DIY Bubble Tea

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Ta Da! The perfect summer treat. And it’s soooo easy to make, way cheaper than buying it (the tapioca pearls I bought were only $2 for a big bag), and no high fructose corn syrup or nasty stuff.

I was a rather grumpy mama this morning after being up all night with poor teething Lucy (if Baby Girl only cuts one tooth from all this misery it will be absurd…I’m expecting 5 teeth…tomorrow…unreasonable?). Benjamin decided to have a new case of the Terrible Threes the past week and definitely woke up on the ornery side of the bed. Long story short, it was a bad combo. We were both at our worst. Then he came up with a brilliant, amazing, wonderful idea! “Let’s make Bubble Tea!”

I don’t think he’s had bubble tea in almost a year but my boy has a miraculously good memory of all sweet treats. And it seemed just the thing to turn our day around, or as Benjamin says, “Find a new leaf.”

After reading about how simple it was to make in this post. We picked up some decaf Earl Grey because I was NOT going to let caffeine ruin naptime, also known as “my precious” (insert Gollum voice here). And then we went to a nearby asian market and bought tapioca pearls and the giant straws big enough to slurp them up.

DIY Bubble Tea 


Black or Green Tea


Milk or Cream


Tapioca Pearls

Step One, Make Your Tea: Boil your water and make your tea slightly stronger than you usually drink it. Add honey to taste, followed by your preferred amount of milk or cream.   Let the tea cool in the fridge (or add ice, but be sure to make your tea extra strong if you plan to add ice so that it doesn’t taste watered down).

Step Two, Cook the Pearls: When your tea is nice and icy cold, get ready to cook your tapioca pearls. For a generous serving of tapioca pearls, measure out 1/4 cup for each glass of tea you will serve. Boil 10 cups of water in a pan for every cup of tapioca pearls (that’s 2.5 cups if you are doing a single serving). Gently add the pearls to the boiling water and stir (so they don’t stick to the bottom) until they start to float. Reduce heat to medium high, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Taste them to see if they have a jelly-like texture (and aren’t still dry in the middle), but be careful as they will be very hot. Strain them and rinse in cold water (so they don’t heat your nice cold tea.) Add them to your glass and voila! Bubble Tea!

Step Three, Enjoy Your Cool Summery Treat!

Warning: Young children could choke on tapioca pearls so be cautious. The packages I bought recommend serving them only to children age 3 and up.

I’m linking up this week with Your Green Resource at Sorta Crunchy

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  1. Sarah O says

    Mmmm! I love bubble tea – I used to go purchase it often at ridiculous costs when I was in college. Thanks for breaking it down though… I am inspired and might try making this soon!

    • Haley says

      Me, too, Sarah! It’s so expensive and I would always fall prey to its siren song whenever I was at a coffee house or restaurant that served it 🙂

    • Haley says

      Hmmm, I’m not sure, Brooke. My guess is that any herbal tea that would taste good with milk would work but some of the fruitier teas that are usually just enjoyed with lemon or honey might taste odd? Let me know what you try out!

  2. says

    Love this! My husband and kids love bubble tea, but I always cringe at the cost and unknown ingredients. I’m sure I’ll make their day when I whip this up 🙂 Have you tried it with coconut milk?

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