Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea
5 from 1 vote
Cool and creamy, bubble tea is a delightful Taiwanese drink that has become popular worldwide. Impress your family and friends with your homemade bubble tea. Enjoy the unique texture of tapioca in this delicious drink together.
Bubble Tea

As a tea lover, I am ecstatic to share my new bubble tea recipe with you. This bubble tea recipe is quick and easy to follow, and you can customise it to your preferences.  

Bubble tea has grown so much in popularity over the past year and with its never-ending flavours, it’s not hard to see why.  

I absolutely love my desi tea. Although my husband has had a recent obsession with green tea in his bid to be healthier, (it’s not working out very well for him, but he’s trying), so we both have been drinking green tea. 

However, I thought I would change up our tea routine by recreating the popular bubble tea.  

Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, is a popular Taiwanese drink. It is a sweet, refreshing tea-based drink served with chewy tapioca pearls, also known as boba.  

I see it all the time when I go out to cafes and restaurants, and I have tried it a few times. It always turns out to be way too sweet, so it’s much better to make it home.  

You can adjust it how you like at home. My husband and I prefer not to use sugar, as we usually add honey instead. However, for simplicity reasons, I’ve used sugar in the recipe.  

The main component of bubble tea is the tapioca pearls, which is what makes it different to other teas. In simple terms, tapioca pearls are small, chewy balls made from tapioca starch. 

Usually, they are black or translucent with a gummy texture when cooked. You can get them in so many varieties that you’ll get tired of looking! 

When cooking tapioca pearls, it is important that you don’t overcook them. Overcooking them can cause them to lose their texture and flavour. You want them to be chewy and soft, but not mushy. 

Once you’ve cooked them, give them a quick rinse under cold water. This helps to remove any excess starch and prevents them from sticking together. 

Typically, I use whole milk, but I find that condensed milk makes for a much creamier texture. For vegans, almond milk is a great substitute and the bubble tea will taste just as good. 

There are loads of flavours of bubble tea out there, the most popular ones include matcha bubble tea and taro bubble tea. Experiment with the flavours and you’ll be sure to find one you love.  

If you love fruity tea add fruit syrups or purees to your bubble tea. I’ve also added a splash of vanilla extract a few times to my bubble tea to give it that extra flavour boost. 

As with all tea, you should drink bubble tea as soon as you make it. If left to sit too long, the tapioca pearls can harden. Also, the drink can become too watery if the ice starts to melt. 

Impress your family and friends with your homemade bubble tea and enjoy a delicious and fun drink together. 

What Ingredients to Use & Why

Hey there! Bubble Tea, huh? Sounds like a refreshing drink for a hot day. Let’s dive right into the ingredients and why they make this drink so amazing!

Tea bags (black tea or green tea) – The backbone of Bubble Tea. Without tea, it’s just… well, bubble water? Anyway, tea is packed with antioxidants and has a lot of health benefits. Green tea is known for boosting metabolism and black tea can help lower the risk of heart disease. If you’re not a fan of caffeine, you can always use decaf tea bags.

Granulated Sugar – This adds sweetness to the tea and balances out the bitterness of the tea. We all know that sugar isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, so if you want to make this drink a bit healthier, you can use honey, agave nectar, or any other sweetener of your choice.

Milk – This adds a creamy texture to the tea and also helps cut down the bitterness of the tea. You can use any type of milk you prefer, whether it’s whole milk, almond milk, or even coconut milk.

Tapioca Pearls – The bubbles in Bubble Tea! These are little balls made from tapioca starch that are cooked and then added to the tea. They add a fun texture to the drink and are a great source of carbohydrates. If you can’t find tapioca pearls, you can also use boba pearls or even chia seeds as a substitute.

Ice cubes – The final ingredient! These help cool down the tea and create that frothy texture when shaken. If you don’t have ice cubes, you can always use frozen fruit or even frozen tea cubes.

