Matcha Bubble Tea (Matcha Milk Tea with Boba)

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Get my tips and tricks to make this delicious and refreshing matcha bubble tea (boba tea) at home without a matcha whisk!

How to make matcha bubble tea

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Recipe Highlights

  • 6-ingredient matcha bubble tea recipe that’s easy to make at home.
  • This drink is essentially a matcha latte with tapioca balls.
  • The secret to making the best bubble tea is using warm tapioca balls.
  • Matcha for this drink is made without a whisk! All you need is a cocktail shaker or any airtight container.
  • Made layered so it’s super pretty. The trick layering is sugar and ice.
  • Bubble tea is an iced drink that was created in Taiwan in the 80s. It’s made with tea, milk, sugar, and tapioca balls. (The tapioca balls, also known as boba, is why the drink is called bubble tea.)

RELATED: Strawberry Matcha Latte Bubble Tea

Ingredient Notes

Matcha bubble tea ingredients
  • Matcha: The brighter green the matcha, the better the quality.
  • Filtered water: Use good quality water for a better tasting drink.
  • Tapioca pearls/balls: The package says it’s ready in 5 minutes but that’s a complete lie.
  • Dark brown sugar: You can use any kind of sugar but I like using brown sugar.
  • Oat milk: Any kind of milk can be used but I like it with oat milk.
  • Ice: Helps to separate the milk and the matcha to get those pretty layers.
My Matcha Pick

Photo Credit:

Great matcha for the quality and price. It's my go-to matcha for making matcha drinks.

How to Make Matcha Bubble Tea

1. Make brown sugar simple syrup

Stir together dark brown sugar and hot water until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

2. Make tapioca balls

This part takes the longest but it’s pretty straightforward and not hard to make.

Boil water and add tapioca balls. They’ll start to float to the surface in a couple of minutes — at this point, cover and cook. Stir every once in a while. Strain tapioca balls.

If you’re using a different brand of tapioca balls from what I’m using, follow the directions on the packaging.

Combine brown sugar simple syrup and tapioca balls. The brown sugar simple syrup will sweeten the bubble tea and the tapioca balls.

Set aside to cool slightly. The tapioca balls are ready when they’re nice and warm but not hot.

RELATED: Taro Bubble Tea

3. Make matcha

Combine cold filtered water and matcha in a cocktail shaker. Shake, shake, shake.

Tea Sommelier’s Tip: Shaking cold water and matcha is the easiest and best way to make iced matcha. No need for any matcha bowls, bamboo whisks, or hot water. It creates perfect, clump-free matcha each and every time.

4. Assemble drink

This recipe makes two servings, so just split all the components in half to make each drink.

First, the boba (tapioca balls) in the dark brown simple syrup goes in. Add ice.

Pour in the oat milk.

If you don’t have or like oat milk, you can replace it with any kind of milk you like.

And the final layer, the cold matcha. Pour the matcha slowly over the ice. This will create a lovely layer between the matcha and the milk.

Pop in an extra wide straw and make sure to swirl to mix all the layers together before drinking.

RELATED: Best Matcha Brands for Lattes

Expert Tips

  • Find the brightest green matcha without going over $30.
  • To make iced matcha, you can use any airtight container. A cocktail shaker or a water bottle with a wide mouth works great.
  • If you don’t have dark brown sugar, you can make the sugar syrup using any kind of sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or cane sugar. I just prefer the taste of dark brown sugar for this drink.
  • Tapioca balls have the best soft, chewy texture when they’re warm. Don’t cool down the tapioca balls completely to keep the perfect texture.

Storage Tips

  • All the components except for the tapioca balls can be made ahead of time (4 days max) and stored in the refrigerator.
  • Tapioca balls need to be made and eaten within 4 hours otherwise it’ll start to harden.

Questions You May Have

What’s the secret to getting the matcha separated from the milk so that it looks layered?

Sugar and ice is the secret. Whatever has the most sugar content will sink to the bottom. Ice helps to keep the layers in place.

Is there caffeine in this drink?

There is! There’s caffeine in matcha so there’s caffeine in this drink.

What’s the best matcha to use for this recipe?

For matcha in recipes, I like to spend around $20-$30. Color indicates the matcha quality so if it’s under $15, that means the green won’t be as vibrant — you may end up with a drink that looks more brown than green.

How long are tapioca balls good for?

Tapioca balls must be made the same day, within a couple of hours of making and drinking the bubble tea. They only last up to 4 hours — after that they’ll just harden and won’t be good to eat.

Matcha bubble tea in a glass with a straw.


4.67 from 33 votes

Matcha Bubble Tea (Matcha Milk Tea with Boba)

By: Jee Choe
Get my secrets to making the best matcha bubble tea at home.
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Yield: 2 servings


Matcha Latte

  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 ½ cup oat milk
  • cup cold filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons matcha

Dark Brown Simple Syrup

  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water

Tapioca Balls



  • Boil 1/4 cup water and stir dark brown sugar until it dissolves. 
    Set aside.


  • Boil water and add tapioca balls. Cook for 15 minutes.
    In a pot, (I use a 2-quart cast iron pot), bring 4 cups of water to a boil then add the tapioca balls. They’ll start to float to the surface in a couple of minutes and at that point, cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir every once in a while.
    (Follow directions on your tapioca ball packaging if you're using a different brand than the one I'm using.)
  • Drain tapioca balls.
  • Pour brown sugar simple syrup into pot with tapioca balls.
    Set aside to cool slightly. The tapioca balls are ready when they're nice and warm but not hot.


  • Combine cold water and matcha. Shake for 15 seconds.
    In an airtight container, combine cold water and matcha powder and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.


  • Divide each component into two cups. Spoon tapioca balls in brown sugar simple syrup, add ice, then milk, and matcha.
    Stir together before drinking.


Calories: 417Carbohydrates: 95gProtein: 5gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 130mgPotassium: 125mgFiber: 2gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 569IUCalcium: 314mgIron: 3mg

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

Additional Info

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

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  1. 5 stars
    Delicious!!!! I made it, and wish I could attach a picture, but it’s okay! It was sooo good; I have honestly made it more than just a few times since COVID closed all of my fav boba stores.

  2. 5 stars
    love this, its sweet but not to sweet. And the tapioca pearls really earned their flavor after you leave them in the dark brown sugar syrup. I would for sure give this a five star rating!

  3. 5 stars
    I make this recipe all the time and o absolutely love it. How do you store the pearls? I bought the ones you said to buy and they seem to leave condensation in the container whether I keep them in the cabinet refrigerator or cabinet. Thank you.

    1. Hi Monica, make sure the layer under the next layer has more sugar than the layer above it. Pour slowly, and it shouldn’t mix.

    2. 5 stars
      Hi Monica,

      Good question! I used to work in a milktea store and learnt this trick for layering any type of drink. The heavier one at the bottom and the ligher ones on top. Pour the drinks slowly as well.

      For this matcha bubble tea, the pearls and brown sugar syrup are heavier so they’re at the bottom. Then comes the milk and matcha powder.

    1. Hi Steve, yes, you drink it through the giant straw and if a boba makes its way up, you chew it before eating it.