The Tea Centre is shaking up the world of bubble tea with a DIY recipe that encourages you to use fresh, antioxidant-rich, loose leaf tea to treat both your wellbeing and your taste buds.
You’ve probably heard of bubble tea—and if not, what bubble have you been living in? Also known as boba tea or pearl milk tea, this Taiwanese tea-based drink has exploded in popularity during recent years, with an abundance of boba tea shops cropping up in Australia. Are you a fan of bubble tea and want to get your hands on a refreshing and healthier version of the insta-worthy drink at home? The Tea Centre has you covered!
What is bubble tea?
Bubble teas fall under two main categories: teas (without milk) and milk teas. Both varieties are made using a choice of black, green or oolong teas. The tea bases can also be flavoured with fruit or other yummy herbal ingredients. While bubble teas without milk can be served hot, they are typically served cold over ice or blended with ice to make a slushy texture. The star of the show, of course, is the bubble element to a bubble tea—tapioca pearls.
Traditionally, black tapioca pearls are cooked in a sweet sugar syrup. However, a variety of flavoured pearls, fruit juices, jellies, and other toppings can be found inside your local bubble tea shop. While tapioca pearls aren’t the healthiest ingredients, they are integral to making bubble tea! The only alternative (if you don’t mind straying from tradition) would be to remove the pearls and focus on adding healthier toppings to your bubble tea instead.
Although it may seem tricky, making your own fresh, healthy, and tasty bubble tea at home is simple. All you need to do is decide on a tea base and follow our recipe below!
For a decadent milky treat, try making a bubble milk tea using our organic Earl Grey, Monk, Butterscotch Caramel black tea, Irish Breakfast blend or matcha powder. These flavours lend themselves well to the addition of milk or condensed milk, resulting in a tea that’s perfectly sweet and creamy. However, we suggest substituting condensed milk for regular milk or a dairy-free alternative if you’re looking to make a healthier bubble tea.
For something lighter without milk, why not try a fresh bubble tea made with Coconut Kiss, Pacific Sun green tea, Summer Sunrise, or Jasmine Monkey King? Experiment by adding fresh fruit such as cut-up peaches or a squeeze of lemon juice for an extra bright and refreshing taste (not to mention the extra antioxidants)!
As opposed to the tea used in commercial businesses, The Tea Centre can guarantee that the above loose leaf teas are of the highest quality and come bursting with everything from polyphenols (helping with cell regeneration and fight free radicals in the body) to antioxidants and healthy doses of caffeine.
Tip: To dazzle guests, try using our honey with gold flakes in place of sugar syrup. Not only is this honey a healthier alternative, but a drizzle will also add a kick of sweetness and touch of sparkle.
- ¾ cup black tapioca pearls (you can find these in your local Asian grocer)
- ½ cup* chilled brewed tea
- 1 wide straw (you can also find these in your local Asian grocer)
- A drizzle of honey
- Additional toppings (optional)
Additional ingredients for milk tea:
- ½ cup milk (can substitute for dairy-free milk)
*If making a tea without milk, instead use 1 full cup of chilled tea.
Prepare your bubbles
Cook tapioca pearls according to the packet instructions or until pearls are chewy and soft (roughly 15 minutes). Store in honey to add sweetness and to keep them from drying out.
Brew your tea
Brew your favourite tea as the base for your bubble tea according to our brewing guide here. Allow to cool in the fridge before assembling your drink. For a more intense flavour, we suggest brewing the tea with double the serving of leaves. Allow for the same brewing time.
Assemble your drink
Put 2–3 tablespoonfuls of pearls in the bottom of your glass before filling it to the desired capacity with your brewed tea. If you’re making milk tea, add half a cup of milk for extra creaminess.
Top with ice and any other toppings of your choice. Complete your drink with a wide straw to sip all the goodness up. Enjoy your freshly brewed bubble tea, and repeat!