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How to Make Red Bean Milk Tea

Red bean milk tea is not as popular as other flavors like tiger milk tea, brown sugar pearl milk tea, oolong milk tea or even the classic milk tea.

But there are few times where we find ourselves craving a classic red bean milk tea with boba pearls. Since many members of the team has grown up eating or having red bean soup, it brings a nostalgic feel to us.

So we decided to whip up a recipe about red bean milk tea for you to enjoy.

See the exact steps on how to make red bean milk tea below. And of course, we add boba or tapioca pearls to the drink too.

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Prep Time

10 Minutes

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Cook Time

5 Minutes

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Total Time

15-20 Minutes

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1 Serving

Ingredients you'll need
for making
Red Bean Milk Tea

  • 1 cup brewed loose leaf black tea
  • ⅓ cup red bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons Sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅓ cup tapioca pearls
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar

How to Make Red Bean Milk Tea

Step 1 

The first step we’ll take care of is the tapioca pearls because we want to soak them in a brown sugar syrup mixture while we make the rest of the red bean bubble tea. 

To make things easy and super convenient we’ll be using these boba pearls that cook within 5-10 minutes. It makes the cooking process very quick! 

You can follow the instructions that are labeled on the packaging but here are a few instructions just in case. Go ahead and grab a medium-sized pot and fill it up with water. 2-3 cups of water will work great for our serving size of red bean milk tea.

Bring your pot of water to a boil until it’s at a constant rumbling boil. Once it reaches that point, scoop about ⅓ cup of tapioca pearls into your pot of water and let them swim. Feel free to add more if you like tapioca pearls a lot. 

Be sure to stir often otherwise your boba pearls will stick to the pot or stick together. We don’t want this to happen. Plus, if it sticks to the pot, it’s very difficult to clean up!

Once your boba pearls float to the top, give 1 pearl a taste test for texture. If the texture is how you’d like them to be, turn off the heat and strain your boba pearls into a small bowl. While your boba pearls are hot, add roughly 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar and mix until it’s all melted and incorporated. An alternative is using raw brown sugar syrup that you can buy from the store, this way you don’t have to melt the brown sugar. 

Learn how to make brown sugar syrup from scratch at home here.

Once you’re done with the boba pearls, you can set it aside.

Step 2

Let’s get our red bean paste ready to rock and roll. 

You can find a recipe on how to make sweet red bean paste at home or you can buy some premade from your local Asian supermarket or online

The benefits of making your own red bean paste at home can be that you control the texture and overall sweetness. Sometimes people like their red bean paste a bit more chunky then store-bought ones, for its texture. And vice versa.

Also, some individuals like their red bean paste more sweet too. 

If you want to control the overall taste of your red bean paste and red bean milk tea, try making some at home. Otherwise, you can buy a red bean paste like this from Morinaga

One tip for texture: If you want the red bean paste to be finer, mash it up with a fork even more than it already is and run it through a mesh colander a couple of times to have a fine paste. 

Step 3

Now let’s get started with brewing our tea. We typically use a robust black tea for our red bean milk tea so that we have a nice balance of sweetness and tea flavor. You can see some of our favorite loose leaf black tea brands here, we’ll be using the VAHDAM brand for this recipe specifically. 

You can brew your loose leaf tea in two ways. A standard stovetop kettle or an electric kettle. We’ll use our office’s electric kettle for this one, it typically boils water within 2-3 minutes with a press of a button. 

Once your water is hot enough, pour yourself a cup of brewed black tea.

Step 4


Now that you have everything you need prepared, we can begin making our actual red bean milk tea. 

Start with your tapioca pearls or boba pearls. Grab your favorite glass to drink out of and add your boba pearls first. Note, be sure the glass is big enough to fit everything we will be adding. 

After the boba pearls, you can add your sweetened condensed milk. We usually add 1.5-2 tablespoons but feel free to add your preferred amount based on sweetness and creaminess. 

Next, we like to add our brewed tea. Add your 1 cup of brewed black tea into your glass and then top it all off with your red bean paste. Give it a good mix and stir to incorporate everything together and there you have it.

Your very own red bean milk tea. Delicious! 

BONUS: If you have whole red beans (not the paste) you can also add this on top of your tea to make it aesthetic. Plus it gives it a unique texture element, in addition to your boba pearls. 

Read our other popular milk tea recipes below.

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