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How to Make Boba Milk Tea (Bubble Tea)

Author: Jee Choe
See how easy this classic bubble tea is to make and customize.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving (16 ounces)


Milk Tea

  • 1 tablespoon black tea (or 2 tea bags)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup milk or half & half

Tapioca Balls

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



  • Steep tea 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.
  • Strain tea leaves. Stir in brown sugar.
    Set aside to cool.


  • Boil ¾ cup of water and sugar in a saucepan. Add tapioca balls.
    Combine brown sugar and ¾ cup of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. When you see big bubbles (2-4 minutes), add tapioca balls. Keep boiling for 8 more minutes on medium-high heat. Cool slightly, until tapioca balls aren't too hot to eat. They should still be quite warm.


  • Add warm tapioca balls in brown sugar syrup into a cup. 
Add ice, tea, and milk.
    Serve immediately and stir before drinking. Use an extra wide straw to drink.


  • Brown sugar gives the drink a deep, rich flavor, but you can use regular white sugar if that's what you have.
  • Any kind of milk can be used but it's especially creamy with whole milk or half & half.
  • Black tea is used in a classic bubble tea, but you can use any kind of tea you like. Try making bubble tea with green, white, or oolong tea instead of black tea.
  • To keep the boba soft and chewy, add warm tapioca balls into the drink. The ice will cool it down a bit but make sure you don't use piping hot tapioca balls that can burn your mouth.
  • Unfortunately, tapioca balls need to be made within just a couple of hours of serving them. They can't be made the day before since they'll harden.
  • Cold brew tea can be used instead of hot tea that has been cooled down.
  • The tea can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Don't add the milk until you're ready to serve the drink.
  • Tea bags contains the lowest quality tea, but since it's going into a drink with sugar and milk, you don't need to use the best tea.


Calories: 310 | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 55mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 1mg
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