Say the word bubble tea and you’ll notice ears perking up and heads turning wherever you are. While bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, it has become popular in many parts of the world and has blown up in North America. Many cities are full of bubble tea shops that make the delicious drink perfectly to your preferences. With different bases and toppings, you can customize bubble tea however you like! And now you can make bubble tea easily at home! There are lots of bubble tea recipes you can create, whether you want to stick to the classic bubble milk tea, or would rather switch it up. Check out our favourite bubble tea recipes and make this yummy drink at home.
What is Bubble Tea?
Bubble tea, also called boba, is a Taiwainese iced drink that consists of a tea base, milk or fruit flavouring, ice, and chewy tapioca pearls. The tapioca pearls are arguably the most notable feature of bubble tea. Boba pearls were originally used in shaved ice desserts, and paired with syrups, beans and chewy rice balls. The pearls are made from tapioca starch, an extract of the South American cassava plant, and start out white, hard and tasteless. They’re boiled inside huge, bubbling vats and steeped in sugary caramelized syrup for hours, until they’re transformed into the black tapioca pearls we know and love!
There are plenty of ways to customize your bubble tea. It starts with the base, which is usually made from black or green tea and can be personalized with syrups such as simple syrup or flavoured syrups like peach, strawberry and lychee. It’s also common for milk to be added to teas, turning them into boba milk teas. Customization is what makes bubble tea so special. Along with boba, you can also add other toppings such as grass jelly, aloe vera, sago, taro balls, red bean and whipped foam/cream.
How to Make Bubble Tea at Home in 4 Steps
Step 1: Prepare the Tea
Choose the type of tea you’d like to use for your bubble tea and steep 8 bags of tea (or three tablespoons of loose leaf tea) with 4 cups of freshly boiled water. Allow the tea to sit in the water until it cools completely. Keep in mind that you want the tea to be strong. Since you’re adding milk and ice cubes, the tea flavour can become diluted if it’s not steeped enough.
Step 2: Make the Simple Syrup
The most classic way to sweeten bubble tea is with a simple syrup. Add ½ cup water and ½ cup sugar to a saucepan and stir them together. You can use your choice of sugar, whether it’s white, brown, or coconut. Heat on medium heat until the water boils and the sugar completely dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool. You can then transfer it to a jar to use in your bubble tea.
Step 3: Get the Tapioca Pearls Ready
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the tapioca pearls, stirring them until they float to the top. Cook them for about 5 more minutes and check to see if they’re at your desired texture and softness. You can cook them for a few more minutes if you find they’re still too hard. When they’re ready, remove the pearls from the hot water with a slotted spoon and quickly rinse them with water.
Step 4: Assemble the Bubble Tea
Strain your tea into a pitcher and place the tapioca pearls into your glasses. Pour 1 cup of tea into each glass then add 1 ½ tablespoons of milk and 1 ½ tablespoons of simple syrup into each glass. You can add more milk and syrup if you like!
35 Bubble Tea Recipes We Love
1. Taiwanese Bubble Tea | Tasty
2. Brown Sugar Boba | Food 52
3. Jasmine Green Bubble Tea | Numi Tea Blog
4. Honey Milk Bubble Tea | BC Dairy
5. Matcha Bubble Tea | Real + Vibrant
6. Strawberry Rose Bubble Tea | Veggiekins
7. Taro Bubble Milk Tea | Living Fresh Daily
8. Orange Blossom Honey Bubble Tea | Thrifty Jinxy
9. Avocado Bubble Tea | Pepper Bowl
10. Milk Tea with Coffee Jelly | Baking Mischief
11. Coconut Bubble Tea | Savory Tooth
12. Mango Boba | Sprinkle Bakes
13. Boba Cold Brew | The Movement Menu
14. Thai Almond Milk Bubble Tea | Love and Olive Oil
15. Jasmine Tea Milk with Honey Boba | Thirsty for Tea
16. Mascarpone Bubble Tea | Dairy Farmers of Canada
17. Easy Red Bean Bubble Tea | Contemplating Sweets
18. Chai Bubble Tea | Numi Tea Blog
19. Brown Sugar Coconut Bubble Tea | Pastry Affair
20. Pumpkin Spice Bubble Tea | Honestly Yum
21. Spicy Mango Bubble Tea | The Gastrognome
22. Birthday Cake Bubble Tea | Veggiekins
23. Boba Pearl Coffee Milk with Palm Sugar Syrup | Much Butter
24. Bubble Tea Freakshakes | Tastemade
25. Plum Spice Bubble Milk Tea | Daily Dish Recipes
26. Thai Bubble Tea | Recipe World
27. Raspberry Peach Bubble Tea | Mildly Meandering
28. Passionfruit Mango Bubble Tea | The Viet Vegan
29. Cantaloupe Bubble Tea | Colourful Palette
30. Chocolate Rooibos Chia Seed Bubble Tea | Jeanette’s Healthy Living
31. Caramelized Bubble Milk Tea | China Sichuan Food
32. Blueberry Jam Bubble Tea | David’s Tea
33. Vegan Green Tea Bubble Tea | The Viet Vegan
34. Peaches N’ Cream Bubble Tea | Yummly
35. Bubble Milk Tea | The Spruce Eats
Making bubble tea at home isn’t as hard as it may seem! Follow these steps and recipes to make delicious boba in the comfort of your own home!
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