Homemade Bubble Tea Recipe

Plastic Cups With Tapioca Drinks
Kenneth Shelton / EyeEm / Getty Images
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: Serves 1
Ratings (33)

If you love going out for bubble tea, you can use this easy recipe to make a batch of your own at home. Learning to make your own bubble tea will not only save you money but will allow you to flavor the tea to your liking. And if you have any health concerns, be it allergies or diabetes, you can tailor the recipe to meet your unique needs. For instance, reduce the amount of sugar or use soy or almond milk in place of regular milk. Make the bubble tea that works best for you!

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup tea (brewed; Chinese black tea or lychee tea is good)
  • 1 cup milk (or to taste)
  • 4 ice cubes (as needed)
  • For the Tapioca Pearls:
  • 1 part tapioca pearls
  • 4 parts water (or more)
  • For the Sugar Syrup:
  • 2 parts white sugar
  • 1 part brown sugar
  • 3 parts water

How to Make It

  1. Prepare the sugar syrup for the tapioca pearls (see below).
  2. Prepare the tapioca pearls (see below)
  3. Place 3 ounces tapioca pearls in the large glass jar.
  4. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature.  Add the milk.
  5. Add the sugar syrup, milk and tea mix and the ice cubes to a cocktail shaker. Shake well. (Alternatively, you can process them in a blender, but that's not nearly as much fun!)
  6. Pour the shaken mixture into the glass with the tapioca pearls. Serve with a thick straw.

    For the Tapioca Pearls

    1. When making the tapioca pearls, which are the chief ingredient in Asian bubble teas, please note that the pearls expand considerably when cooked. Please ensure that you use a large pot. (As a rule, the more pearls cooked, the more water should be used: that is, the water to pearl ratio must be higher. For 3kgs of pearls, we recommend using as much as 6 times as much water).
    2. Boil the water. Add the pearls to the boiling water and boil for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the pearls are not sticking to each other or to the pot. Turn off heat and let the pearls steep in the water for another 30 minutes with the lid of the cooking pot on.
    3. Drain the tapioca pearls and rinse with cold water to cool them down. Place them in sugar syrup (sugar and water solution - see below). Make sure that the pearls are covered. Stir the pearls well. The pearls are now ready to enjoy.

    For the Sugar Syrup

    1. In a saucepan, bring the water to boil.
    2. Add the sugars. Reduce heat and simmer until the sugar crystals are dissolved. Remove from heat.

    Note: Please feel free to experiment with the ratio of white sugar to brown sugar and the ratio of the sugar to water.