Make this easy Strawberry Bubble Tea at home in just a few simple steps. It’s perfect for summertime or anytime you want a refreshing, fruity drink.
Bubble tea is an iced tea drink that originated in Taiwan in the 1980s and has enjoyed growing popularity around the world in recent years. Bubble tea is also called Milk Tea, Boba Tea, Pearl Milk Tea, or just simply Boba. It typically consists of four main ingredients: tea, milk, sugar, and tapioca pearls. But, it can be customized in many ways, including with or without ice, or even blended into a smoothie consistency. The possibilities are endless!
You can find many kinds of tapioca pearls (boba) online and at Asian markets. Quick cooking boba is the most convenient but be sure to make each batch fresh to be used within about one hour. After that time, the chewy boba starts to harden. If you have never had bubble tea, the tapioca pearls are like a puffy, chewy gummy bear consistency and many people find them satisfying to suck up the traditional fat straw and chew while sipping their milk tea. For this reason, though I would suggest children under the age of four be supervised while consuming boba.
Strawberry Milk Bubble Tea
- 5 minutes
- 10 minutes
- 15 minutes
- 4 drinks
3 bags black or green tea
1 1/2 cups hot water
4 cups strawberry milk (or lactose-free strawberry milk)
1/2 cup quick cooking tapioca pearls (boba)
4 tablespoons simple syrup
- Steep the tea bags in water for at least 10 minutes for a strong tea. You can steep the tea and store in the refrigerator up to a day in advance, if needed.
- While the tea is steeping, prepare the boba according to package directions on the stove top. If it is quick-cooking boba, you will boil for 5 minutes and let simmer covered for 5 minutes.
- Remove the boba from the pot using a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl with about 4 tablespoons of simple sugar syrup. See notes.
- Divide sweetened, cooked tapioca pearls among 4 serving glasses. Pour prepared tea into each glass topped with 1 cup of strawberry milk. Add ice if desired. Serve with fat straws or long dessert spoons to reach the boba.
- Tapioca pearls can be cooked to desired consistency. The longer you boil them, the chewier they will become, and packages can vary on preparation times. I prefer to boil the pearls for about 5 minutes, until they float to the top then cover the pot, turn down the heat, and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Simple sugar syrup is equal parts sugar and water boiled until the sugar is dissolved. You can use white sugar or brown sugar. Simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
- As an alternative to the simple syrup, you can drain the water from the tapioca pearls and pour over about 2 tablespoons of honey, according to taste. Stir gently until the honey has melted.
- If not using prepared strawberry milk, you can use fresh strawberries. Emulsify 1 cup of fresh strawberries and blend with preferred white milk; whole or 2% works best.