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Home-made pearl milk tea

Love bubble tea so much that you’re wanting to give it a go at home? Well here’s how!


A selection of bubble teas available from Happy Lemon

Bubble tea came about in the 1980s as a response to iced coffee; a teahouse in Taiwan wanted to give milky black tea a refreshing facelift, and in the process added in a delicious twist – the tapioca balls known as pearls, boba or bubbles. The concoction started flying off the shelves and gave way to the worldwide craze for this sweet, customisable treat!



  1. Then you want to think about your base: bubble tea can be made with just about any kind of tea! If you’re wanting to go for the original Pearl Milk tea then any black tea will do. Brew the tea strong – one or two teabags to one cup of water. Set this tea aside to brew while you prepare the pearls.
  2. Boil water in a saucepan on high heat – two cups of water to ¼ cup tapioca pearls
  3. Add the tapioca pearls and stir until they float to the surface
  4. Reduce heat to medium and cook the pearls for 13-15 minutes
  5. In a metal bowl, stir ½ cup white sugar into ½ cup boiling water until completely dissolved – this will be your sugar syrup for the pearls
  6. When the pearls are done, take the saucepan off the heat, cover and stand for another 15 minutes.
  7. Drain the pearls and stir them into your sugar syrup, then let them sit for at least 15 minutes
  8. You can refrigerate the pearls at this stage if you’re wanting to use them later – they will keep for about three days
  9. Pour your tea into a tall glass, add your pearls, top with milk and ice cubes
  10. Drink through a wide straw!

The finished product

Tapioca pearls are available to buy from SeeWoo and Oriental Delight, so what are you waiting for? Get bubbling!

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