Bubble tea (also known as boba tea or pearl milk tea) is a very popular drink that originated from Taiwan. There are generally 2 main varieties of bubble tea: a tea-based beverage that is mixed with milk and sugar or a fruit-flavored beverage. Regardless of the type of bubble tea, they’ll inevitably contain a healthy serving of black, chewy tapioca pearls (boba) at the bottom of the drink. You typically use a wider straw to drink bubble tea so that with every sip of tea, you’re also enjoying a few tapioca pearls. They’re very addictive!
The only downsides to buying bubble tea are that they usually contain too much sugar and they’re often made from powdered formula. That’s why I’m sharing this simple Jasmine Green Bubble Tea. It’s very easy to make and you can adjust the strength of the tea and the sweetness to your liking. Jasmine Green tea is perfect for this recipe because it is a very strong-flavored, bright tea that holds up well with milk.
Here are a few important notes for making this bubble tea:
- Stir the honey with the tea before adding the milk and ice. It’s very difficult for honey to dissolve in cold temperatures.
- Traditionally, bubble tea is made with regular milk. You can use almond or soy milk if you want a dairy-free version.
- We recommend using re-useable wide straws instead of plastic. We like these glass or stainless steel ones that are wide enough for boba.
- Brew the tea bags with 3 cups hot water. If you want a stronger tea flavor, use 4 bags. Let the tea steep as you prepare the other ingredients.
- Bring 5 to 6 cups of water to boil in a saucepan or pot. Add the tapioca pearls and cook according to package directions. I used quick-cooking tapioca pearls, which meant boiling them for 3 minutes and then simmering them for another 3 minutes. Other brands may require more time. The tapioca pearls should be floating when they're done. Transfer the cooked pearls to a bowl of ice water. Test one of the pearls by biting into one. They should be soft and chewy. If they're still hard at the center, it means they're not fully cooked.
- Remove the tea bags and stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons of honey, depending on your desired level of sweetness. If the tea is still very hot, let it sit for another 10 to 15 minutes until it reaches closer to room temperature.
- Grab 2 glasses and scoop 3 to 4 tablespoons of tapioca pearls into the glass. Pour in the tea, leaving room for milk and ice. Add 2 tablespoons of milk into each beverage and stir. If you want a milkier tea, add another tablespoon of milk into each cup.
- Top with a few ice cubes and serve with wide tapioca straws.