Rose Bubble Tea (Rose Milk Tea with Boba)

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A black tea with dried rose buds flavors this sweet, floral milk tea with boba. Get my secret to making the best boba.

Rose Bubble Tea (Rose Milk Tea with Boba) in a large glass with a wide straw.

What is Rose Bubble Tea?

Rose bubble tea is an iced milk tea with boba that’s flavored with roses.

The warm, chewy tapioca balls are called boba, and since they look like little bubbles at the bottom of the cup, the drink is called bubble tea.

RELATED: Black Sesame Bubble Tea

Recipe Highlights

  • This rose bubble tea is made with black tea, dried rose buds, milk, dark brown sugar, tapioca balls, and ice.
  • English Breakfast tea is the black tea that is the base of this bubble tea, making it a caffeinated drink.
  • Store-bought tapioca balls are the easiest way to make bubble tea at home. Cooking the tapioca balls in water for a few minutes plumps them up.

RELATED: Butterfly Pea Flower Bubble Tea

Ingredient Notes

Rose Bubble Tea (Rose Milk Tea with Boba) ingredients in labeled measuring cups and bowls.
  • English Breakfast tea
    Any black tea can be used, including English Breakfast tea, which is a blend of black teas. Tea sachets or loose tea will work, but tea bags are easier to use and clean up.
  • Dried rose buds
    Dried rose petals can also be used. Make sure the dried rose is food-safe.
  • Tapioca balls
    It’s easy to use store bought tapioca balls, which are sold dry, because you just cook them in water.
  • Brown sugar
    This is used to make a brown sugar syrup, which is the best way to sweeten an iced drink. Using brown sugar instead of white will add a hint of caramel flavor to the drink.
  • Milk
    Whole milk makes the drink creamier but any milk can be used, including plant-based milk like oat milk and almond milk.
  • Water
    When possible, use filtered water to steep the tea. It’ll make a better tasting tea.
  • Ice
    Use filtered water to make ice, if you can.
My Tapioca Balls Pick

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

Rose Bubble Tea (Rose Milk Tea with Boba) first two steps of the preparation directions.

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to see the recipe.

  1. Steep tea and dried rose buds in hot water.
    Strain rose buds and tea bag, stir in sugar. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cook tapioca balls in brown sugar and water.
    Boil water and brown sugar together then add tapioca balls.
Rose Bubble Tea (Rose Milk Tea with Boba) steps 3 through 6 in the step-by-step directions.
  1. Put tapioca balls and brown sugar syrup into a cup.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Pour in tea.
  4. Top with milk.
    Serve immediately. Stir before drinking and use a wide straw to drink.

RELATED: Thai Bubble Tea

Recipe Notes

Use warm tapioca balls.
When tapioca balls are still very warm, but not burning hot, they have the perfect consistency. Use warm tapioca balls for a soft and chewy boba.

Don’t make tapioca balls ahead of time.
Tapioca balls will harden as they cool so it’s best to make them right before you want to make the drink.

Go for 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, you don’t need to use the more expensive teas. The subtle differences you find with high quality tea will be lost in the drink.

Rose Bubble Tea (Rose Milk Tea with Boba) pouring the milk over the ice, tea, syrup, and boba.

Expert Tips

  • The black tea and dried rose buds can be steeped ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Don’t add the sugar until you’re ready to make the drink.
  • Any black tea can be used but avoid Earl Grey tea, which has a citrus note that may not go so well with the rose flavor.
  • Bubble tea is always served with a wide straw. This allows you to sip the tea with a few tapioca balls at the same time. Make sure to chew the tapioca balls instead of swallowing them whole.

RELATED: Homemade Bubble Tea with Cold Foam

Rose Bubble Tea (Rose Milk Tea with Boba) finished and layered in a large glass with a black, wide straw.

Questions You May Have

Does this drink contain caffeine?

Yes, since it’s made with English Breakfast tea, and all black teas have caffeine, this drink contains caffeine.

Can I reduce the sweetness?

If you make the drink and find it too sweet, you can strain out the tapioca balls from the brown sugar simple syrup when assembling the drink. Once it’s ready, you can add in the brown sugar syrup a little at a time until you get the sweetness amount you prefer.

What does the tea with rose buds taste like?

The flavor is a black tea with floral rose notes.

How do you drink bubble tea?

Bubble tea is always served with a wide straw so you can sip the iced tea and also get a few boba at the same time. Tapioca balls, or boba, should be chewed (not swallowed whole) while drinking the tea.

Rose Bubble Tea (Rose Milk Tea with Boba) fully assembled and mixed in a large clear glass.

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Rose Bubble Tea (Rose Milk Tea with Boba)

Author: Jee Choe
A black tea with dried rose buds flavors this sweet bubble tea, plus my secret for the best boba.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving (16 ounces)

INGREDIENTS
 

Iced Rose Milk Tea

Tapioca Balls

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

INSTRUCTIONS

MAKE TEA

  • Steep dried rose buds and tea bag in hot water for 5 minutes.
    Roughly chop dried rose buds before steeping in water to get a stronger rose flavor.
    Set the temperature to 195°F if you're using an electric kettle with a temperature setting. Use filtered water if possible.
  • Strain the rose buds and tea bag. Stir in sugar.
    Stir until sugar dissolves. 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 tapioca balls and brown sugar syrup into a cup. Add ice, pour in tea, then top with milk.
    Serve immediately and stir before drinking. Use an extra wide straw to drink.

NOTES

  • Any black tea can be used, including English Breakfast tea, which is a blend of black teas. Tea sachets or loose tea will work, but tea bags are easier to use and clean up.
  • White sugar can be used instead of brown sugar if that’s what you have.
  • Whole milk makes the drink creamier but any milk can be used, including plant-based milk like oat milk and almond milk.
  • Loose tea and tea sachets contain better quality tea than tea bags but since this drink is made with sugar and milk, you don’t need to use the more expensive teas. The subtle differences you find with high quality tea will be lost in the drink.
  • When tapioca balls are still very warm, but not burning hot, they have the perfect consistency. Use warm tapioca balls for a soft and chewy boba.
  • Tapioca balls will harden as they cool so it’s best to make them right before you want to make the drink.
  • The black tea and dried rose buds can be steeped ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Don’t add the sugar until you’re ready to make the drink.
  • Any black tea can be used but avoid Earl Grey tea, which has a citrus note that may not go so well with the rose flavor.
  • Bubble tea is always served with a wide straw. This allows you to sip the tea with a few tapioca balls at the same time. Make sure to chew the tapioca balls instead of swallowing them whole.
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      NUTRITION

      Calories: 276 | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 263IU | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 1mg
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