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DIY Pearl Milk Tea - Make Your Own Bubble Tea At Home

Updated on April 25, 2015
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Lady Rain works as a daytime stock trader and writes about crafts and hobbies. She likes travelling and making papercraft models.

With more and more bubble tea shops emerging around the world in the past decade, the beverages are steadily gaining popularity in Australia, especially among the younger generations. Most bubble tea shops offer a variety of flavours for their beverages and each serving of bubble tea is prepared according to the customer's selection of ingredients from the menu.

The basic drink is usually a combination of tea, milk, sugar, and chewy tapioca pearls (also known as boba). Other non-dairy drinks include a mix of fruit juices, jellies and fruit pieces. The drinks are sweet and refreshing. A basic regular serving of bubble tea with milk, tea and pearls is around $4.80 in Australia, which is at least a dollar more than a cup of coffee or a bottle of soft drink.

Homemade Pearl Milk Tea
Homemade Pearl Milk Tea | Source

With the exception of the tapioca pearls, most of the ingredients for making bubble tea is available in your pantry unless you don't drink anything (apart from water) at home! These are the ingredients for a classic pearl milk tea.

  • Tea - your own choice of tea, black tea (plain or flavoured) or green tea
  • Milk - powdered, condensed milk or fresh milk. Most bubble tea makers use powdered milk.
  • Sugar
  • Tapioca Pearls (also known as boba)

You can find tapioca pearls in most Asian grocery stores. They usually come in packets of 250grams or 500grams for a few dollars. If there are no Asian stores in your area, you can also get them online from and eBay.

This is how the dried tapioca pearls look like from the packet.
This is how the dried tapioca pearls look like from the packet. | Source
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: 4-5 servings

Buy tapioca pearls here. They are available online

How To Cook The Tapioca Pearls

  • 10 cups water
  • 1 cup tapioca pearls


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Slowly add in the tapioca pearls. Give the water a gentle stir so that the pearls do not stick to each other.
  3. Let the water boil for a minute. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Cook the tapioca pearls for 5 minutes or according to the instructions on the packet.
  5. Turn off the heat and leave the tapioca pearls covered for a few minutes.
  6. Drain the hot water and rinse the tapioca pearls in cold water for about 10 seconds.
  7. Drain the cold water and transfer the pearls to a container.
  8. Stir in two tablespoons of honey and set aside for later use.
Cooked tapioca pearls with honey stored in a jar.
Cooked tapioca pearls with honey stored in a jar. | Source

Have you tried Billy Tea?

How To Make Pearl Milk Tea


  • 3-4 tablespoons of cooked tapioca pearls as toppings
  • 1 cup or 250ml of black tea or tea of your choice
  • 3 teaspoons powdered milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar or honey for extra sweetness and flavour
  • some ice cubes

Yields about 450ml of pearl milk tea.


  1. Make a cup of black tea, add sugar/honey and chill it for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the powdered milk.
  3. Scoop a few tablespoons of tapioca pearls into a large tall glass.
  4. Add in ice cubes and pour in the tea mixture.
  5. Serve with a large straw.


Pearl Milk Tea
Pearl Milk Tea | Source

What Do You Know About Bubble Tea

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DIY Bubble Tea

5 stars from 1 rating of Pearl Milk Tea

Calculating the Cost of Homemade Bubble Tea

Let's see if it is really worth to make your own bubble tea at home. The cost of preparing homemade bubble tea based on the prices for the following ingredients for pearl milk tea are:

  • 1 box of Lipton black tea 25 tea bags $3.00, 12 cents per tea bag
  • 1 tin of Nestle powdered milk $5.99 good for 3 litres of milk, 17 cents per teaspoon
  • Sugar 500g $1.50 gives about 125 teaspoons, 2 cents per teaspoon
  • Tapioca Pearls 250g $2.80 gives about 10 tablespoons, 28 cents per tablespoons

The cost for making one serving of pearl milk tea (450ml):

  • 1 tea bag - 12 cents
  • 3 teaspoons of powdered milk - 51 cents
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar - 4 cents
  • 3 tablespoons of tapioca pearls - 84 cents

Therefore, the cost of 450ml of homemade pearl milk tea is $1.51, which is less than one-third the price of the same drink available at $4.80 from the bubble tea stall.

