Try our bubble tea, then check out our hibiscus shrub, peach iced tea, iced coffee and more refreshing summer drinks.

This tea-based Taiwanese drink has evolved since it first emerged in the 1980s. The teas can vary from black to green and classic tapioca pearls can be matched or replaced with jellies, bean pastes and even popping pearls that burst in the mouth. Another great development is ready-made tapioca pearls that just require a quick simmer before they’re ready to be slurped (available at and Asian grocers online). Try them in our recipe in a classic brown sugar combo.

Bubble tea recipe


  • 2 black teabags
  • 60g quick-cook tapioca pearls
  • 70g dark brown sugar
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 50ml condensed milk


  • STEP 1

    Steep the teabags in 100ml of just-boiled water and leave to brew for 15 mins. Discard the tea bags and leave to cool completely.

  • STEP 2

    Bring 600ml of water to a rolling boil in a pan and carefully add the tapioca balls, stirring lightly to help avoid them sticking. Wait for the balls to rise to the surface, then cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 2-3 mins or until they have greatly increased in size. Remove from the heat, still covered, and leave for another 3 mins. Drain thoroughly using a fine mesh sieve, rinsing under cold water.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar and 70ml of water in a medium pan. Let it come to a gentle boil, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook for 2-3 mins or until thickened, and then reduce the heat and stir in the drained, cooled pearls, simmering for a further 2-3 mins or until well coated.

  • STEP 4

    Before assembling the tea, whisk together the milks until combined. Take a few teaspoons of the brown sugar syrup and divide between two glasses. Turn the glasses upside down over a bowl or empty sink and allow the syrup to drip down to create a drizzled effect on the inside. Divide the remaining pearls and syrup between the two glasses. Pour in the brewed tea, stirring slightly, then add a handful of ice to each glass. Top up with the milk mixture and serve with a boba straw or long spoon.


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