapioca pearls into boiling water. Lightly stir until pearls begin to float, then cover and boil for 3 minutes.,
How To Make Bubble Tea
Bubble tea is one of my favorite things to sip on during the summer. Originating from Taiwan, bubble tea usually consists of sweetened tea with milk and the characteristic chewy tapioca balls, also known as boba . Bubble tea comes in many flavors: plain tea flavors such as black or jasmine tea fruit flavors such as strawberry or honeydew and even taro, which is a root vegetable commonly used in Asian dishes. .
While I enjoy drinking bubble tea, I dont particularly like the ones sold in the teahouse chains because they contain too much sugar. The good thing is that you can make bubble tea at home easily! In this bubble tea recipe, all you really need is tea, tapioca pearls, milk, and a sweetener.
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How To Make Brown Sugar Milk Tea
- In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat the milk along with the black tea. Careful not to have the temperature too high or youll burn your milk. Once the milk has started to simmer, turn off the heat and steep the black tea in the milk for 10 minutes. Feel free to chill the milk afterwards or enjoy it warm.
- Prepare your tapioca pearls according to the package.
- In a pot, combine the muscovado sugar with 40 ml of water and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add in the prepared tapioca pearls. Simmer until the brown sugar syrup has thickened. Simmering the cooked tapioca pearls in the syrup just adds more flavour to them.
- Remove from heat once it has thickened.
- Assemble your drink by adding half of the brown sugar syrup and tapioca to a glass. Feel free to drizzle the syrup around the edge of the glass for the tiger stripes of brown sugar syrup that Tiger Sugars Tiger Milk Tea is known for. Add half of the steeped milk to the glass then stir to combine. Repeat with the second glass.
Caffeine Content In Milk Tea
The amount of caffeine in milk tea is dependent on the type of tea used in the drink, which often is a type of black tea. Per 8-ounce cup, chai tea ranges from 60 to 120 milligrams of caffeine, while Assam black tea comes in at 80 milligrams and Darjeeling tea at 50 milligrams. It is safe to assume, though, that adding milk to a cup of tea means that the amount of actual tea consumed is less, thus lowering caffeine intake.
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How To Sweeten The Tea
As I mentioned earlier, you have control over the sweetness of your homemade bubble tea. Thats why I dont include a precise quantity of the sweetener in the recipe card below. Here are my suggestions on what to use:
- Obviously, the brown sugar bubble tea is sweetened by the brown sugar syrup that stains the glass.
- For the classic version, you may use any type of sweetener. If using sugar or honey, make sure you add it when the tea is still hot.
- For the matcha version, I recommend you use syrup as it dissolves easily in cold liquid whereas sugar and honey dont.
How To Make Tea Taste Better: 20 Ways To Add Better Flavor
Have you ever made a cup of tea that didnt taste so great, even though you were following the brewing guidelines? Some loose leaf tea just doesnt taste that great. Regardless is it because you really cannot get used to the taste, or the quality of the tea might not be as expected, or maybe its past expiry date. Whichever the reasons, you may enhance the flavor and make every tea taste better.
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How Much Milk To Add To Tea
There is no right and wrong answer here you can add as much or as little as you like. This doesnt mean that you should just add a large quantity right away, though. Instead, start by adding a minute amount. Then, taste the tea.
Do you like what you are tasting? Or, is more milk needed? If you feel like more is required, then add a little bit more continue adding small amounts until you have reached a level that you like. This strategy will make it far easier to determine just how much milk you will take in your tea.