After the news of the circuit breaker extension and tighter social distancing measures, we can just hear the sound of all bubble tea fans’ hearts breaking as bubble tea shops have now been taken off the list of essential services. That means no more bubble tea for us until at least June 1!
Well, desperate time calls for desperate measures. If we can’t get bubble tea from our favourite shops, we’ll just have to make it ourselves, right? And the good thing it isn’t as hard as it seems.
We have put together the recipes for the most popular bubble tea flavours to help you recreate your favourite drink at home and satisfy your craving any time it strikes!
1. Classic bubble tea
Everyone has different favourite flavours of bubble tea but you can’t go wrong with a classic recipe with black milk tea and pearls. Feel free to use whatever black tea you have on hand – earl grey, assam or ceylon tea will work just as well.
- 3 to 5 black tea bags
- 1/4 quick cooking pearls (boba)
- 1 tbs honey
- 2 tbs sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tbs milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- Steep the tea bags in boiling water for about 5 minutes and leave to cool
- Boil the quick cooking pearls in boiling water for 2-3 minutes
- Rinse the cooked pearls under cold water
- Mix the pearls with 1 tbs of honey (or any other sweetener of your choice such as simple syrup or sugar)
- Add the condensed milk (adjust to taste) and milk to the tea and stir them all together
- Add the pearls and ice.
2. Vegan bubble tea
Just because you don’t drink dairy milk, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy bubble tea. This 100% vegan recipe calls for soy milk instead of cow milk, and maple syrup instead of sugar-based sweeteners.
- 30g black tapioca pearls
- 300g water
- 10g black tea leaves
- 300g soy milk
- 30 – 60g maple syrup
- Soak black tapioca overnight
- Boil black tea leaves for 1 – 2 minutes
- Add soy milk and bring to a boil
- Boil black tapioca in a separate pot for 1 – 2 minutes
- Let them cool then add into your cup together with the maple syrup
- Add the milk and enjoy
3. Hongkong-style Honey Milk Tea
This Hongkong-style honey milk tea is another OG milk tea flavour that everyone loves. The key to this recipe is use tea that is strong enough to counter the sweetness of the honey and condensed milk.
- 2 orange pekoe tea bags
- 1 cup boiling water
- 5 ice cubes
- 4 tsp sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tsp honey
See the full recipe here.
4. Brown sugar fresh milk
Of course, the ever-popular bubble “tea” flavour (it doesn’t actually have any tea in it): brown sugar fresh milk. This recipe is the easy version, using pre-made pearls that you only need to boil and sweeten.
- 150g brown sugar (for the syrup)
- 150g water
- 200g Tapioca pearl (boba)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (for the pearls)
- Add 150g brown sugar and 150g water into a pot and bring to a boil without stirring
- Pour the tapioca pearls into a separate pot and boil for 15 minutes before rinsing with cold water
- Mix the pearls and 1.2 cup brown sugar
- Add the sweetened pearls to a cup, then the syrup, ice and lastly, milk.
5. Black sugar fresh milk with homemade pearls
If you have a bit more time to spare, this recipe shows you how to make pearls from scratch
- 80g black sugar (or brown sugar)
- 90g water (for the tapioca dough)
- 150g cassava starch
- 100g black sugar
- 350g water
- Add black sugar and water into a pot and put it on low heat until the mixture simmers
- Give the mixture a stir before increasing the heat to high and bringing it to a vigorous boil, keeping the lid closed
- Remove the pot from the stove and add 150g of cassava starch in two additions
- Stir the mixture continuously until it forms a sticky dough
- Knead and roll out the dough into 1cm thick strips
- Use a knife or pastry cutter to cut the dough into equal 1cm long pieces, and roll them into small balls
- Add the finished balls into a bowl with cornstarch to prevent them sticking together
- Add 150g of tapioca pearls into a pot with 1.5l boiling water and stir for 15 minutes
- Take the pot off the heat and rinse the pearls through cold water
- Add the black sugar to 350g water and bring to a boil on high heat
- Once the sugar has melted, add the pearls into the pot and stir until the syrup thickens
- Add the pearl mixture into a cup, add ice and milk.
6. Brown sugar milk tea
If the regular brown sugar fresh milk is too sweet or milky for your taste, you can balance it out by adding some tea to the drink like this recipe.
