Bubble tea is one of my favorite things to sip on year-round. It can be drank hot or cold, a quality that makes it suitable for any type of weather. There are many variations and fun flavors for the tea-based portion of the drink, but the milk tea flavor is a classic. If you never tried bubble tea before, I definitely suggest trying bubble milk tea for your first time. Despite how fancy and complex this beverage appears to be, it is actually very easy to make at home! I will share a recipe on how to make traditional bubble milk tea which is passed down from my mother.

The ingredients for this beverage are few but essential. First, grab a tea bag from your choice of tea. Black tea is traditionally used but some prefer green tea or oolong tea, so it's up to you! Today, I chose to use Hong Kong Style English Breakfast Tea. I’ve grown up drinking milk tea using this tea bag as it truly transforms the tea to a whole different level. It is a lot richer, creamier and not as bland or flat as other tea bags. I purchased these tea bags from my local Asian supermarket. Next, boba is another essential for this recipe. There are many types of boba that Asian supermarkets sell including white pearls, rainbow pearls, black pearls and instant boba. I am using black pearls today and they’re instant, which means they usually take less than 8 minutes to cook. Some boba require longer cook time (around 20 minutes) but these instant boba take a lot less time and taste just as good! Boba can be found in most Asian supermarkets as well; I got mine from Jmart.

Maggie Chen
Maggie Chen
Maggie Chen


- Instant Boba (3/4 cups)

- Hong Kong Style English Breakfast Tea bag (1 tea bag)

- Ice (6 cubes)

- Half and half (4 tablespoons)

- Honey (1 tablespoon)

- Sugar (3 tablespoons)

- Boba straws (My favorite reusable straws that come with a carrying bag and cleaning tool: https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Boba-Silicone-Cleaning-Milkshake/dp/B07L6RX1Z9/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=reusable+boba+straw&qid=1605319517&sr=8-10)

Serving size: 2 people

Prep time: 2 hours

Cook time: 15 minutes

Let’s begin.


1) In a bowl, pour two cups of boiling water over one tea bag.

2) Add three tablespoons of sugar to hot tea and stir to dissolve.

3) Cool tea to room temperature before placing it in the fridge to cool even further. Let tea cool for two hours in the refrigerator.

4) Cook boba according to directions on the package. I dropped ¾ cups of boba in a pot with six cups of boiling water and cooked it for three minutes. After it has finished cooking, I let it sit for three additional minutes with the lid covered.

5) Once boba is cooked, add one tablespoon of honey to sweeten boba pearls and mix.

6) Time to assemble! Take the tea and half and half out of the fridge. To a cup, add three ice cubes. Pour in boba (3/8 cups), 1 cup of tea and two tablespoons of half and half.

7) Stir and enjoy! 

Maggie Chen