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DIY Food

{happy lady makes}: milk boba tea




I love treating myself a milk boba tea. Creamy, sweet, caffeinated, and doused in chewy fun – it's the perfect dessert-and-beverage-in-one. I previously shared some recipes
found on the web for creating this sweet concoction. However, I found that
most of these recipes and cafe-bought milk boba tea tends to be ultra
rich {from the dairy creamer used} and super sweet {from the pre-mixed
syrups}. So I now whip up my own version at home and have come up with my own process which
I find to be much easier, less heavy, and equally as tasty which I am
sharing with you today.

You'll need:
Loose tea
Tapioca pearls
Honey or sugar
Tea stick or coffee press
Milk tea powder
Jumbo straws

Here's how:

1. Make boba using the packaged tapioca pearls found at Asian grocery stores. I like the WuFuYuan
brand in the classic black tapioca color. {Note: this brand's tapioca pearls are already partially cooked so they won't take as long to make as this kind.}  Follow the directions on the
package which basically involves boiling the pearls for 5-10 minutes,
straining, then soaking in honey or sugar until ready to use. The full 8 oz. bag
makes 4-6 servings of Boba. So, if you're making just one or two
servings, I would use 1/4 of the bag.

2. While the boba is boiling, make your tea. I prefer black tea and use a fresh loose black coconut tea from Premium Steap,
but any loose tea of your choice will do. Because you'll be adding a
good portion of milk, the tea needs to be made in concentrated form.
For each serving, you'll need about 3-4 teaspoons of loose tea and 1/4
cup of hot water. You could use a tea stick or a Vietnamese coffee press
{available at Asian grocery stores} to brew your tea. Brew for 3-5 minutes until dark in color and rich without being bitter.

3. Add 3-4 teaspoons of black milk tea powder
to your concentrated tea brew. This adds sweetness and extra creamy
black tea flavor. Then add milk to your mixture. {The ratio is about
1/3 tea mixture to 2/3 milk.} Full fat milk will obviously be the
tastiest but low fat works well too. Non-fat and skim milk may be a bit
too watery here, but it's your choice. {If you want a simple tea boba with no milk then skip
this step all together.}

4. Finally, pour boba into a glass, add ice, and pour your milk tea mixture on top. Don't forget to add the straw!

{photos by Oh Joy. napkin by DwellStudio, vintage chalkboard from Blue Bell Bazaar.}


  1. thanks for the recipe! can’t wait to try this. my favorite flavor is taro root. maybe i can find this at an asian grocery store as well. perfect timing. i’m going to have hot pot in china town this friday. will search for these things then.

  2. I could have milk boba tea everyday even though it’s super cold out! Thanks for sharing with us your secrets to a perfect cup!

  3. Oh, man. I am drinking milk tea right now, and was just thinking that I really needed to find a great boba recipe. Joy to the rescue! I’m excited to try it; thanks for sharing!
    Oh, and that table cloth/placemat in the first photo. Where is that from? It’s magical!

  4. I absolutely love Boba Teas… my favorite is the green jasmine at Urth Cafe in LA (just in case you go there) i’ve also made it at home but i stopped because I was having too many of them on a regular basis… 🙂

  5. Thanks for the recipe, we made this last night – so good! Especially the black coconut tea from Premium Steap. It may just replace my favorite tea from Teavana (MatéVana)

  6. This is perfect for someone living in tropical country like me. But I think I have to find tea powder first, because I haven’t seen one here in our place. Looks really delicious, I still have to try this.


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