Hojicha Bubble Tea (Hojicha Boba Milk Tea)

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Change up your drink routine with a hojicha bubble tea that gets its sweet, nutty flavor from Japanese roasted green tea.

Hojicha Bubble Tea (Hojicha Boba Milk Tea) in clear glass.

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What Is Hojicha Bubble Tea?

Hojicha bubble tea is a delicious iced drink made with hojicha, brown sugar, milk, ice, and boba, also called tapioca balls.

Hojicha is a roasted green tea from Japan and the drink is toasty and nutty in flavor (and not at all bitter).

Because hojicha is a roasted tea, it contains less caffeine than regular green tea and it has a reddish-brown color.

This drink is a bubble tea because it has tapioca balls. Without boba, it’d simply be an iced hojicha tea latte or iced hojicha milk tea.

RELATED: 10+ Easy Bubble Tea Recipes

Recipe Highlights

  • It only takes a few ingredients to make hojicha bubble tea at home, including hojicha tea, brown sugar, milk, and boba.
  • The roasting process imparts a distinctly nutty and lightly sweet flavor to hojicha that makes it stand out from other green teas.
  • When cooked in boiling water, store-bought tapioca balls soften to chewy, bouncy pearls in a few minutes.

RELATED: Earl Grey Bubble Tea

Ingredient Notes

Hojicha Bubble Tea (Hojicha Boba Milk Tea) ingredients measured in cups and labeled on a table.
  • Hojicha tea: Use hojicha loose tea, tea sachets, or tea bags. There’s no need to use the highest quality or the most expensive hojicha to make bubble tea since it’s mixed with milk and sugar.
  • Tapioca balls: Store-bought boba is bouncy and chewy in minutes when cooked in boiling water. It’s an easy way to make bubble tea at home.
  • Brown sugar: The rich molasses flavor of brown sugar pairs nicely with roasted flavors of hojicha. You can also use white sugar if that’s what you have.
  • Milk: Any milk can be used for this recipe, including plant-based options, but whole milk makes a creamier drink.
  • Water: Use filtered water for a better tasting bubble tea.
  • 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

Tea leaves steeping in a teapot.

Step 1: Steep tea in hot water.

Strain out tea, stir in brown sugar, and let cool.

Tapicoa balls in a sauce pan.

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

Spooning 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 tapioca and ice.

Step 5: Pour in tea.

Pouring milk into a cup with tea, ice, and tapioca balls.

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

RELATED: Hojicha Latte

Recipe Notes

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

Make boba right before you prepare the drink.
Tapioca balls shouldn’t be made ahead since they start to harden as they cool.

Cook tapioca balls in a brown sugar and water.
The boba in this recipe is prepared in a brown sugar syrup that sweetens the tapioca balls and the drink.

Expert Tips

  • Hojicha tea can be steeped and made ahead of time. It can be stored (without sugar or milk added) in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Allow boba to cool slightly after cooking, but serve while they’re still warm for the best bubble tea.
  • Use a wide straw to drink boba so you can get a few tapioca balls and tea with each sip.

RELATED: Matcha Bubble Tea

Questions You May Have

What does hojicha milk tea taste like?

Hojicha has a smoky and sweet flavor, while milk adds a creamy texture to hojicha milk tea.

Does hojicha have caffeine?

Yes, since hojicha comes from the tea plant, it does contain caffeine. However, it loses some of its caffeine content during roasting, so there’s a lower amount than regular green teas.

Does Starbucks have hojicha?

Starbucks does not offer hojicha in the U.S., but does have it available in some Asian countries.

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

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5 from 3 votes

Hojicha Bubble Tea (Hojicha Boba Milk Tea)

By: Jee Choe
Change up your drink routine with a hojicha bubble tea that gets its sweet, nutty flavor from Japanese roasted green tea.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Yield: 1 serving (16 ounces)

Ingredients 

Iced Hojicha Milk Tea

  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons hojicha tea
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¾ cup ice
  • cup milk, (any kind)

Tapioca Balls

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

Instructions 

  • MAKE TEA
  • Steep hojicha tea in ¾ cup of hot water for 3 minutes.
    Boil water on the stovetop or use electric kettle with a temperature setting. Set water temperature to 195°F. For best results, make tea ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator. Use filtered water if possible.
  • Strain the tea 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 hojicha tea, and milk.
    Serve immediately and stir before drinking. Use an extra wide straw to drink.

Notes

  • Hojicha tea can be steeped and made ahead of time. It can be stored (without sugar or milk added) in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Allow boba to cool slightly after cooking, but serve while they’re still warm for the best bubble tea.
  • Use a wide straw to drink boba so you can get a few tapioca balls and tea with each sip.
  • For the ideal boba texture, serve tapioca balls when they’re very warm. Just make sure they’re not too hot, since they can burn your mouth.
  • Store-bought boba is bouncy and chewy in minutes when cooked in boiling water. Tapioca balls shouldn’t be made ahead since they start to harden as they cool.
  • The boba in this recipe is prepared in a brown sugar syrup that makes the drink extra delicious. The brown sugar sweetens the drink and the boba.
  • You can use any milk for this recipe, including plant-based options, but whole milk makes a creamier drink.

Nutrition

Calories: 322Carbohydrates: 73gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 69mgPotassium: 190mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 132IUCalcium: 153mgIron: 1mg

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

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