Taiwanese milk tea, also known as the original bubble milk tea, originated in Taiwan in the 1980s. It was created by combining a blend of black tea with milk and sweeteners, and adding tapioca pearls for a chewy texture.

The drink became popular among schoolchildren and eventually spread to other parts of Asia and then to the rest of the world. Today, Taiwanese milk tea is enjoyed in a variety of flavors and styles.

In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know to make the perfect cup of Taiwanese milk tea. We will go over the best tea leaves to use, as well as tips and tricks to make the best milk tea.

How To Make Taiwanese Milk Tea with milk

Best Teas To Use For Taiwanese Milk Tea

When choosing a tea for milk tea, it’s important to consider its flavor profile and how it will pair with milk. Look for teas that are strong and bold, as they will be able to stand up to the milk without being overwhelmed. Classic Taiwanese milk tea uses a blend black tea.

The other thing to consider is the size of the tea particles.  Smaller particles will result in a quicker-brew, stronger tea, which is ideal for milk tea. Broken-leaf tea or CTC, or “Crush Tear Curl” mechanically broken teas, are good options. Fannings or dust, the smallest particles of tea, can also be used and are the least expensive teas.

Popular Tea Leaves

Assam: Assam tea is a black tea grown in the Assam region of India. It has a robust flavor with malty and earthy notes. Its strong flavor makes it a popular choice for milk tea. CTC Assam is a great option here.

Ceylon: Ceylon tea, also known as Sri Lankan tea, is a black tea grown in Sri Lanka. It has a medium to full-bodied flavor with a slight astringency. It’s a versatile tea that can be used in various ways, including for milk tea.

Puerh: Puerh is a fermented tea from the Yunnan province of China. It has a rich, earthy flavor and a smooth mouthfeel. Its complexity and depth of flavor make it an excellent option for milk tea.

Popular Teas Blends

Red Rose Tea: Made of Ceylon or Orange Pekoe and Pekoe Cut Black Tea.

Taiwan Ruby No. 18: Taiwan Ruby No. 18 is a black tea hybrid of the Assam tea plant and a wild Taiwanese tea plant. It has a sweet and fruity flavor with notes of cinnamon and mint. Its strong flavor profile makes it a great choice for milk tea.

Tea People’s Black Tea: Tea People’s Black Tea is a premium black tea sourced from Assam, India. This tea has a rich and malty flavor with a hint of sweetness. It’s a popular choice for boba milk tea and is used by Boba Guys, a well-known boba tea chain.

Pro Tip: Unless you really like it, avoid using Earl Grey tea as it has a distinctive flavor profile due to the addition of bergamot oil and may not pair well with milk.

Ingredients

To make milk tea, you will need a few simple ingredient:

  • Tea leaves: The type of tea you use will depend on your personal preference. Black tea is the most common type of tea used in milk tea, but you can also use green tea, oolong tea, or any other type of tea that you like.
  • Milk: You can use any type of milk you prefer, such as dairy milk, almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. Dairy milk is the most traditional and commonly used type of milk in milk tea.
  • Sweeteners: You can sweeten your milk tea with sugar, honey, maple syrup, or any other sweetener of your choice. The amount of sweetener you use will depend on your personal taste.
  • Optional add-ins: You can add additional ingredients to your milk tea to enhance the flavor and texture. Popular add-ins include tapioca pearls (also known as boba), fruit jelly, spices, or even chocolate chips.
  • Equipment: You will need a few basic tools to make milk tea, including a tea kettle or saucepan, a strainer or tea infuser, and a measuring cup.
How To Make Taiwanese Milk Tea

Taiwanese Milk Tea (Tea Bags Recipe)

Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients and chosen your tea leaves, follow these simple steps to make your own delicious Taiwanese milk tea at home (this makes 1 serving):

Ingredients

  • 2 black tea bags
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cooked boba pearls
  • Ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Steep the black tea bags in hot water for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Remove the tea bags, then add the brown sugar to the hot tea and stir until it dissolves.
  3. Let the tea cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator until cold.
  4. Add the chilled tea and boba pearls to a glass.
  5. Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  6. Pour the milk over the tea and boba.
  7. Stir well and serve immediately.
  8. Enjoy your homemade Taiwanese milk tea with boba!

