Strawberry Butterfly Pea Flower Bubble Tea

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A layered red, white, and blue drink with boba! Get easy step-by-step instructions to make this refreshing bubble tea at home in just a few minutes.

Strawberry and Butterfly Pea Flower Latte Bubble Tea layered in a clear glass with ice.

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Recipe Highlights

  • A layered bubble tea (milk tea) with tapioca balls and strawberry syrup at the bottom, milk in the middle, and a top layer of butterfly pea flower tea on top.
  • Butterfly pea flower tea is an herbal tea that’s naturally blue and caffeine-free. It doesn’t taste great on its own, so it’s combined with sweet strawberry syrup.
  • The boba is made from store-bought dried tapioca balls and it’s easy to make at home by cooking them for a few minutes in water.

RELATED: Butterfly Pea Flower Bubble Tea

What is Butterfly Pea Flower Tea?

Butterfly pea flower tea is made by steeping dried butterfly pea flowers in water. The flowers are deep blue in color that colors and flavors the water.

This herbal tea is a caffeine-free and it’s also known as blue tea.

Butterfly pea flower tea comes loose, as dried whole flowers, in tea sachets, and in tea bags.

Aside from being a blue tea, it also changes color from blue to purple when the pH level changes. Adding lemon juice will change the tea from a blue to a bright purple.

The tea doesn’t taste great on its own. Adding lemonade or something sweet will offset the bland and woody taste.

RELATED: Iced Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Latte

Ingredient Notes

Strawberry and Butterfly Pea Flower Latte Bubble Tea ingredients in measuring cups on a table.
  • Butterfly pea flower tea: Use loose butterfly pea flower tea or tea bags. I prefer tea bags for this recipe since it’s so much easier to use.
  • Tapioca balls: Store bought tapioca balls are sold dry, so you just have to cook them in water to make them soft and chewy.
  • Strawberry syrup: Use store-bought or homemade strawberry syrup.
  • Milk: Any kind of milk can be used from whole milk to oat milk.
  • Brown sugar: This is used to sweeten the butterfly pea flower tea and you can use brown sugar or white granulated sugar.
  • Water: Water is used to make the tea and to cook the tapioca balls. For making tea, use filtered water, if possible, for the better tasting drink.
  • Ice: Use filtered water for your ice, too, if you can.

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

Butterly pea flower tea steeping in a teapot.

Step 1: Steep tea bag in hot water.
Discard tea bag and stir in sugar. Set aside to cool.

Spooning tapioca balls into a sauce pan.

Step 2: Cook tapioca balls. Drain. Follow directions on the package but it’s just boiling tapioca balls in water for a few minutes.

Pouring strawberry syrup into a cup with tapioca balls.

Step 3: Put tapioca balls into a cup and add strawberry syrup.

Ice, strawberry syrup, and boba in a cup.

Step 4: Add ice.

Pouring milk into a cup with boba, ice, and strawberry syrup.

Step 5: Pour in milk. Pour slowly to create a layer on top of the strawberry syrup.

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

Step 6: Top with butterfly pea flower tea. Serve immediately. Stir before drinking. Use an extra wide straw to drink.

RELATED: Strawberry Matcha Latte Bubble Tea

Tricks to Layering Drinks

Sweetest layer should be at the bottom.
The most important trick to creating a layered drink is to remember that the sweetest layer is added to the cup first, then followed by the next sweetest layer. So, the sweetest layer with the strawberry syrup is added first, then the milk which has some natural sugars in it, and finally the tea which is not very sweet.

There is a little sugar added to the butterfly pea flower tea but if you want a cleaner layer separation, take out the sugar.

Pour directly onto the ice.
Instead of pouring the next layer directly into the liquid below it, slowly pour directly onto the ice.

RELATED: Thai Bubble Tea

Strawberry and Butterfly Pea Flower Latte Bubble Tea fully layered in red, white, and blue.

