glass of bubble tea

If you live in a metropolitan area, you’ve no doubt seen a drink around town called bubble tea. The tea has an unmistakable appearance with chewy little tapioca balls, known as boba, resting at the bottom of the drink.

Bubble tea was made famous in the ’80s, a Taiwanese creation that cropped up throughout Taiwan and later China. Today, bubble tea can be found everywhere, including street vendors who specialize in making this delicious beverage.

Typically, bubble tea is made with a milky tea that has tapioca balls and sometimes jellied fruit added to it. This homemade bubble tea recipe will help you recreate this yummy drink at home, just like the professionals make it.

When creating the tea base for bubble tea, you want to create a very strongly brewed tea. It’s not so important that the tea be a premium quality of tea so much as the tea be incredibly strong. This is where bubble tea gets its slight bitterness from, which is necessary for a proper bubble tea drink.

If you’re worried that the tea will be too bitter, you shouldn’t be. Lots of cream helps dilute the bitterness, and some added sugar will sweeten the beverage. You only need a small handful of ingredients to create this bubble tea, and if you use instant tapioca balls, then you’ll be enjoying this homemade bubble tea in no time!

Bubble Tea Recipe

serves 4


  • 1 cup instant, dried, black tapioca pearls
  • 8 black tea bags
  • 6 tbsp superfine sugar, separated
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or 4 cups milk/nut milk)
  • Ice cubes


  1. To a small pot, add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Stir the tapioca pearls into the pot until they float to the top. Cover the pot and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and continue to let the tapioca pearls cook in the pot, with the lid on. Drain the tapioca pearls and run them under cool water for 10 seconds to stop cooking, then drain and pour into a bowl.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 cup of water to the tapioca pearls and let this mixture marinate for 15 minutes. Store the tapioca pearls in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your beverage.
  3. To a kettle or pot, add 6 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to low and add in the tea bags. Cover the kettle or pot and let the tea brew over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the kettle or pot from the stove and continue to let the tea brew off the heat for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add some tapioca pearls to the bottom of 4 glasses, then pour about 1 1/2 cups of brewed tea into each glass. Follow with 1/4 cup of cream (or 1 cup milk) and a tablespoon (or more/less, to taste) to the cup. Mix well to combine. Add some ice cubes in and serve.

Recipe adapted from

Born and raised in Southern California, Beeta has embraced a healthy lifestyle focused on farm-to-table cooking, natural products, and wellness routines. When she's not writing up recipes or discussing the latest natural living trends, Beeta enjoys spending time trying new restaurants, traveling with family and friends, and relaxing at home with her furry companion.