What is Milk-based bubble tea?

what is a milk bubble tea?

Bubble tea (also known as pearl milk tea, tapioca milk tea, or bubble milk tea) is a tea-based drink that originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s.

There are two main categories, namely milk-based and water-based bubble teas.

Let's explore what a typical milk-based bubble tea consists of...

  • Milk-based bubble tea is an iced milk tea with chewy tapioca pearls (or balls).
  • Tapioca pearls and milk powders go together for this one!
  • After it's cooked, the tapioca pearls are steeped in brown sugar syrup to give them a sweet taste.
  • Usually the prepared and flavoured milk tea with ice is then poured over the tapioca pearls, usually from a shaker, into a cup or glass.
  • A thick boba straw is then used to sip up the delicious drink and allow the pearls to shoot up into your mouth - there is nothing quite like it!
  • There are various milk powder flavours available to crown your taste buds!

The basic steps in making a typical milk bubble tea: 

  • Cook the tapioca pearls (see our recipe on how to cook tapioca).
  • Brew your favourite tea. 
  • Mix your preferred milk with one of our milk powders.
  • Mix the milk with your tea for a creamy texture. 
  • Scoop the cooked tapioca pearls into a cup or a glass.
  • Add the ice.
  • Stir and enjoy! 
milk-based bubble tea
the main ingredients of a typical milk bubble tea:

tea and milk as the base
  • Classic bubble milk teas are usually made with black teas such as Earl Grey or JOKO that serve as the foundation of the drink.
  • Cow's milk is then normally added after you've mixed it with your favourite milk powder flavour.
  • Non-diary such as soy, almond, oat, or coconut milk can be used, depending on your preference, and for a vegan option.
  • Kindly note that non-dairy options do tend to be thinner than dairy options. You can add creamers or adjust the ice. 
milk powder as flavour
  • There are various milk powders available that are the foundation of the flavour you're going for.
  • The powder is usually mixed with the brewed tea and milk before being poured into the cup or glass.
  • Usually the tea, milk, powder, and ice are all mixed together in a shaker. This really mixes everything together quite well!
  • The tea will already be sweet, but if you want to increase the sweetness, you can add some of our simple syrup or condensed milk or even honey.
the bubbles as the "fun" 
  • The sweet taste of the tea paired with chewy tapioca balls makes up the unique element that is bubble tea.
  • The pearls break away from the same boring consistency that other drinks have.
  • Bubble tea is served in transparent cups with a fat straw so that - as you sip - the tapioca balls come shooting up and can be chewed as you swallow down the delicious drink.
  • The tapioca pearls are first scooped into a cup or glass before everything else is poured over it.
  • Bubble tea is typically served with ice, either poured over last or mixed together with the milk tea in a shaker
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Buy the ingredients now