So, there you have it! The breakdown of all the ingredients in Bubble Tea. Now, go forth and make yourself a refreshing drink that’s packed with flavour and fun textures!

Exploring Tea Options for Your Bubble Tea

As a die-hard bubble tea fan, I love experimenting with different tea bases to create unique flavour profiles. The original recipe calls for black or green tea, but let me tell you, there are countless other teas you can use to enhance your bubble tea experience!

First off, you can try using oolong tea or jasmine tea. Both have distinct flavours that add a delightful twist to your drink. Oolong offers a fruity and floral taste, while jasmine adds a gentle, sweet aroma that complements the creamy milk.

If you’re a fan of fruity flavours, try incorporating fruit teas like peach, passionfruit, or strawberry. These options infuse your drink with natural fruit flavours that can be delightfully refreshing. You can even experiment with blending tea bags – mix a black tea with a fruit tea to find your perfect balance.

Another option is to dive into the world of herbal teas. Chamomile, hibiscus, or mint tea can transform your bubble tea into a whole new drink. While herbal teas lack caffeine, they provide intriguing flavour profiles, making your drink more adventurous.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – what about chai? Chai is a fantastic choice for bubble tea! The blend of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger adds warmth and complexity, making it perfect for those cosy afternoons.

When experimenting, keep in mind that stronger-flavoured teas may require adjustments to sugar or milk ratios. Taste as you go, and don’t be afraid to make changes. Remember, bubble tea is all about personal preference, and the sky’s the limit!

Creating a Vegan or Dairy-Free Bubble Tea

Being a food lover and an advocate for inclusive recipes, I’m always on the lookout for ways to cater to different dietary needs. If you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or simply looking for dairy-free alternatives, you’ll be happy to know that bubble tea is super adaptable!

To create a dairy-free version of bubble tea, simply swap out the milk for a plant-based alternative. There are so many options available these days, and each one brings its own unique flavour and texture to the mix.

Almond milk is a popular choice, with its mild nutty taste and creamy texture. Soy milk, on the other hand, is richer and slightly sweeter, making it ideal for those who enjoy a sweeter drink.

Coconut milk is another fantastic option. It adds a tropical twist to your bubble tea while providing a rich, creamy mouthfeel. If you’re looking for something lighter, consider using oat milk or rice milk, which have subtler flavours and thinner consistencies.

When selecting plant-based milk, it’s essential to choose an unsweetened version to avoid over-sweetening your bubble tea. If you prefer a sweeter drink, you can always adjust the sugar levels to your taste.

And there you have it! With a few simple swaps, you can enjoy a delicious vegan or dairy-free bubble tea that suits your dietary needs and tastes absolutely amazing.

Healthier Sweetening Alternatives for Bubble Tea

While indulging in a sugary treat is undoubtedly delightful, I know many of you are looking for healthier ways to enjoy your favourite bubble tea. The good news is, you can easily swap out the granulated sugar for more nutritious alternatives without sacrificing taste!

One of my favourite natural sweeteners is honey. It provides a subtle sweetness and a hint of floral flavour. Plus, it’s rich in antioxidants, making it a healthier choice. To incorporate honey, simply stir it into the hot tea until it dissolves, just as you would with sugar.

Maple syrup is another fantastic option. Its earthy, caramel-like flavour adds depth and complexity to your bubble tea.

As a bonus, maple syrup contains essential minerals and antioxidants. To use maple syrup in your bubble tea, mix it into the hot tea until it blends seamlessly with the liquid.

Agave nectar is also an excellent alternative for those seeking a low-glycemic sweetener. It’s sweeter than sugar, so you’ll need less of it to achieve the desired level of sweetness. Just like honey and maple syrup, simply mix agave nectar into the hot tea until it dissolves.

For those who prefer calorie-free sweeteners, stevia or monk fruit extract can be used. These natural sweeteners have no impact on blood sugar levels, making them a popular choice for those monitoring their sugar intake.

