Nutty black sesame is the star of this delicious bubble tea recipe. Sweetened with dark brown sugar and topped with milk, this caffeine-free drink is surprisingly easy to make at home.
What Is Black Sesame Bubble Tea?
Commonly used in Asian baking and cooking, black sesame lends a toasty, nutty aroma to sweet and savory dishes alike.
Black sesame seeds comes with its hulled intact, giving it a noticeably stronger flavor than white sesame seeds.
Black sesame is the main flavor of this bubble tea. Also known as boba, bubble tea is a chilled drink that features chewy tapioca pearls and tea.
Though this recipe isn’t made with tea, it’s still known as a bubble tea since the drink contains boba.
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- Black sesame bubble tea is a caffeine-free drink made with black sesame paste, dark brown sugar, milk, and tapioca balls.
- Dark brown sugar and black sesame paste are blended together with hot water, then combined with boba and milk to form a creamy, nutty iced beverage.
- Black sesame paste gives this beverage its unique nutty flavor. You can usually purchase jars online or at an Asian supermarket.
- Store-bought tapioca balls are the key to making boba drinks easily at home. Simply cook in boiling water to soften and get them nice and chewy.
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- Tapioca balls
The fastest and easiest way to make bubble tea at home is to use store-bought tapioca balls. They become bouncy in minutes once cooked in hot water.
- Black sesame paste
A mixture of ground sesame paste and sesame oil (or sometimes honey), black sesame paste is often used in beverages or desserts such as ice cream or mochi.
- Brown sugar
Brown sugar adds a deep caramel flavor that goes well with the toasty black sesame.
Whole milk gives this drink its creamy texture, but you can any kind of milk you like.
Use filtered water whenever possible.
Make ice from filtered water for a better tasting drink.
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For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to see the recipe.
- Cook tapioca balls.
Follow directions on package but all that’s involved is boiling tapioca balls in water for a few minutes.
- Mix black sesame paste, hot water, and sugar.
Use a handheld milk frother to mix the black sesame paste with warm water and sugar.
- Put strained, warm tapioca balls into a cup.
- Pour in the black sesame and sugar mixture.
- Add ice.
- Top with milk.
Serve immediately. Stir before drinking and use an extra wide straw.
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Warm tapioca balls means they’ll be soft and perfectly chewy.
Tapioca balls have the perfect texture when they are still quite warm, almost hot. Just make sure they’re not too hot, since they can burn your mouth.
Boba shouldn’t be made ahead.
Tapioca balls start to harden as they cool. About 4 hours after cooking them they’ll be too hard to eat, so prepare them right before you make the drink.
Substitute different milks if you’d like.
Any kind of milk can be used to make this drink, including plant-based options such as oat milk or almond milk.
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- A handheld milk frother is used to mix the black sesame paste with hot water and sugar. Because the paste is fairly dense, this technique works best to create a smooth mixture that doesn’t come out chunky.
- You can easily increase this recipe to make multiple drinks, but make sure not to cook more boba than needed since the tapioca balls should be enjoyed as soon as possible since they’ll start to harden.
- My secret to the best bubble tea is to serve the boba while they’re still quite warm, but not hot. Let the tapioca balls cool slightly then make the drink.
RELATED: Matcha Bubble Tea
Questions You May Have
Black sesame seeds have an aromatic, nutty, and earthy flavor that’s stronger than white sesame seeds, which is why you’ll often see them used as a primary ingredient in recipes like this bubble tea.
Black sesame paste, also known as neri goma in Japanese, is formed by combining ground seeds with oil. Some variations will also include a sweetener, such as honey.
No. This recipe doesn’t contain any tea, making it caffeine-free.
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Black Sesame Bubble Tea (Black Sesame Boba Milk Tea)
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup tapioca balls
Black Sesame Milk Tea
- ¼ cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon black sesame paste
- ¾ cup ice
- 1 cup milk
COOK TAPIOCA BALLS
- Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan and add tapioca balls.Boil water in a saucepan on the stovetop then add tapioca balls. Cook on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Tapioca balls should be soft all the way through.(Follow directions on your tapioca ball packaging if you're using a different brand than the one I’m using.)
MAKE BLACK SESAME BASE
- Mix black sesame paste, hot water, and sugar.In a cup, add ¼ cup hot water and brown sugar to the black sesame paste. Use a handheld milk frother to whisk at low speed to combine.
- Put strained, warm tapioca balls into a cup. Add ice, sweetened black sesame, then top with milk.Serve immediately and stir before drinking. Use an extra wide straw to drink.
- Tapioca balls have the perfect texture when they are still quite warm, almost hot. Just make sure they’re not too hot, since they can burn your mouth.
- Tapioca balls start to harden as they cool. About 4 hours after cooking them they’ll be too hard to eat, so prepare them right before you make the drink.
- Any kind of milk can be used to make this drink, including plant-based milks like oat milk or almond milk.
- A milk frother is used to whisk, then blend the black sesame paste with hot water and sugar. Because the paste is fairly dense, this technique works best to create a smooth mixture that doesn’t come out chunky.
- You can easily increase this recipe to make multiple drinks, but make sure not to cook more boba than needed—the tapioca balls should be enjoyed as soon as possible since they won’t .
- My secret to the best bubble tea is to serve the boba while they’re still warm, but not hot. Let the tapioca balls cool slightly then make the drink.