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How to Make Red Bean Milk Tea (With Real Red Bean Paste)

Red bean milk tea is not as popular as other milk tea or boba flavors. But we think it’s still very delicious and worth a try. If you haven’t tasted it before, maybe give it a go at home with this recipe.

It might not be your sugary Tiger milk tea, brown sugar milk tea, or taro milk tea, but that’s okay. There are a few times where we find ourselves craving a classic red bean milk tea with boba pearls. Since many members of the team have grown up eating or having red bean soup, it brings a nostalgic feel to us.

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. Let’s begin!

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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

How to Make Red Bean Milk Tea

Step 1

First, we’ll take care of our delicious tapioca pearls. We need to cook them and soak them in brown sugar syrup to give them a great taste. Plus, this is the longest step in our red bean boba recipe.

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! 

Ideally, you should follow the instructions on your packaging for boba. However, here are general instructions to follow if you don’t have any. Use 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. Once it reaches a rumbling boil, scoop about ⅓ cup of tapioca pearls into your pot of water and let them swim. Feel free to add more if you like a lot of tapioca pearls in your boba.

Important: 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 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar into your bowl. Mix your tapioca pearls and syrup until it’s well incorporated. An alternative is using raw brown sugar syrup. This way you don’t have to melt the brown sugar, it’s already in a syrup consistency.

After you’ve completed this step, set aside your bowl of tapioca pearls.

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

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 premade sweet red bean paste from your local Asian supermarket or online

One benefit of making your own sweet red bean paste at home is that you can control the texture and sweetness. Texture wise, some people enjoy their red bean paste more chunky. And of course, everyone has their own preference for sweetness.

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: Make your sweet red bean paste finer by mashing it with a fork even more than it already is. And then 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

Assembly. Now that you have everything you need prepared, we can begin preparing our serving glass for red bean milk tea with tapioca pearls.

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. 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. Thanks for reading with us on how to make red bean milk tea. If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, comment below how delicious it was! Feel free to share this with your best friend too.

Read our other popular milk tea recipes below.


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