Bubble tea, also known as Boba here in the States, is simply milk tea with tapioca balls. This drink originated in Taiwan and has made it's way to several countries all over the world and of course in the United States of America. Many tea shops in North America create their own versions of this traditional drink by using different teas, milks, and even fruit/vegetable bases. While there are several must-try bubble tea stores around California and in New York City, this is an easy recipe for you to make the classic black milk bubble tea right in your very home.

Bubble Tea

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:1 hr
  • Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
  • Servings:3
  • Easy


  • 1/4 cup tapioca balls
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 bags black tea
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
milk, coffee, tea, cream, dairy product
Shizuka Tei
  • Step 1

    Boil water and brew the 3 bags of black tea. Once the tea is brewed, let it cool down and place it in the refrigerator.

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    Shizuka Tei
  • Step 2

    In a pot, boil 4 cups of water. Once the water is boiled, pour in the tapioca balls and keep stirring the tapioca balls as it cooks to ensure that the balls don't stick together. This process may take about 20-45 mins depending on the brand of tapioca balls. Once the tapioca balls have expanded and have a sticky consistency, drain the remaining water and let the tapioca balls cool.

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    Shizuka Tei
  • Step 3

    In a separate pot, pour the remaining cup of water and let it boil. As the water is boiling, carefully pour in the brown sugar and the honey. Stir the mixture until the ingredients are well incorporated.

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    Shizuka Tei
  • Step 4

    Pour the tapioca pearls into the pot with the syrup and let it sit and absorb the syrup for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

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    Shizuka Tei
  • Step 5

    Place the honey tapioca balls into cups (recommended amount is to fill 1/3 of the cup but add as many as desired) and stir in the black tea along with 1/2 cup of milk per serving.

    coffee, milk, cream, espresso, ice, tea, cappuccino, mocha
    Shizuka Tei

Wide straws are crucial for this refreshing drink so don't forget to buy them at the supermarket for an easy drinking experience. If you can't find tapioca balls at your local Asian supermarket, you can purchase them online on Amazon. Instead of using black tea, other amazingly tasting homemade bubble tea can be made using green tea or even earl grey tea.