Homemade Fruity Bubble Tea.
Homemade Fruity Bubble Tea. | Source

How To Make Fruity Bubble Tea

Bubble tea drinks are not limited to just tea and milk. They can be prepared with fruit juices and other flavoured drinks. Fruit juices and milk do not mix well, the mixture will coagulate and turn yucky, so just remember not to add milk with the fruit juices.

Here is how you can make your own thirst-quenching fruity bubble tea at home.


  • 3-4 tablespoons of cooked tapioca pearls
  • Chilled fruit juice of your choice


  1. Scoop a few tablespoons of tapioca pearls into a large tall glass.
  2. Pour in the fruit juice.
  3. Top up with ice cubes if desired and serve cold.

Homemade Bubble Tea Choices

Base for Bubble Tea
Chewy Bits to Add
Plain Black Tea
Tapioca Pearls
Milk Tea
Herbal Jelly
Green Tea
Mango Jelly
Flavoured Tea
Passion Fruit Jelly
Strawberry Jelly
Chocolate/flavoured Milk
Peach Jelly
Lychee Jelly
Fruit Juices
Aloe Vera
DIY Bubble Tea with Coconut Milk and Boba.
DIY Bubble Tea with Coconut Milk and Boba. | Source

© 2014 lady rain


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    • Lisa Jane39 profile image

      Lisa Jane 4 months ago from Washington

      I have never had bubble tea. But by reading this article, I am going to try one. It sounds delicious and I love tea.

    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 2 years ago from Australia

      Chantelle Porter, cinnamon flavour is yum! Now I feel like having a cup of bubble tea, too.

    • Chantelle Porter profile image

      Chantelle Porter 2 years ago from Chicago

      I love bubble tea. It's not available in my town so when I go into Chicago I pick one up. The place I go to the pearls taste like cinnamon candy. Divine!

    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 3 years ago from Australia

      hellovictoria, it is so convenient to have an Asian market near your place. You should be able to find different flavours of tapioca pearls too. Thank you for leaving a comment :)

    • hellovictoria profile image

      ToriM 3 years ago from Atlanta

      Yum, I love bubble tea but I've never really thought of making it myself! Definitely going to try this recipe, there is an asian market down the street from my apartment...thanks for sharing :)

    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 4 years ago from Australia

      Hi Audrey, green tea has health benefits and is great for making bubble tea. You can also adjust the amount of sugar you want to put in your drink. Thank you for stopping by here to leave a comment.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Lady Rain I have never heard of bubble tea, but it sounds delicious. Tea, especially green tea, is my favorite drink other than water. It sound very easy to make and few calories. Tea is not a favorite either in my home area or where I live now in Oklahoma. They don't know what they are missing. Your directions are laid out well. Thanks for sharing. Blessings. Audrey Pinning

    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 4 years ago from Australia

      Thelma - there are some bubble tea shops in Metro Manila. If you are in the area you might be able to check out some of them.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I've only had bubble tea at restaurants. I would love to try making it at home sometime. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      I have not heard about this bubble tea. Thanks for sharing. I would love to try this.

    • My Cook Book profile image

      Dil Vil 4 years ago from India

      Will try this sometime... good one, thank you for the same.

    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 4 years ago from Australia

      J Sweet Tooth, the nearest bubble tea shop is about 30km from where I live. It is definitely quicker to make my own bubble tea at home than to travel all that distance to have a cup of tea! I hope you'll get to make your own bubble tea soon.

    • J Sweet Tooth profile image

      Janelle Cruz 4 years ago from Vancouver, Washington

      Thanks for this recipe! My husband and I love these drinks, but we are having a hard time finding them! Will have to try!