- 10g earl grey tea leaves
- 50g hot water
- 360g milk
- 90g water
- 25g black sugar
- 108g tapioca starch
- 5g (black) cocoa powder
Black sugar syrup:
- 80g black sugar
- 85g water
Recipe: To make the cold brew milk tea:
- Steep 10g tea leaves to 50g hot water
- Add 360g milk and let sit in the fridge for 12 hours
The steps to make the tapioca pearls and black sugar syrup are similar to the above two recipes.
7. Taro Milk Tea
Taro milk tea originated from Taiwan and has quickly become a favourite in many other countries including Singapore. You can easily make your own version with taro powder and any tea flavour of your choice. To amp up the taro flavour even more? Use taro balls as toppings instead of regular pearls!
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbs of loose-leaf jasmine green tea
- 4 tbs Taro Powder
- 1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup dehydrated tapioca pearls
- 3 tbs of honey
See the full recipe on Chef Iso.
8. Matcha Milk Tea with Pearls
This recipe combines two of the most popular drinks in Asia: bubble tea and matcha, what’s not to love? The best thing is it doesn’t require any bamboo whisk or matcha bowl to make the matcha milk tea, all you need is an airtight container and cold water!
Matcha milk tea:
- 2 tsp matcha
- 2/3 cup cold filtered water
- 1 1/2 cup oat milk
- 2 cups ice
- 3/4 cup tapioca pearls
- 4 cups water
Brown sugar syrup:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 water
See the full recipe on Oh How Civilized.
9. Chocolate Milk with Cheese Foam
Looking for a decadent, treat-yourself bubble tea recipe? This chocolate milk with cheese foam and pearls will do just the trick!
- 80g tapioca pearls
- 40g sugar
- 50g water
- 25g water
- 10g cocoa powder
- 20g sugar
- 60g chocolate
- 400g milk
- 20g cream cheese
- 10g sugar
- 60g whipping cream
- 30g milk
- cocoa powder
- cacao nibs
See the full written recipe in the video descriptions here.
10. Thai milk tea
If you love Thai milk tea, why not make a bubble tea version of it? Simply combine this recipe for regular Thai milk tea with tapioca pearls or any other toppings of your choice!
- 1/2 cup Thai Tea Mix
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup half and half – or milk of choice (full-fat coconut, sweetened condensed, evaporated, etc.)
See the full recipe on The Forked Spoon.
11. Black sesame latte
If you are a big fan of the nutty, rich black sesame ice cream, you’ll love this black sesame latte. Don’t forget to add in tapioca pearls for that extra dose of decadence!
- 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup pitted medjool dates soaked in warm water until soft, then drained
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk or any dairy-free milk or your choice
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- additional sweetener of your choice
See the full recipe on What Great Grandma Ate.
Bubble iced tea
Whether you feel like drinking something light and refreshing or you are on a dairy-free diet, these iced tea recipes will definitely satisfy your craving. Simply add in tapioca pearls and you have your favourite beverage right at home!
12. Peach Iced Tea
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 ripe peaches (thinly sliced)
- 2-3 tbsp loose leaf black tea (3-4 tea bags, depending on how strong you prefer it)
- 8 cups filtered water
See the full recipe on Minimalist Baker.
13. Mango Iced Tea
- 2 Ripened Mango
- 4-5 cup Water
- 2-3 tsp Black Tea
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 4-5 tbsp Sugar or As Per Taste
- Mint Leaves for Garnishing
- Lemon Slices for Garnishing
- Ice Cubes
- See the full recipe on Binjai’s Veg Kitchen.
14. Strawberry Iced Tea
- 4 cups filtered water
- 4 tsp loose rooibos tea
Strawberry simple syrup:
- 1.5 cups strawberries, stems removed and sliced
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Fresh strawberry slices
- Fresh lemon slices
See the full recipe on Fifteen Spatulas.
15. Orange Iced Tea
- 8 cups water
- 4tsp black tea leaves (or use 3-4 tea bags)
- 1½ cups orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 cup sugar
- Ice cubes – as needed
- Orange slices, to garnish
- Mint leaves – a few sprigs, to garnish (can also use fresh rosemary)
See the full recipe on Happy And Harried.
16. Grapefruit Mint Iced Tea
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 green tea bag
- 4-5 large mint leaves
- 1 cup grapefruit juice
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar or other sweetener (optional)
- Crushed ice
- Mint leaves for garnish
See the full recipe on Cooking With A Wallflower.
Featured image credits: Jun & Tonic.