Make Your Own Bubble Tea

by Lu
Bubble Tea

Here’s how to make your own bubble tea at home. There’s a basic recipe at the bottom of this post which you can endlessly customize. As for me, I like a lot of chewy boba and creamy milk tea. This is the boba I use, which you can find in an Asian grocery store. At home, I like making bubble tea in a mason jar because you can cap it and give it a good shake, as bubble tea baristas do in Asia. You’ll also need wide bubble tea straws to suck up the boba.

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Milk Tea with Boba-1

How to Make Bubble Tea

How to Make Bubble Tea


Black tea


  1. Make the boba first. Add a handful of tapioca pearls to a lot of boiling water and keep boiling on medium-low heat until the pearls have expanded and are squishy.
  2. At the same time, brew a doubly strong batch of tea. You're making it doubly strong because you'll be adding quite a bit of milk later.
  3. Drain your boba when they're cooked and quickly rinse under cold water. This will wash off the sticky tapioca starch. Add the boba to a jar and pour in enough tea so that all the pearls are submerged. Add several spoonfuls of sugar, cap the jar, shake it up to mix the contents, and keep it at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Sweeten the rest of the brewed tea to taste and chill it if you want a cold drink.
  5. When you're ready to have a bubble tea, add tea, boba, milk, and ice to a lidded jar, shake well and drink with a bubble tea straw.

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Murrr May 28, 2018 - 12:52 pm

Hi! I wanted to make tiramisu flavored bubble tea? How do you suggest I do that? I wanted to get a coffee flavor. Thanks!

Lu July 19, 2018 - 9:15 am

That’s an interesting question! Perhaps just use tiramisu flavored coffee instead of tea?

Wendy April 20, 2018 - 8:38 am

Hi Lu,

My favorite Boba tea is vanilla chai. How would you suggest making this flavor at home?

Lu April 30, 2018 - 6:32 am

Hi Wendy! You can use my chai recipe (, steep the tea with a vanilla bean, then just add boba!

Jacq April 19, 2018 - 4:31 am

Hi! May I know what kind of cream are you referring to in your recipe? Thanks!

Lu April 30, 2018 - 6:37 am

Hi Jacq, it’s just heavy cream or whipping cream, and it’s completely optional. I usually don’t have dairy milk in the fridge and soy milk doesn’t taste as rich, so that’s why I add a dash of cream. If you’re using dairy milk you don’t need it at all!

Luna Wolf March 29, 2018 - 2:28 pm

Hello, for the black tea, how would you use Aged Earl Grey? It’s the only black leaves for tea I currently have.

Lu March 30, 2018 - 11:23 am

Hi Luna, you can use your aged earl grey in the same quantity called for in this recipe. Sounds like a lovely flavor twist on classic bubble tea!

Victoria February 17, 2018 - 4:42 pm

Hi…does green tea work with this too? I am not a tea conneseiur so just wondering what has the best flavor. Thank you so much for this recipe. I am excited to try it.

Lu February 26, 2018 - 3:15 am

Hi Victoria! Yes, green tea will work too, just use less milk or leave the milk out altogether. In China iced jasmine green tea with boba is really popular.

Maria Shalikar December 12, 2017 - 6:25 am

Do you refrigerate the left over tapioca pearls? I’d rather cook a big batch of these tapioca pearls at one time for future use rather than cook them every single time I feel like drinking bubble tea.

Lu March 30, 2018 - 11:21 am

Hi Maria, large tapioca pearls (the ones in this recipe) don’t refrigerate too well, it sort of goes back to being slightly raw in the center if chilled for too long. You could make a bigger batch but just be aware of this texture issue!

Stella August 17, 2017 - 4:46 am

This is great recipe. I like it. Thank you for your article

Lu March 30, 2018 - 11:18 am

Thank you Stella!

Ursula @ March 24, 2015 - 7:40 pm

Hi Lu,
I have never tried to make my own bubble tea, but thx for the idea. Do you use a special kind of black tea? The pictures look great!

Lu March 24, 2015 - 9:49 pm

Thanks Ursula! I just get loose leaf tea that’s packed in bags or cans. Tao of Tea, Mighty Leaf, and Harney & Sons are all good.

Ursula @ March 25, 2015 - 9:25 am

Thanks for the tip. I’ll try the recipe soon!

Kim @ MomCanIHaveThat March 14, 2015 - 12:49 am

I love bubble tea. I’m so glad to finally have the recipe! -Kim

Lu March 14, 2015 - 8:35 am

Awesome, enjoy!

Alison @ Food by Mars March 10, 2015 - 1:07 pm

I <3 BUBBLE TEA. This is so useful and I'll be using it all spring and summer… theenks.

Lu March 10, 2015 - 1:10 pm

Yay! glad you found it useful 😀


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