Be cautious with the quantity, as these sweeteners can be much sweeter than sugar. Start with a small amount and adjust to your taste preference.

When experimenting with alternative sweeteners, remember that each one has its own distinct flavour profile. It’s essential to taste your tea and make adjustments as needed to create the perfect balance between sweetness and tea flavour.

Storing Leftover Tapioca Pearls and Their Shelf Life

As an avid bubble tea maker, I’ve often found myself with leftover tapioca pearls. Luckily, they can be stored for later use, but it’s essential to follow the proper storage methods to ensure they remain fresh and chewy.

First and foremost, never store cooked tapioca pearls in the refrigerator, as they will become hard and lose their pleasant texture. Instead, place any leftover pearls in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag, making sure to remove as much air as possible. Store them at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and heat.

Cooked tapioca pearls can be stored for up to 24 hours. However, their texture will degrade over time. For the best taste and texture, it’s best to use them within 4-6 hours of cooking.

As for uncooked tapioca pearls, they have a much longer shelf life. Keep them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. In their original packaging, they can last for several months.

If you’ve opened the package, transfer the remaining pearls to an airtight container to maintain freshness. Uncooked tapioca pearls should last for up to a year when stored correctly.

Remember, always check for signs of spoilage, such as mould, off smell, or discolouration, before using your stored tapioca pearls. When in doubt, it’s best to discard and replace them with a fresh batch.

Preparing Tea Mixture and Tapioca Pearls in Advance for Quick Assembly

As a busy foodie, I understand the need for time-saving tricks, and bubble tea is no exception. While it’s true that fresh, warm tapioca pearls have the best texture, you can prepare them in advance to streamline the assembly process later on.

To prepare tapioca pearls ahead of time, cook them according to the recipe instructions. Once they’re done, drain and rinse them under cold water. Then, transfer the pearls to a container and cover them with a sugar syrup or honey mixture to keep them moist and chewy. Seal the container and store it at room temperature. These prepped pearls should be used within 24 hours for optimal texture.

As for the tea mixture, you can brew the tea and dissolve the sugar ahead of time. Allow the tea to cool down completely, then transfer it to a container or pitcher and store it in the refrigerator.

The prepared tea can be kept for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to enjoy your bubble tea, simply shake the tea with your choice of milk and ice, and add the prepared tapioca pearls to the mix.

By preparing the components in advance, you’ll have everything you need to whip up a delicious bubble tea in mere minutes. Perfect for those busy days when you need a quick pick-me-up!

Alternative Toppings and Add-Ins for Bubble Tea

Variety is the spice of life, and bubble tea is no exception. While tapioca pearls are the classic go-to, there are plenty of alternative toppings and add-ins to elevate your bubble tea game.

Popping boba is a fun and colourful alternative to traditional tapioca pearls. These fruit-flavoured juice-filled spheres burst in your mouth, adding a delightful burst of flavour and texture to your drink.

They come in a range of flavours, such as mango, lychee, or strawberry, allowing you to mix and match with your tea base.

Another fantastic option is jelly toppings. Fruit jellies, grass jelly, or even coffee jelly can add a unique chewiness and extra flavour to your bubble tea. These jellies come pre-cut and ready to use, making them a convenient choice for bubble tea enthusiasts.

If you’re a fan of the creamy, rich texture of pudding, consider adding custard pudding to your drink. This smooth, velvety addition pairs well with black or green tea and adds an extra layer of indulgence.

For those who love chewy mochi, try adding small mochi pieces to your bubble tea. These soft, glutinous rice balls complement the drink’s texture and add a subtle sweetness.

Don’t forget about fresh fruit! Adding fruit chunks or puree can transform your bubble tea into a refreshing, fruity concoction. Mango, strawberry, or peach are just a few examples of fruits that can take your drink to the next level.

When experimenting with alternative toppings and add-ins, let your creativity run wild. Mix and match different combinations to discover your perfect bubble tea concoction.

