Brown Sugar Bubble Tea (Brown Sugar Boba Milk)

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Make this popular milk tea with boba at home! Deliciously rich and sweet brown sugar is balanced with a robust black tea and creamy milk. Plus, get my secret to making the best bubble tea.

Brown Sugar Bubble Tea in a large glass with ice.

Recipe Highlights

  • Brown sugar milk tea is an iced black tea drink with brown sugar, milk, and tapioca balls (also called boba). This drink is also called brown sugar bubble tea.
  • My secret to making the best bubble tea is to use warm tapioca balls. The soft and chewy texture of boba is perfect when it’s still warm.
  • Using store-bought tapioca balls is the easiest way to make bubble tea at home. All you need to do is cook the tapioca balls in hot water for a few minutes. To get the tapioca balls to be nice and sweet, brown sugar is added to create a syrup.

RELATED: Easy Bubble Tea Recipes

What is Brown Sugar Bubble Tea?

Bubble tea is an iced milk tea drink with tapioca balls (also called boba that look like bubbles) created in Taiwan in the 1980s, and brown sugar bubble tea is one of the most popular flavors.

The cup is lined with brown sugar syrup and the drink has tapioca balls in a brown sugar syrup, black tea, and milk. It’s a fairly simple drink that’s completely delicious.

The brown sugar gives the drink a rich sweetness with a touch of toffee flavor.

RELATED: Taro Bubble Tea

Ingredient Notes

Brown Sugar Bubble Tea ingredients in measuring cups and bowls, labeled.
  • Brown sugar
    Brown sugar is a mix of white sugar and molasses, giving the drink a richer flavor than white, granulated sugar.
  • Tapioca balls
    Store-bought tapioca balls are dried, so all you need to do is boil them in water to make them soft and chewy.
  • Black tea
    Use any kind of black tea you like. The black tea for this drink doesn’t need to be the highest quality, so feel free to use tea bags.
  • Milk
    Although you can use any kind of milk, whole milk makes the drink rich and creamy.
  • Water
    As always, use filtered water to make the best tasting tea.
  • Ice
    If possible, use filtered water to make ice.
My Tapioca Balls Pick

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The tapioca balls I use to make bubble tea at home.
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Step-by-Step Instructions

Brown Sugar Bubble Tea first two steps of the instructions.

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to see the recipe.

  1. Steep tea in hot water.
    Strain tea leaves or discard tea bags and set aside to cool.
  2. Cook tapioca balls in brown sugar and water.
Brown Sugar Bubble Tea, steps 3 to 6 of the instructions.
  1. Add boba and line brown sugar syrup inside a cup.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Pour in black tea.
  4. Top with milk.
    Serve immediately. Stir before drinking. Use an extra wide straw to drink. 

RELATED: Jasmine Bubble Tea

Pouring milk into a cup of brown sugar milk tea (bubble tea).

Expert Tips

  • This recipe makes a 16 ounces (2 cups) drink, so make sure to have a large enough cup.
  • Black tea can be prepared ahead of time and stored in your fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Instead of brewing black tea then cooling it down, use cold brewed tea. Make a batch and use the tea to make brown sugar milk tea with boba all week.
  • Boba can’t be made ahead of time since they harden after a few hours.
  • Add tapioca balls into the cup when they’re still warm and assemble the drink right away. Warm boba has the best texture.
  • Bubble tea is always served with a wide straw is so that you get a few boba with each sip of the milk tea.

RELATED: Strawberry Milk Tea

Questions You May Have

Does this drink have caffeine?

Yes, there’s caffeine in this drink since it contains black tea.

How long will tapioca balls last before getting hard?

After about 4 hours, cooked boba will harden, and the texture won’t be soft with a nice chew.

How to you drink bubble tea?

Bubble tea is served with a wide straw and each sip should get you some tapioca balls along with the brown sugar milk tea. The tapioca balls are to be chewed.

Brown Sugar Bubble Tea in a clear glass with ice and a wide, black straw.

Related

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Brown Sugar Bubble Tea (Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea)

Author: Jee Choe
Make this incredibly popular bubble tea at home!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 6 mins
Cook Time 19 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving (16 ounces)

INGREDIENTS
 

Iced Milk Tea

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon black tea or 2 tea bags
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup ice

Tapioca Balls

INSTRUCTIONS
 

MAKE TEA

  • Boil ½ cup of water. Take off heat.
    Set the water temperature to 195°F if you're using an electric kettle with a temperature setting. Use filtered water when possible.
  • Steep tea in hot water for 5 minutes.

  • Strain and discard tea leaves. Let tea cool.
    Set aside.

COOK TAPIOCA BALLS

  • Boil ¾ cup of water and sugar in a saucepan. Add tapioca balls.
    Combine brown sugar and ¾ cup of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. When you see big bubbles (2-4 minutes), add tapioca balls and lower heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes.
    Cool slightly, until tapioca balls aren't too hot to eat. They should still be warm.

ASSEMBLE DRINK

  • Add warm tapioca balls in brown sugar syrup into a cup. 
Add ice, tea, and milk.
    Use a spoon to line brown sugar syrup inside the cup.
    Serve immediately and stir before drinking. Use an extra wide straw to drink.

NOTES

  • Use any kind of black tea you like. The black tea for this drink doesn’t need to be the highest quality, so feel free to use tea bags.
  • Although you can use any kind of milk, whole milk makes the drink rich and creamy.
  • This recipe makes a 16 ounces (2 cups) drink, so make sure to have a large enough cup.
  • Black tea can be prepared ahead of time and stored in your fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Instead of brewing black tea then cooling it down, use cold brewed tea. Make a batch and use the tea to make brown sugar milk tea with boba all week.
  • Boba can’t be made ahead of time since they harden after a few hours.
  • Add tapioca balls into the cup when they’re still warm and assemble the drink right away. Warm boba has the best texture.
  • Bubble tea is always served with a wide straw is so that you get a few boba with each sip of the milk tea.

NUTRITION

Calories: 246 | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 284mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Calcium: 249mg | Iron: 1mg
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