How To Make Boba Tea

How To Make Boba Tea | Simple Boba Milk Tea Recipe
Making boba tea at home is super easy-- who knew??

Until recently, boba tea (aka bubble tea) seemed like one of those things I would never make at home– but it’s actually insanely easy and fun to make! All you need is iced tea, boba, simple syrup, and boba tea straws.

The riffs you can make on the basic boba tea recipe below are endless, so get creative and do some experimenting! Try coconut milk instead of dairy or nut milk, use any kind of tea you can imagine, and maybe even blend up some frozen fruit and make a slushie-fruity-boba-tea masterpiece! On a cold day, you can even enjoy boba tea warm!

You can also infuse your simple syrup with flavors like vanilla bean, lavender, or cinnamon: just add your flavoring to the simple syrup while it simmers, and leave it to steep longer for a stronger flavor if needed. I used a splash of rosewater in my basic black boba tea recipe below for a bit of pizazz!

Before you get started, here’s a few tips:

  • Remember that when brewing tea for bubble tea that it’s going to be iced and have sugar and milk added to it, so it’s important to brew the tea stronger than you usually would so the flavor shines through.
  • Also, be sure when you make your boba that you know whether it is instant boba or not. Either one will work, they just have different cooking times! Regular boba takes about 12 minutes to cook, while instant boba only takes about 5. And boba is best made to order– if stored in the refrigerator is will become hard and lose some of its texture.
  • If you need more or less simple syrup, the formula is always equal parts sugar and water, so make as much as you need!
How To Make Boba Tea | Simple Boba Milk Tea Recipe

Boba Tea Recipe

Boba Tea

This recipe uses regular black tapioca pearls, not instant black tapioca pearls. You may certainly use instant tapioca, just follow the directions on the package instead of the directions below. Do not refrigerate the tapioca after its been cooked-- it will become hard.
Servings: 4 Servings


For The Tea:

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tea bags (I use Red Rose tea)

For The Simple Syrup:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

For The Tapioca:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup regular black tapioca pearls

For Serving:

  • whole milk or nut milk
  • chilled rose water (optional)
  • ice cubes
  • 4 boba tea straws


Brew The Black Tea:

  • Heat the water to 200-212F in a medium pot. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags to the pot and steep 5 minutes. Let cool, then chill until cold.

Prepare The Simple Syrup:

  • Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a container and chill in the refrigerator.

Prepare The Tapioca Pearls:

  • In a medium pot (you can use the same one used for the tea if you like), bring the water to a boil. Add the tapioca pearls and cook, while stirring, until the pearls are floating (this will take about 3 minutes.) Reduce heat to medium, cover, and continue to cook about 12 minutes more. Drain the tapioca and transfer to a heatproof bowl or container. Add 3 tbsp of the simple syrup and stir to coat. Allow to cool to room temperature.


  • Stir together the iced tea, milk to taste, 6 tbsp of the syrup (or to taste), and 1/2-1 tsp of rosewater (or to taste). Divide the boba between glasses. Add ice cubes to the glasses, then fill the glasses with the tea mixture. Serve with a boba tea straw and enjoy!

Tell me what you think in the comments below!

How To Make Boba Tea | Simple Boba Milk Tea Recipe

How will you flavor your boba tea? What kind of tea will you use?

How about a Bahn Mi to go with that boba tea??

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