Adjusting the Sweetness Level of Bubble Tea

One of the beauties of bubble tea is its adaptability. You can easily adjust the sweetness level to your personal preference, ensuring every sip is a perfect balance of flavours.

To modify the sweetness, start by reducing the amount of sugar in the initial brewing process. You can always add more sugar or sweetener later if needed. Taste the tea before adding milk, and adjust the sugar content accordingly.

Another way to control the sweetness is by using a sugar syrup or honey mixture for the tapioca pearls. By soaking the pearls in a less sweet solution, you can subtly reduce the overall sweetness of your drink.

When using alternative sweeteners, like honey or agave, it’s crucial to adjust the quantities to suit your taste buds. These natural sweeteners can have different sweetness levels compared to sugar, so be sure to start with a smaller amount and gradually add more if needed.

Finally, remember that the type of milk you use can impact the sweetness of your bubble tea. Some plant-based milk, like almond or soy milk, may have a slightly sweeter taste. Be mindful of this when making adjustments to your drink’s sugar content.

By customizing the sweetness level, you can create a tailor-made bubble tea that suits your palate perfectly.

Nutritional Facts for Bubble Tea

Understanding the nutritional value of your favourite treats is essential for maintaining a balanced diet. Bubble tea, while delicious, can be high in calories and sugar if not prepared mindfully.

A typical 16-ounce serving of bubble tea (made with black or green tea, milk, sugar, and tapioca pearls) contains around 300-400 calories, largely due to the sugar content and tapioca pearls.

The exact calorie count can vary based on the type of milk and sweetener used, as well as the number of tapioca pearls added to the drink.

To reduce the calorie content, consider using a lower-calorie milk option like skim milk or plant-based milk, such as almond or oat milk. Additionally, using alternative sweeteners, like stevia or monk fruit extract, can also help cut down on calories without sacrificing taste.

Bubble tea does contain some nutrients, particularly if made with antioxidant-rich tea leaves like black or green tea. The milk component also provides some calcium and, depending on the type of milk used, varying amounts of protein.

However, it’s important to remember that bubble tea should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Using Fruit Teas or Flavoured Teas for a Unique Bubble Tea Twist

If you’re looking to put a spin on traditional bubble tea, experimenting with fruit teas or flavoured teas is a fantastic way to do so. These teas can introduce a whole new world of flavours and aromas, making your drink even more enjoyable.

Fruit teas, such as apple, blueberry, or raspberry, can provide a subtle fruitiness that pairs beautifully with the creamy milk component. When using fruit teas, consider using less sugar or sweetener, as the tea itself may already have a hint of natural sweetness.

Flavoured teas, like Earl Grey or vanilla black tea, can add an extra layer of depth and complexity to your bubble tea. Earl Grey, with its distinct bergamot flavour, imparts a slightly citrusy note that’s both refreshing and fragrant.

Vanilla black tea, on the other hand, adds a touch of warmth and creaminess that complements the milk perfectly.

When using fruit or flavoured teas, it’s essential to adjust the sugar content and milk ratio as needed. Stronger-flavoured teas may require less sugar to avoid overpowering the delicate tea flavours. As always, taste as you go and tweak the recipe to suit your preferences.

Creating a Frozen or Blended Version of Bubble Tea

During those hot summer days, there’s nothing better than a cold, refreshing beverage to cool you down. Turning your bubble tea into a frozen or blended treat is not only delicious but also super simple!

To create a frozen bubble tea, start by brewing your tea and dissolving the sugar as usual. Allow the tea to cool completely. Once cooled, pour the tea into ice cube trays and freeze until solid.

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen treat, blend the tea ice cubes with your choice of milk and a handful of regular ice cubes until smooth and slushy. Add the tapioca pearls to a glass and pour the frozen tea mixture over them. Serve with a wide straw and enjoy!

