Brown Sugar Bubble Tea (Brown Sugar Milk Tea with Boba)

4.57 from 23 votes

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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.

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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.

Brown sugar bubble tea is also called brown sugar milk tea.

RELATED: Easy Bubble Tea Recipes

Recipe Highlights

  • Brown sugar bubble tea is an iced black tea drink with brown sugar, milk, and tapioca balls (also called boba).
  • 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: 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.

For full ingredients and detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

My Tapioca Balls Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

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

Tea steeped in hot water.

Step 1: Steep tea in hot water.

Strain tea leaves or discard tea bags and set aside to cool.

Tapioca balls in a sauce pan.

Step 2: Cook tapioca balls in brown sugar and water.

Pouring brown sugar syrup into a cup.

Step 3: Add boba and line brown sugar syrup inside a cup.

Boba, brown sugar syrup, and ice in a cup.

Step 4: Add ice.

Pouring black tea into a cup with boba.

Step 5: Pour in black tea.

Pouring milk into a cup with black tea and boba.

Step 6: Top with milk. Serve immediately. Stir before drinking. Use an extra wide straw to drink. 

RELATED: Jasmine 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.

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4.57 from 23 votes

Brown Sugar Bubble Tea (Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea)

By: Jee Choe
Make this incredibly popular bubble tea at home!
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 19 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 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

  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup 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: 246Carbohydrates: 42gProtein: 6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 97mgPotassium: 284mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 296IUCalcium: 249mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Taiwanese
Tried this recipe?Mention @ohhowcivilized or tag #ohhowcivilized!

About Jee Choe

Welcome! I'm a certified Tea Sommelier and a self-proclaimed bubble tea and iced tea master. I'm all about making tea EASY and DELICIOUS.

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