5 Delicious Tapioca Bubble Tea Recipes

Bubble tea is a very famous and favorable beverage for many people.   I am sure no major city goes without a place where you can purchase and enjoy this drink.

However, you can easily prepare tapioca tea at home.  In fact, some people prefer making their own bubble tea for a variety of reasons.  First of all, it will cost you much less then at the store; second, you know that you used fresh ingredients; and third – you can customize your tea to your taste.

What is bubble tea?

If you’ve ever tasted bubble tea, you know it is a super tasty unique sweet drink. It’s basically sweetened iced tea or a cocktail mix with chewy tapioca pearls (beans). You can read a thorough post about boba tea in my post HERE.

A little time and the necessary ingredients and you can turn your kitchen into a bubble tea shop!

How to make bubble tea at home?

Remember, that any bubble tea contains 2 basic ingredients: tea of some kind and tapioca pearls of some kind.

1.      So, in the beginning you would need to decide on what kind of tea you would like to use: black, jasmine, green, white, flavored etc and use that tea.

2.      Then decide what kind of boba pearls you would like to use: boba flavors, colors, etc.  You can buy tapioca pearls in your local Asian store or online.

3.      And then you can start adding any ingredients you would like: milk, sugar, flavored syrups, fruit juices and so on to bring out the flavor.

I know it could be very confusing with all these variations and abundance of flavors, additives and types of bubble tea.  Start with the simple and original one.  Then think of what kind of flavors you like and then try those types.  Or you can just ask other people about their favorite flavors and try those. 

So, let’s start with the very basic, original recipe of milk boba tea, that you can easily make at home.

Cooking Tapioca Balls

Every bubble tea requires cooked boba in it.  Let’s explore how to cook perfect tapioca pearls.

Not every brand is the same, so follow your product’s cooking instructions outlined on the package. 

This is general guidelines on how to cook tapioca beads. 

  • Boil 300 ml of water. 
  • Add tapioca balls to boiling water 
  • Reduce heat and let boba boil on a low heat for 30 min (or according to instructions on your package).
  • Turn off the heat, cover pot with a lid and let tapioca sit for about 15 min.  Cooked boba will be floating on water surface.   If some boba is still sinking, cover the pot and wait another 15 minutes.
  • Once tapioca pearls are cooked, put them in a strainer and let cool under cold running water (this way pearls will stop cooking further).

Classic Bubble Tea Recipe


  • 3-5 tablespoons of cooked tapioca pearls
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cup of milk (you decide what kind of milk you like – 2% or 3%, soya, almond or rice, sweet or unsweetened).
  • 1 cup of Black tea (Assam, Darjeeling) or Chinese red tea
  • A glass of ice
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract


  • Brew strong tea (1 tsp per cup of boiling water), add sugar or any sweetener.  Allow the tea to cool.
  • Pour the tea into glasses so that the liquid fills only 1/2 cup. You should get 4 glasses of drink.
  • Add about 2 full tablespoons of tapioca balls to each glass.
  • Add ice (if you are planning on adding milk, do not fill up your glass to the top).
  • Add milk to taste to finish your yummy bubble tea.


Traditional bubble tea with milk


  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 tablespoon of loose tea (or 1-2 tea bags)
  • 2 tablespoons of cream (or milk, or soy milk, condensed milk or any other milk of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar syrup (if you are using condensed sweet milk, you might omit this step)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of cooked tapioca pearls


  • Prepare the tea: boil 1 cup of water and add 1 table spoon of loose tea (or 1-2 tea bags).  Bubble tea is traditionally cooked with black tea, but you can use green tea, oolong tea and even herbal teas.
  • Mix in a shaker 3/4 cup of tea with 2 tbsp. of cream and 1 tbsp of sugar syrup. 
  • Add ice, cover the shaker and shake the mixture until it turns frothy. (It is because of the bubbles formed by shaking that the tea has been so named, although most people believe it is because tapioca pearls look like bubbles!)
  • Add 3-4 tbsp. cooked tapioca pearls in the cup and the pour over the tea mixture.
  • Stir and drink! 

Blended Fruit Bubble Drink

fruit bubble tea


  • Fresh fruit of your choice (or a mix of fruit juices)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of cream (or milk, or condensed milk, or any other milk and milk substitutes)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of cooked tapioca balls
  • Handful of ice


  • Combine ice, fresh fruit (or fruit juice), sweetener (such as sugar syrup) and cream (or substitute) in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Put in a glass cooked tapioca pearls and pour in the fruit mixture.
  • Stir and drink!

Tips when preparing bubble tea

You can also buy 5-minute cooked pearls at the local Asian market. This will make it easy to prepare them when you have a sudden desire.

A small block of coconut jelly tapioca pearls contains a tons of calories! For a lighter alternative, find a little coconut jelly (Nath de Coco) and cut it into small squares.

Vanilla Bubble tea recipe


  • 3-4 tablespoons of cooked boba
  • 1 cup of regular milk 
  • 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar (follow your taste buds)  
  • 1 cup of strongly brewed black or red tea
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Ice – handful


  • Prepare tapioca balls
  • Brew strong tea
  • In a glass add boba, ¾ cup of tea, sugar, vanilla and top up with milk

Bubble green tea with mint and oranges

bubble tea flavors


  • 1 L of water
  • 5 tablespoons of green tea (or 6 tea bags)
  • Lime – half
  • Mint – 5 branches
  • 3-4 tablespoons of cooked tapioca balls
  • Oranges – 3 pieces.
  • Water – as needed, about  1.5 litres
  • Sugar – to taste
  • Ice – handful


  • Brew green tea for 5-7 minutes and then let cool down
  • Slightly squeeze juice out of mint leaves and lime and let infuse in green tea for about 5-10 minutes
  • Squeeze the juice out of the oranges.
  • Place tapioca balls into glasses, add tea-juice-mint mixture
  • Add ice and enjoy

Hopefully I convinced you that it is not hard to make your own bubble tea. You do not really need special bubble tea supplies to make classic milk tea. Probably your only “special” tea supply would be tapioca balls, the rest you can find in your kitchen.

You might also consider bubble tea straws: these straws are wide and will pass a single boba. However, as we become more a more aware of the environment and how much plastic pollution there is on our earth, I encourage you to use a simple spoon to scoop up delicious tapioca balls from the bottom of the cup.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.