Ever wondered what it’s like to actually make bubble tea or boba at home yourself?
There are many types of bubble tea that you can make nowadays. Especially since there are multiple types of bubble teas out there like fruit bubble teas, milk bubble teas and even coffee bubble teas.
For fruit bubble teas you may experience deliciousness through fresh honeydew bubble teas. Or you can taste creamy and sweet flavors of thai milk tea and coffee milk teas. (All are great in our opinion).
We’ll keep it simple here though. We’ll be teaching you how to make a classic, the one and only hong kong milk tea. It’s quite simple, made with delicious tapioca pearls, black tea leaves or tea bags and a sweetener.
Let’s dive in!
What is Hong Kong Milk Tea?
Hong Kong milk tea is very famous in the Hong Kong tea culture in the home country but also in the United States. If you’re a cantonese speaking chinese american, more than likely you’ve grown up drinking hong kong milk tea or known as Lai Cha in chinese.
Bringing back any memories?
This bubble tea was made famous as people would drink the tea regularly while having authentic hong kong cuisines during the afternoon. The silky smooth texture and powerful tea flavors made it a staple to drink during family gatherings or regular outings during lunch time.
How to Make Hong Kong Milk Tea
It’s very easy to make hong kong milk tea. What you’ll need is the following…
- Natural black tea leaves or black tea bags from your favorite brand
- Freshly made tapioca pearls or store bought tapioca pearls from your local asian supermarket
- A sweetener of some sort, typically condensed milk is used but you may opt for a combination of regular milk and sugar.
Preparing your black tea
The first step in making a silky smooth hong kong style milk tea is to start with the correct preparation of your tea leaves or tea bags.
If you’re using tea leaves, a good rule of thumb to go by is 3 grams of tea leaves for every 6 ounces of water you will be using to boil. (If you like your tea stronger, simply bump up the amount of tea leaves you’re willing to use).
Bring your pot of water and tea leaves to a boil for about 3 minutes. The longer you let the tea water and black tea leaves boil, the more bitter it becomes. But if you don’t boil it enough, you may not release the correct depth of flavors you need to enjoy your hong kong style milk tea. Be sure to take notes on the best boiling time for your preference.
After boiling, simply allow your black tea to steep for another 5 minutes or so for the rest of the flavor to release completely. When ready, pour your tea into a 8 ounce coffee mug.
Adding your sweetener
The best step in creating a great black milk tea is the sweetener. Like we said before, the sweetener used is typically condensed milk.
You can buy condensed milk readily made for you in your local supermarkets or asian supermarkets. (You might have better luck going to the asian supermarket to obtain all your ingredients at once).
Once you have your sweetener (we’ll use condensed milk in this case) add 1 or 2 teaspoons of it to your black tea that you just poured into your favorite coffee mug. Give it a mix until you begin to see the silky texture appear and everything is blended well together.
Adding the tapioca pearls
Depending on whether you bought tapioca pearls or not, this step is very fast. If you bought black tapioca pearls from your local supermarket, all you’d have to do is follow the instructions on the back of the package.
Typically the instructions will say to boil the tapioca pearls for 10-15 minutes or until your preference is satisfied. We tend to like boiling our tapioca pearls until it has a great balance of chew and soft texture.
If it’s too chewy, you might’ve boiled it too much. If it has a powdery or starchy breakdown when you chew, you didn’t boil it enough.
Tip: Try eating the boil during your boiling process to ensure you have the right texture. (Don’t BURN your tongue though!) The boiling time may or may not change based on the serving amount you choose to boil.
If you’re making tapioca pearls from scratch, this may take a lot longer. You’d have to grab some cassava starch or tapioca flour in order to hand make those tiny black pearls. Future article will be written about this specifically so stay tuned for this.
Add your cooked boba pearls into your already made Lai Cha, give it one final mix and you’re all set for enjoying the hong kong classic, black milk tea. That’s it!
Thanks for reading this article and let us know how your black milk tea turned out if you made it at home! Was it as hard as you expected?
If you want to suggest more content to this article or want to write for us, please let us know through our contact page. Like always, talk about boba, duh!