Bubble Tea 101

Print Recipe


Ingredients (serves 1)

¼ cup tapioca pearls

2.50 cups of water

¼ cup of sugar syrup

1 cup of brewed black tea – our favourite is Black Tea Rose

½ cup of chilled full fat milk (or an alternative plant-based option)

Tray of prepared frozen ice cubes

Tall glass to serve the tea in

Wide straw to drink with

Shaker to mix the liquids together on assembly



Prepare your pearls:

  1. Bring 2.50 cups of water to a rolling boil over a high heat in a medium pot with lid.
  2. Carefully add the tapioca pearls to the pot.  Stir for 15 seconds then reduce the heat to medium
  3. Bring the water back to a low simmer and cover the pot halfway.  Leave to cook for 30 – 40 minutes, checking and stirring the pearls every 5 - 10 minutes to make sure they don’t stick/boil over.
  4. Take the pan off the heat, stir and then put the lid back on tightly for 35 minutes allowing it to fully cook.  You will notice the pearls becoming more and more clear until translucent.
  5. Once translucent, strain in a colander and rinse with lukewarm water.  Set aside and consume within 6 hours. 

Brew your tea:

  1. Tea Leaf – Prepare your pot of tea.  As soon as it is brewed, pour the liquor off the leaf and set aside to cool.  We enjoy using a scented black tea – our all time favourite is the traditional black tea rose (to link), with earl grey supreme (to link) and soursop(to link) other great options.
  1. Prepare a simple sugar syrup

Place sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Bring to the boil without further stirring and once boiled remove from heat and allow to cool.  Store in a lidded jar in the fridge, it will keep for around 2 weeks. 


Assemble your Bubble Tea:

Into your shaker place ice cubes, brewed cooled tea, a teaspoon of simple sugar and chilled milk.  Give a good shake to thoroughly mix.

Add your cooked and cooled pearls to a tall glass.  Pour your tea mix (and ice) from the shaker, stir and taste for sweetness.  Add a little more sugar syrup if required.  Enjoy your home-made bubble tea.      


The Elements of Your Brew - Our Hints & Tips

To help you enjoy our bubble tea recipe, we've put together a collection of our hints and tips on how best to prepare it:

Tea Leaf – Prepare your pot of tea.  As soon as it is brewed, pour the liquor off the leaf and set aside to cool.  We enjoy using a scented black tea – our all time favourite is the traditional black tea rose, with earl grey supreme and soursop other great options.

Tapioca Pearls – Cook these within a few hours of needing them.  In our experience it always seems to take significantly longer to cook than the instructions suggest, so allow yourself plenty of time for these to cook and cool. 

Milk – We use a full fat dairy milk, but plant based milks can be substituted. 

Non-milk option - You can prepare this drink simply using brewed tea as the only liquid.  When we do this we brew our tea a little lighter than normal (a smaller measure of tea).  Black or green teas are both great options. 

Sweetener – a simple syrup is a nice option.  It can be added at the time of mixing and then more can be added to each glass to suit personal taste if required.  Alternative sweeteners to use include fruit jams with strawberry working well for this.   

Ice – we recommend full cubes rather than crushed ice which can melt quickly and water down your efforts

Fancy a little more - once you have mastered the basics, which is an impressive drink on its own, then you may wish to dress your drink with some other elements – chia seeds, flavoured jellies, pulped fruit – all things that will easily pass through the large straws