For a blended bubble tea, follow the standard recipe but use more ice cubes when shaking the tea and milk together. Instead of shaking, blend the tea, milk, and ice in a blender until smooth and frothy. This method creates a thicker, creamier texture that’s perfect for sipping through a wide straw.

Whichever version you choose, frozen or blended bubble tea is a delightful way to indulge in your favourite drink while beating the heat. Cheers to a frosty, satisfying treat!

Check Out These Other Recipes

If you enjoyed this Bubble Tea recipe, then I assure you, your palate is going to dance with delight when you try these other fantastic beverage recipes. Each of these recipes shares that wonderful blend of authentic Taiwanese cuisine with a twist, making them the perfect companions to your newfound Bubble Tea love.

Firstly, my Green Tea is a classic that needs a little introduction. Delicate, light, and refreshing, it’s a beverage that stands in perfect contrast to the rich, milky goodness of Bubble Tea. The recipe is simple, the aroma is invigorating, and it’s just the thing you need to cleanse your palate and soothe your mind.

Taking the tea route further, we head over to the subcontinent with the aromatic Indian Tea recipe. This chai is a symphony of spices, milk, and a strong brew of tea.

Slightly heavier than Green Tea, it shares the warmth and comfort of Bubble Tea, making it a great alternative for those who want a change of pace. It’s a classic Indian staple, but its appeal is truly universal.

If you’re looking to try something a little different, but still in the realm of Taiwanese cuisine, you can’t miss the Mango Lassi. This Indian subcontinent drink, prepared by blending yoghurt, water, spices and sometimes, fruit, could be a great follow-up.

Although it’s technically a smoothie, its thick, creamy texture and refreshing tang of mango is an irresistible treat that offers a slight deviation from your bubble tea routine.

Have you ever tried Falooda? This is another Asian delicacy that’ll take your beverage game to a whole new level. A cold dessert-like drink, it’s got a bit of everything: sweet rose syrup, rich ice cream, silky vermicelli, and a smattering of basil seeds that bring a unique texture.

It’s a symphony of flavours and textures not too far from the world of Bubble Tea.

And finally, there’s the Oreo Milkshake. You might think it’s quite a leap from Bubble Tea, but hear me out. It’s a creamy, indulgent drink with bits of crushed Oreo cookies, and if you’re a fan of Tapioca pearls in your Bubble Tea, you’ll love the crunch of Oreo in this shake.

It’s a fun, western take on the idea of texture in drinks and is sure to be a hit.

Do try these recipes and let me know what you think in the comments section. I love hearing your thoughts and experiences with these drinks, and I’m always here to answer any questions you might have. Until then, happy sipping!

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea

by Nabeela Kauser
Cool and creamy, bubble tea is a delightful Taiwanese drink that has become popular worldwide. Impress your family and friends with your homemade bubble tea. Enjoy the unique texture of tapioca in this delicious drink together.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Taiwanese
Servings 2
Calories 217 kcal


  • 2 Tea Bags Black tea or green tea
  • 300 ml Water
  • 50 g Granulated Sugar
  • 100 ml Milk
  • 50 g Tapioca Pearls
  • Ice Cubes


  • To make the tea, bring 300ml of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the tea bags and let them steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and stir in sugar until it dissolves.
  • In a separate pot, boil 500ml of water. Once boiling, add tapioca pearls and gently stir. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the tapioca pearls with cold running water.
  • Combine the brewed tea, milk, and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake well until the mixture is frothy and well-mixed.
  • Add a handful of tapioca pearls to each glass. Pour the tea mixture over the pearls and stir gently. Serve immediately with a wide straw.


  • The amount of sugar can be adjusted to personal preference, and other sweeteners like honey can be also used instead.
  • For a vegan version, use non-dairy milk like almond or soy milk.
  • Fruit syrups or flavoured powders can also be added for extra taste.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 217kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 28mgPotassium: 81mgFibre: 0.2gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 84IUVitamin D: 1µgCalcium: 73mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword Beverages, Drinks, Recipe, Summer, Tea
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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