Purple Sweet Potato Bubble Tea

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This refreshing, caffeine-free purple sweet potato bubble tea is a delicious treat that’s made with 6 ingredients. Get step-by-step instructions and tips for making the best bubble tea at home.

Sweet Potato Bubble Tea in clear glass with wide straw.

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Purple Sweet Potato Bubble Tea

Purple sweet potato bubble tea is an iced milk tea made with purple sweet potato powder and boba (tapioca balls).

Made from dehydrated purple sweet potatoes, the powder is commonly used to add flavor and color to baked good and drinks.

Purple sweet potato, sometimes referred to as the Okinawan sweet potato, is different from taro or purple yam (also known as ube). It’s easy to mix up the three since they’re used in similar ways but they’re different root vegetables.

RELATED: 10+ Easy Bubble Tea Recipes

Recipe Highlights

  • This purple sweet potato bubble tea is an iced drink that’s made from sweet potato powder, tapioca balls, brown sugar, milk, water, and ice.
  • Caffeine-free, this drink doesn’t contain any tea, but is still known as a bubble tea since there are tapioca balls.
  • Store-bought tapioca balls makes this drink super easy to make at home.

RELATED: Lavender Bubble Tea

Ingredient Notes

Sweet Potato Bubble Tea ingredients measured in cups and labeled on a table.
  • Purple sweet potato powder: A bright purple powder made from dried purple sweet potato adds flavor and color.
  • Tapioca balls: Dried, store-bought tapioca balls are the secret to making bubble tea quickly and easily at home. Simply cook in hot water until they’re soft and chewy.
  • Brown sugar: The caramel notes of brown sugar go well with the sweet potato nicely, but granulated white sugar also works if that’s all you have.
  • Milk: This drink is creamier when made with whole milk, but you can also use plant-based milk like oat milk or almond milk.
  • Water: Use filtered water whenever possible.
  • Ice: For the best tasting drink, make ice with filtered water.

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

Tapioca balls in a sauce pan.

Step 1: Cook tapioca balls in brown sugar and water.

Boil brown sugar in water, then add tapioca balls.

Ice, water, milk, and sweet potato powder in a cocktail shaker.

Step 2: Combine ice, water, milk, and sweet potato powder in a cocktail shaker. Shake. Make sure to add the sweet potato powder in last.

Pouring tapioca balls into a cup.

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

Pouring purple sweet potato milk tea into a cup with boba.

Step 4: Pour in the iced purple sweet potato milk tea.

My Cocktail Shaker Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

Holds 18 ounces and it's what I use to make my hand-shaken drinks.
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Recipe Notes

Warm tapioca balls means they’ll be soft and perfectly bouncy.
Tapioca balls have the best texture when they are still quite warm, almost hot. Just make sure they’ve cooled a bit before eating or else they’ll burn your mouth.

Make the tapioca right before you prepare the drink.
Boba 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.

RELATED: Taro Bubble Tea

Expert Tips

  • Make sure to shake the drink thoroughly in the cocktail shaker to dissolve the sweet potato powder or else the drink may be grainy.
  • Like all bubble teas, this drink is best when assembled and served immediately while the tapioca balls are still nice and warm. Cooked boba will start to harden after 4 hours.
  • Use an extra wide straw so you can get some tapioca balls and sweet potato milk tea with each sip. Chew the tapioca balls instead of swallowing them whole.

RELATED: Brown Sugar Bubble Tea

Questions You May Have

What does purple sweet potato taste like?

Purple sweet potatoes have a slightly sweet, nutty, earthy flavor and creamy texture.

How do I make purple sweet potato milk tea?

Take out the tapioca balls in the drink and it’s an iced purple sweet potato milk tea. The tapioca balls in the drink is what turns an iced purple sweet potato milk tea into a purple sweet potato bubble tea.

What’s the difference between taro and purple sweet potato?

Taro and purple sweet potato are both root vegetables, but there are distinct differences between the two. Taro is a tropical starchy root vegetable that has a light purple interior and a mild nutty flavor. Purple sweet potato, on the other hand, likely originated from South America, and have a deep violet flesh with a sweeter taste.

Sweet Potato Bubble Tea in clear glass with wide straw.

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5 from 1 vote

Purple Sweet Potato Bubble Tea

By: Jee Choe
This vibrant purple sweet potato bubble tea is a delicious treat that takes just 6 ingredients to make at home.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Yield: 1 serving (16 ounces)

Ingredients 

Tapioca Balls

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

Sweet Potato Milk Tea

Instructions 

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.
    (Follow directions on your tapioca ball packaging if you're using a different brand than the one I’m using.)

MAKE PURPLE SWEET POTATO MILK TEA

  • Combine ice, water, milk, and purple sweet potato powder in a cocktail shaker. Shake 15 times.
    In a cocktail shaker, add the ice, ⅓ cup water, milk, then the purple sweet potato powder. The powder needs to be added at the very end.

ASSEMBLE DRINK

  • Put warm tapioca balls in brown sugar syrup into a cup. Pour in the purple sweet potato milk tea.
    Serve immediately. Use an extra wide straw to drink.

Notes

  • Purple sweet potato powder adds flavor and color. It dissolves when shaken so the drink isn’t grainy.
  • The caramel notes of brown sugar complement the sweet potato nicely, but granulated white sugar also works if that’s all you have.
  • This drink is creamier when made with whole milk, but plant-based milks will also work.
  • Tapioca balls have the best texture when they are still quite warm, almost hot. Just make sure they’ve cooled a bit before eating or else they’ll burn your mouth.
  • Make the tapioca right before you prepare the drink. Boba shouldn’t be made ahead since they start to harden as they cool. Cooked boba will start to harden after 4 hours.
  • The boba in this recipe is prepared in a brown sugar syrup that sweetens the tapioca balls and the drink.
  • Make sure to shake the drink enough times to thoroughly combine the sweet potato powder with the milk and water or else the drink may be grainy.
  • Use an wide straw so you can get some tapioca balls and sweet potato milk tea with each sip.

Nutrition

Calories: 276Carbohydrates: 61gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 63mgPotassium: 158mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 132IUCalcium: 142mgIron: 1mg

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

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