Thai Bubble Tea Recipe

Thai iced tea is a popular drink in Southeast Asia and throughout North America. It is made from strongly brewed black tea with other spices. The tea is sweetened with condensed milk and served with tapioca pearls or boba. Some are also prepared with food coloring making that distinct bright orange-pinkish color. If you love Thai tea, you can easily prepare this refreshingly sweet drink at home. Iced tea from the boba shop can be too sweet. This Thai bubble tea recipe reduces sweetness by using a mixture of condensed milk (sweetened) and evaporated milk (unsweetened) to sweeten the drink.

This makes the Thai iced tea less sweet this the ones you get from the boba shop, which can sometimes be too sweet.


• 5 pieces of fresh tamarind, peeled
• ½ cup of Ceylon tea
• 1 whole star anise
• 1 tbsp crushed cardamom pods
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp orange blossom water
• hot water
• ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
• ¼ cup evaporated milk
• ice cubes

Tapioca Pearls:

• 1 cup tapioca pearls
• 4 cups water
• ½ cup brown sugar
• ½ cup honey
• 1 cup water


This recipe takes about an hour and 45 minutes to make. Serves 1 to 2.

Put tamarind in a food processor and quickly pulse it just until they are roughly chopped.
Put the tamarind into a coffee press.
Add Ceylon tea, star anise, vanilla extract, and orange blossom water.
Fill the coffee press with hot water.
Let the tea steep for 30 minutes.
Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepot over high heat.
Add tapioca pearls and let them cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Pour into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Let the tapioca pearls continue to cook for 15 more minutes.
In a separate saucepot, pour 1 cup water, honey, and brown sugar.
Reduce over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes to create the syrup.
Pour honey-sugar syrup into a bowl.
Strain cooked tapioca pearls and add into the bowl of syrup.
Let the tapioca pearls cool and sweeten for 30 minutes.
Mix sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.
Spoon tapioca pearls into a tall glass.
Add 4-5 ice cubes.
Fill 3 quarters of the glass with the freshly brewed tea.
Pour milk mixture on top.
Mix well using a jumbo straw and serve.

Ideas And Tips:

• Tapioca pearls are not naturally sweet. Submerging them into the syrup does not only ensure the pearls do not overcook but also infuses the honey flavor.

• If you want a more refreshing and slushy drink, you may use crushed ice. You may also put the freshly brewed tea, ice cubes, and milk mixture in a blender and blend until smooth.

• You may use tamarind paste to substitute fresh tamarind. If you can’t find any in your area, you may use Medjool dates.

• You may also use other black teas such as Assam tea or oolong tea.

Thai Bubble Tea Recipe
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