Feel free to experiment with different types of tea and milk to find your perfect combination. You can also adjust the sweetness level by adding more or less brown sugar.

Taiwanese Milk Tea (Loose Tea Leaves Recipe)

I like the flavor of loose tea leaves, I feel like it tastes fresher and more fragrant than tea bags. To make Taiwanese milk tea with loose tea leaves (1 serving), follow these instructions:

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons loose black tea leaves (Assam or Ceylon tea)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cooked boba pearls
  • Ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Steep the tea leaves in hot water for 3-5 minutes, then strain the tea leaves.
  2. While the tea is still hot, add the brown sugar and stir until it dissolves.
  3. Let the tea cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator until cold.
  4. In a separate container, heat the whole milk until hot, but not boiling.
  5. Add the chilled tea and boba to a glass filled with ice cubes.
  6. Pour the milk over the tea.
  7. Stir well and serve immediately.
  8. Enjoy your homemade Taiwanese milk tea!

Tips for Making the Perfect Cup of Milk Tea

To make the perfect cup of milk tea, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use fresh ingredients: Use fresh tea leaves and milk for the best flavor.
  • Steep the tea for the right amount of time: Oversteeping or understeeping the tea can affect the flavor and texture of the milk tea.
  • Adjust the amount of milk and sweeteners to taste: The amount of milk and sweeteners will depend on your personal preference, so adjust accordingly.
  • Experiment with flavors and add-ins: Don’t be afraid to try new flavors and add-ins to customize your milk tea.

Serving and Storage

To get the full experience of drinking Taiwanese milk tea, it’s important to use a thick straw that can easily pick up the chewy boba pearls. You can also garnish your drink with fruit flavors like mango or passion fruit to add a burst of flavor.

If you have leftover boba pearls or brown sugar syrup, store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can use them to make more bubble tea or get creative with other desserts or drinks.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to make Taiwanese milk tea, there’s no need to go to a boba shop to enjoy this delicious drink. With a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can make your own bubble tea at home and impress your friends and family.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of tea, milk, and flavors to find your perfect combination.

Try some of our popular flavors below:

Matcha Milk Tea

Hong Kong Milk Tea

FAQs

Q: What’s the difference between Taiwanese and Hong Kong Milk Tea?

A: Taiwanese milk tea typically has a stronger tea flavor and is served with chewy tapioca balls, while Hong Kong milk tea is made with a blend of black tea and evaporated milk for a creamier taste. Taiwanese milk tea is typically prepared  with hot tea and served over ice, while Hong Kong milk tea is often prepared with cold tea and served hot. Read more about Hong Kong milk tea.

Q: Can I use other types of milk instead of whole milk?

A: Yes, you can use any type of milk that you prefer, but whole milk will give you the creamiest texture.

Q: Can I use honey or another sweetener instead of brown sugar?

A: Yes, you can use any sweetener that you prefer, but brown sugar is traditional in Taiwanese milk tea and gives the drink a richer flavor.

Q: What is boba?

A: Boba are chewy tapioca pearls that are often added to milk tea drinks for texture and flavor.

Q: How do I cook boba pearls?

A: Boil the boba pearls in water for about 5-10 minutes until they float to the surface. Drain and rinse the pearls in cold water, then soak them in a simple syrup made from equal parts sugar and water for extra sweetness.

Q: Can I make Taiwanese milk tea without boba?

A: Yes, you can make Taiwanese milk tea without boba if you prefer. Simply omit the boba pearls from the recipe.

How To Make Taiwanese Milk Tea

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Calories 355

Ingredients

  • 2 black tea bags
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup cooked boba pearls
  • Ice cubes

Instructions 

  • Steep the black tea bags in hot water for 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bags, then add the brown sugar to the hot tea and stir until it dissolves.
  • Let the tea cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator until cold.
  • Add the chilled tea and boba pearls to a glass.
  • Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the milk over the tea and boba.
  • Stir well and serve immediately.
  • Enjoy your homemade Taiwanese milk tea with boba!
  • Feel free to experiment with different types of tea and milk to find your perfect combination. You can also adjust the sweetness level by adding more or less brown sugar.
Author: denthu
Calories: 355kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: boba

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 439mg | Sugar: 65g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 346mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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