How Bubble Tea is Made

So it looks like you landed here because you want to make some bubble tea right? Well you’re in luck! This is exactly what we’ll be teaching you here at Talk Boba. 

Making bubble tea is very simple, all it takes is 4 steps and you’re on your way to sipping heaven. No really, bubble tea (or boba) is just that amazing. If you haven’t tried it for yourself, now is your chance. It’s delicious, creamy and very easy to make! 

Trust us, once you can get down this recipe for the classic milk tea, you can start creating the other flavors that you love at your local boba cafes. By the way, what is your favorite boba flavor anyway? We might just have a full recipe on how to make it here if you’re interested! 

Before we get started on the steps of how bubble tea is made, be sure to grab yourself a Talk Boba pin for 15% OFF. Only people reading this article will know about the secret code, talkboba15. 

Alrighty let’s get to it, how bubble tea is made.

What is Bubble Tea? 

Before we get started on the steps of how bubble tea is made, we have to know exactly what bubble tea is right? Of course! 

Bubble tea originated in Taiwan around the 70s and 80s, being a milk tea drink usually consumed during breakfast and lunch hours. It got the name “bubble” tea because the originators would shake up the mixture of tea, milk and sweetener which would create bubbles!

Fun fact: Bubble tea was not originally called bubble tea because of the tapioca pearls. The boba pearls were only referred to as the bubbles around the last decade or so. 

Tapioca pearls (boba pearls) like these didn’t come into the picture until later. Around the early 2000s tapioca pearls became much more popular especially as milk tea became popular in the western culture. Nowadays people will interchange the words tapioca pearls, boba pearls, boba and bubbles to refer to the delicious black balls in milk tea. 

If you hadn’t guess already… bubble tea is made of up 4 parts: freshly brewed tea, creamer or milk, sweetener of choice and topping of choice. Freshly brewed tea can consist of green teas, jasmine teas, black teas and more depending on what flavor of boba you’re craving. In terms of milks or creamers, you’ll generally find the typical 2% milk used, sweetened condensed milk, regular condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, oat milk, almond milk, soy milk and more. In terms of sweeteners, you’ll usually find boba cafes use a simple syrup or brown sugar syrup. And lastly, the toppings. There are many toppings that can be used from grass jelly, boba pearls, popping boba pearls, puddings and more. 

Now that we know the full scope of what goes into bubble tea? How is it made? 

How Bubble Tea is Made
@joshwu13 3 Different types of bubble tea.

How Bubble Tea is Made in 4 Steps

To refrain from structuring this article like a full guide or recipe on how to make bubble tea (since we already have that here), we’ll lightly touch on each step. Don’t worry this will help you get the general picture of how bubble tea is made. 

If you really want a full in depth guide of how to make bubble tea, be sure to check out this article here. It’s a full recipe guide on how to make classic black milk tea with boba pearls. Hundreds have enjoyed the recipe and you might too! 

Step 1— Fresh Brewed Tea

Just like any really good bubble tea, it all starts in the freshly brewed tea. Typically Talk Boba likes to use loose leaf teas like these ones from Tea Forte or Vahdam. The reason why loose leaf teas are better for bubble tea is because you need a strong tea concentrate. Without a strong tea concentrate your tea will be overpowered by either the milk or sweetener. We don’t want that. 

You can read the differences between loose leaf tea vs tea bags here if you’d like to learn more. 

For any one cup of bubble tea you’d usually add about ¾ cups of tea concentrate into your 8oz cup. Feel free to add more or less based on your preferences, after all Talk Boba is here to guide you in perfecting your very own bubble tea.  Grab a measuring cup like this for accurate measurements if you don’t already have one at home (which you should).

Step 2— Toppings of Choice 

Like we mentioned above there are a lot of boba toppings that you can choose from with your bubble teas. We’ll mention it again, popular boba toppings include boba pearls (obviously), egg puddings, jellies, popping boba and even red/green beans! 

If you’re just starting to make bubble tea we’d suggest sticking with traditional boba pearls. Here’s an inexpensive bag of tapioca pearls you can buy right from Amazon too! Get it within 2 days with Amazon Prime here, if you aren’t signed up already, be sure to click here and receive your first 30 days for free! 

How Bubble Tea is Made
@talkboba Tapioca pearls and brown sugar syrup.

Step 3— Choose Your Milk or Creamer

Arguably the most important part of the bubble tea, milk and/or creamer. 

The reason why this can make or break your bubble tea is because milk and creamers serve as the textural element of your bubble tea and the flavor balancing element of your bubble tea. Now you can imagine how important both these can be! 

If your bubble tea is too watery, it won’t have a nice mouth feel especially when you’re chewing your boba pearls. You want the texture to be creamy but not too thick. You’d also want the taste to be smooth not full of deep and bitter tea flavors, there has to be a good balance between the two! 

Step 4— Pick Your Sweetener 

Now there aren’t too many options when it comes to sweeteners, unfortunately. Like we mentioned before the typical sweetners are simply syrups and brown sugar syrups. Sometimes boba cafes won’t even use any of these if their using sweetened condensed milk because the sugar in condensed milk is already enough. 

If we were to suggest a sweetener to use for your bubble tea we would recommend brown sugar syrup. It adds a deeper molasses type of flavor that is very enjoyable with bubble tea. It makes the flavor profile all the more better! If you would like to know how to make brown sugar syrup the correct way (without burning it) be sure to read our full in-depth guide on how to make brown sugar here. 

We almost forgot, honey is used just as much as brown sugar syrup too!

@bobaonthegoo Brown sugar pearl milk tea.

Your Bubble Tea is Ready 

Now that you’ve learned a bit about what bubble tea actually is and how it’s made step by step, do you think you’re ready to tackle a recipe for yourself? 

To start we’d suggest making the classic black milk tea with boba pearls. However, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous and looking for a challenge try making some strawberry matcha milk teas, Thai milk teas or even lychee milk teas

All of these bubble tea flavors are just as amazing as the first and we highly recommend giving them a try if you haven’t already. 

We hope you enjoyed reading this how bubble tea is made article with us. Let us know if you have any comments or questions about anything bubble tea. Simply join the conversation below and let us know! Like always, just talk about boba, duh! 

Talk Boba is the largest and most engaged boba community. With over thousands of readers and boba lovers engaging with us across many platforms, we strive to spread boba and the culture it’s brought with it. We’re here to just talk about boba, duh! And occasionally drink boba while doing so.

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