I love bubble tea. The first time I tried the milky drink filled with chewy and jelly tapioca balls, I laughed at myself for not trying bubble tea sooner! I was always a little frightened of the little black balls swimming at the bottom of every round plastic cup. I of course had no clue those black balls were tapioca, and people in Taiwan had been snacking on the dessert since the ’80s. To me, they looked like the bomb boos in Mario and I tried other trendy drinks instead, like the pink drink from Starbucks.
But now I can’t get enough bubble tea (aka boba) and I finally put to use the bubble tea kit from Uncommon Goods I received last Christmas. I am an avid tea drinker ( chamomile for the win ;) and since boba is a milk tea I’m not surprised I enjoy it so much. I used to get boba quite frequently when I was in school and while stores are starting to reopen I don’t know any boba places near me and why not save some money by making it homemade instead!
Boba is super easy to make and in this recipe I will be using Katie and Dustin Watts's make-it-yourself Bubble Tea Kit. The kit comes with two different flavored teas, but I will be using the rooibos chai flavor. However, you do not need a kit to make this. As long as you have tea leaves/ bags and tapioca pearls the instructions will be the same. So let’s get making this wonderful and tasty drink!
*This recipe is enough for one cup of bubble tea. I used a 16 oz mason jar.*
1 teaspoon of rooibos chai tea leaves (see notes at the bottom)
4 cups of water
¼ cups of tapioca pearls
Sugar or any type of sweetener
Simple Syrup ingredients
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
2 saucepans and a lid
16oz mason jar (or any cup)
Make the tea: Boil two cups of water on a medium heated stove for 5-10 minutes. Pour the boiling water into a large cup (you will need to transfer the tea later). And place the rooibos chai tea leaves into your scoop n’ slide infuser to let the tea steep for 5 minutes. Let it cool so the flavor is not diluted later on.
Prepare the simple syrup: Pour a cup of water and sugar into a saucepan and stir on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Transfer into a jar to cool completely.
Cook the tapioca pearls: Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan on medium heat and pour in ¼ cup of tapioca pearls. Once the pearls start to float ( it is beyond satisfying to watch ! ) cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer for 5 minutes on low heat. After 5 minutes, strain the tapioca pearls and rinse with cold water. Set aside and cover with the simple syrup creation.
Making your completed bubble tea! : Pour your chilled tea into your cup of choice, followed by the tapioca pearls. Add ¼ cup of milk and some ice if needed. Leftover simple syrup can be added for taste. Pop in your metal straw and you’re good to go!
If you don’t have tea leaves, use one or two tea bags to get the same rich tea taste. You will not need the scoop n’ slide infuser if using tea bags.