Earl Grey Bubble Tea (Earl Grey Boba Milk Tea)

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Earl Grey bubble tea is milky and creamy, with hints of citrus coming from bergamot-infused black tea. This drink is surprisingly easy to make at home.

Earl Grey Bubble Tea (Earl Grey Boba Milk Tea) in clear glass with wide straw.

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What Is Earl Grey Bubble Tea?

Earl Grey bubble tea is an iced beverage made with Earl Grey tea, brown sugar, milk, ice, and tapioca balls, also known as boba.

Usually made from a blend of black teas like Assam or Ceylon, Earl Grey tea gets its unique flavor from bergamot, a citrus fruit that’s commonly grown in Italy and the Mediterranean.

The tapioca balls in the drink is what makes this a bubble tea. If tapioca balls aren’t in the drink, it would just be an iced Earl Grey tea latte.

RELATED: 10+ Easy Bubble Tea Recipes

Recipe Highlights

  • Earl Grey bubble tea is made with a handful of ingredients, including Earl Grey tea, brown sugar, milk, and tapioca balls.
  • A caffeinated drink, this Earl Grey bubble tea is easy to make at home using an Earl Grey tea sachet and store-bought tapioca balls.
  • Store-bought tapioca balls soften to plump, bouncy pearls when cooked in boiling water for a few minutes.

RELATED: Bubble Tea with Cold Foam

Ingredient Notes

Earl Grey Bubble Tea (Earl Grey Boba Milk Tea) ingredients measured in cups and labeled on a table.
  • Earl Grey tea: Tea bags or tea sachets are the best for making bubble tea since you don’t need high quality loose tea.
  • Tapioca balls: Store-bought boba is ready in minutes. Simply cook in boiling water to get a nice chewy texture.
  • Brown sugar: This is used to sweeten the tea and to make a brown sugar syrup for the tapioca pearls. You can also use white sugar but brown sugar has a deeper, richer flavor.
  • Milk: Whole milk produces a creamier drink, but you can also use plant-based milks such as oat or soy.
  • Water: Using filtered water to steep the tea will produce the best-tasting drink.
  • Ice: Make ice from filtered water if possible.

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

Earl grey tea steeping in a teapot.

Step 1: Steep tea in hot water.

Remove the tea bag, stir in brown sugar, and let cool.

Tapioca balls in a sauce pan.

Step 2: Cook tapioca balls in brown sugar and water. Boil brown sugar in water, then add tapioca balls.

Pouring tapioca balls into a cup.

Step 3: Put tapioca balls and brown sugar syrup into a cup.

Ice and tapioca balls in a cup.

Step 4: Add ice.

Pouring tea into a cup with boba and ice.

Step 5: Pour in tea.

Pouring milk into a cup with tea, boba, and ice.

Step 6: Top with milk. Serve immediately. Stir before drinking and use an extra wide straw.

RELATED: Iced Earl Grey Tea Latte

Recipe Notes

Warm tapioca balls means they’ll be soft and perfectly chewy.
For the perfect texture, serve tapioca balls when they’re very warm. Just make sure they’re not too hot, since they can burn your mouth.

Don’t make boba ahead of time.
Prepare tapioca balls right before you make the drink since boba starts to harden as they cool.

Use tea bags instead of loose tea.
Loose tea and tea sachets contain better quality tea than tea bags but since this drink is made with sugar and milk, opt for a less expensive tea. The subtle differences you find with high quality tea will be lost in the drink.

RELATED: Lavender Bubble Tea

Earl Grey Bubble Tea (Earl Grey Boba Milk Tea) in clear glass.

Expert Tips

  • While tapioca pearls shouldn’t be made ahead, you can prep the Earl Grey tea in advance. Steep and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Add the sugar when you’re ready to make the drink.
  • For the best bubble tea, serve the tapioca balls while they’re warm, but not hot. Allow boba to cool slightly.
  • Bubble teas should be served with a wide straw so that with each sip, you’ll get a couple of tapioca balls. Make sure to chew the tapioca balls instead of swallowing them whole.

RELATED: Matcha Bubble Tea

Questions You May Have

Is Earl Grey tea good for milk tea?

Earl Grey tea and milk pair well together. In fact, they’re commonly combined to make the London Fog Drink.

Why are boba chewy?

Boba is made from tapioca starch, giving it a bouncy texture that makes bubble tea so unique.

Does this drink contain caffeine?

Yes. Earl grey tea has caffeine since it contains black tea.

Earl Grey Bubble Tea (Earl Grey Boba Milk Tea) in clear glass.

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5 from 2 votes

Earl Grey Bubble Tea (Earl Grey Boba Milk Tea)

By: Jee Choe
Earl Grey bubble tea is milky and creamy, with hints of citrus coming from bergamot-infused black tea.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 1 serving (16 ounces)

Ingredients 

Iced Earl Grey Milk Tea

Tapioca Balls

  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup tapioca balls

Instructions 

MAKE TEA

  • Steep tea bags or sachets in ¾ cup hot water for 5 minutes.
    Set the temperature to 195°F if you're using an electric kettle with a temperature setting. Use filtered water if possible.
  • Discard tea bags or sachets and stir in brown sugar.
    Set aside to cool.

COOK TAPIOCA BALLS

  • Boil ¾ cup of water and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add tapioca balls.
    Combine water and brown sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once you see big bubbles (2-4 minutes), add tapioca balls. Keep boiling for 8 more minutes on medium-high heat. Turn off heat and cool slightly, until tapioca balls are quite warm, but aren't too hot to eat.

ASSEMBLE DRINK

  • Put warm tapioca balls and brown sugar syrup into a cup. 
Add ice, cooled down tea, and milk.
    Serve immediately and stir before drinking. Use an extra wide straw to drink.

Notes

  • For the perfect texture, serve tapioca balls when they’re warm. Just make sure they’re not too hot, since they can burn your mouth.
  • Whole milk produces a creamier drink, but you can also use plant-based milks such as oat or soy.
  • Prepare tapioca balls right before you make the drink since boba starts to harden as they cool.
  • Use tea bags instead of loose tea. Loose tea and tea sachets contain better quality tea than tea bags but since this drink is made with sugar and milk, opt for a less expensive tea. The subtle differences you find with high quality tea will be lost in the drink.
  • While tapioca pearls shouldn’t be made ahead, you can prep the Earl Grey tea in advance. Steep and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Add the sugar when you’re ready to make the drink.
  • For the best bubble tea, serve the tapioca balls while they’re warm, but not hot. Allow boba to cool slightly.
  • Bubble teas should be served with a wide straw so you drink the tapioca balls at the same time as the tea.
  • Make sure to chew the tapioca balls instead of swallowing them whole.

Nutrition

Calories: 322Carbohydrates: 73gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 68mgPotassium: 174mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 132IUCalcium: 153mgIron: 1mg

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

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