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How to Make Brown Sugar Milk Tea (Tiger Milk Tea)

It’s no secret that brown sugar bubble tea is extremely popular these days. According to Google, this boba flavor is searched for more than 1000 times per month. 

And that number is growing larger! 

It’s even been made into a popular ice cream bar. Side note, has anyone tried this brown sugar milk tea ice cream bar? It’s delicious, isn’t it? 

This particular boba flavor has been making a lot of noise in the boba world and has garnered A LOT of attention. If you don’t live under cups of boba, then you’ve seen it before. 

Brown sugar pearl milk tea, tiger milk tea, or brown sugar milk tea looks like this for those missing out.

Brown sugar boba and its beautiful looking “tiger stripe” aesthetic attracts a lot of people. Plus, it’s Instagram worthy. So of course people want to try it out. 

So enough talking. Let’s get into making delicious brown sugar milk tea or tiger milk tea (step by step).

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Prep Time

15 Minutes

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Cook Time

15-20 Minutes

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Total Time

30-40 Minutes

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1-2 Servings

Ingredients you'll need
for making
Brown Sugar Milk Tea

How to Make Brown Sugar Milk Tea

Step 1

Before we start this recipe for tiger milk tea or brown sugar milk tea, we recommend you start by making the boba pearls. 

We wrote an easy to follow guide on how to do this in another Talk Boba blog post. You can find “How to Make Tapioca Pearls from Scratch” by clicking here

We’re not going anywhere. Come back here when you’re complete! 

Step 2

Amazing! Now that you have delicious boba pearls cooked up, set those aside. 

Let’s get started on making our brown sugar milk tea recipe or pearl milk tea! 

The first step is creating a super thick brown sugar syrup. This is used to sweeten the drink and line the inner cup of the milk tea to give it that “tiger stripe” look. This is also part of the reason why another name for brown sugar milk tea is tiger milk tea. 

Here’s exactly how to make brown sugar syrup from scratch. Take 1 cup of water and 1 cup of the muscovado sugar and put them together in a pot. Bring your pot to a boil, then lower the heat for a simmer, and stir occasionally. 

You’re looking for a thick and molasses-like consistency from the brown sugar syrup. If you’ve ever made caramel from scratch then you know what consistency to look for. It’s very similar.  

Once it has achieved the right texture, set it aside and let it cool. 

Step 3

Next, take 1 and 1/2 cups of your preferred milk (we like using oat milk) and bring it to a boil. Once the oat milk comes to a boil, add 2 black tea bags or loose black tea leaves into the pot. 

We love to use loose black tea leaves like these so that the aromatic notes and depth of flavors infuse nicely. Sometimes using already made black tea bags do not get the best flavors out of them. But they sure are convenient at times! 

Use what you prefer or view other suggested tea brands in our bubble tea kit

Steep for 3-5 minutes. You’ll experience a full-bodied flavor of tea with this steep duration. 

Once the tea has steeped for 3-5 minutes, remove the tea bags (or strain the loose tea leaves) and allow it to cool to room temperature. 

Step 4

Grab your cocktail shaker and fill it with the cooled down steeped tea and a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 1-2 minutes and you’ll have a really cold milk tea (and hands).  

Step 5

It’s time to finally assemble your cup of brown sugar milk tea and serve. 

Grab your favorite boba glass and put in as much boba as you like into it. Then take a spoon and the syrup mixture we made in step 2, and line the inside of the cup with the brown sugar syrup. 

We found that using a long spoon or ladle similar to this one from OXO works best. Feel free to add as much syrup as you like! 

Lastly, fill up your glass with the milk tea you shook up and you’re on your way to enjoying some delicious brown sugar milk tea! 

We hope you enjoyed this recipe for tiger milk tea or brown sugar milk tea. 

We based this recipe off of what we thought was the most balanced taste. But our taste might not match your taste buds. So experiment with it! You might want more of a malty taste by adding more brown sugar syrup. 

If you’re curious, here’s a lot of other names that people call this drink. 

  • Tiger milk tea or tiger boba 
  • Brown sugar pearl milk tea or brown sugar pearl bubble tea
  • Pearl milk tea or pearl bubble tea 
  • Tiger sugar milk
  • Black tiger tea, black sugar bubble tea, black sugar milk tea

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