Expert Tips

  • My biggest tip to making delicious bubble tea is to assemble the drink while the boba is still very warm. Allow the tapioca balls to cool a little then add them to the glass while they’re still very warm but not so much that they’ll burn your mouth.
  • If you’re making homemade strawberry syrup, it should be prepared ahead of time and it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. You can make it the day of, but this will save you time assembling the bubble tea since you do need some time to cool the syrup once it’s made.
  • This recipe makes 16 ounces (2 cups) serving of the drink, so make sure to have a large enough glass or cup to assemble the drink.
  • As always with bubble tea, you’ll want to have a wide straw to drink it so that you’ll get some boba with each sip of the latte. Chew the tapioca balls, don’t try to drink them with the tea!

RELATED: Hong Kong Bubble Tea

Questions You May Have

Is there caffeine in this drink?

Nope! There’s no caffeine in butterfly pea flower tea and none of the other ingredients in the drink contain caffeine.

Can I make the boba beforehand?

Unfortunately, no. Cooked tapioca balls will harden after about 3-4 hours, and they’re better when served still warm, so don’t make them ahead of time.

Can I use non-dairy milk?

Yes, but keep in mind that the sugar in the milk will help keep the middle layer in place. So whatever you replace the dairy milk with, as long as it also has sugar, the layer should hold. I recommend using oat milk.

Strawberry and Butterfly Pea Flower Latte Bubble Tea with the layers combined to an ombre look with a wide straw.

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5 from 1 vote

Strawberry Butterfly Pea Flower Latte Bubble Tea

By: Jee Choe
Make this red, white, and blue layered bubble tea at home in just a few minutes!
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Yield: 1 serving (16 ounces)

Ingredients 

Strawberry Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Latte

Tapioca Balls

Instructions 

MAKE TEA

  • Steep butterfly pea flower tea bag in hot water for 5 minutes.
    Set the water temperature to 195°F if you're using an electric kettle with a temperature setting. Use filtered water when possible.
  • Discard tea bag. Stir in brown sugar.
    Set aside to cool.

COOK TAPIOCA BALLS

  • Boil water and add tapioca balls.
    Bring water to boil water in a saucepan on the stovetop then add tapioca balls. Cook on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
    (Follow directions on your tapioca ball packaging if you're using a different brand than the one I’m using.)
  • Drain tapioca balls.
    Cool slightly, until tapioca balls aren't too hot to eat. They should still be quite warm.

ASSEMBLE DRINK

  • Put warm tapioca balls into a cup and add strawberry syrup. Add ice, milk, then the cooled down butterfly pea flower tea.
    Pour the milk and butterfly pea flower tea directly onto the ice to help keep the layers separated.
    Serve immediately and stir before drinking. Use a wide straw to drink.

Notes

  • The most important trick to creating a layered drink is to remember that the sweetest layer is added to the cup first, then followed by the next sweetest layer. So, the sweetest layer with the strawberry syrup is added first, then the milk which has some natural sugars in it, and finally the tea which is not very sweet.
  • Instead of pouring the next layer directly into the liquid below it, slowly pour directly onto the ice.
  • There is a little sugar added to the butterfly pea flower tea but if you want a cleaner layer separation, take out the sugar.
  • My biggest tip to making delicious bubble tea is to assemble the drink while the boba is still very warm. Allow the tapioca balls to cool a little then add them to the glass while they’re still very warm but not so much that they’ll burn your mouth.
  • If you’re making homemade strawberry syrup, it should be prepared ahead of time and it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. You can make it the day of, but this will save you time assembling the bubble tea since you do need some time to cool the syrup once it’s made.
  • This recipe makes 16 ounces (2 cups) serving of the drink, so make sure to have a large enough glass or cup to assemble the drink.
  • As always with bubble tea, you’ll want to have a wide straw to drink it so that you’ll get some boba with each sip of the latte. Chew the tapioca balls, don’t try to drink them with the tea!

Nutrition

Calories: 551Carbohydrates: 127gProtein: 5gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 150mgPotassium: 324mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 95gVitamin A: 264IUCalcium: 239mgIron: 5mg

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

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