Let’s Cook With Viki: Bubble Milk Tea!

In celebration of our new Taiwanese dramas, Love Familyand Deja Vu, we decided that this week’s edition of Let’s Cook With Viki would star one of our favorite Taiwanese drinks — Bubble Milk Tea (Boba)!




Bubble milk tea, also known as pearl milk tea, tapioca milk tea, and boba tea, is a popular drink across Asia and has even found its way into the United States, Canada and Australia! The little bubbles at the bottom of the glass are sweet gummy pearls that add a fun element to any drink!

Ready to make some bubble milk tea? Then let’s grab our ingredients!
  • 1 package of quick-cook tapioca/sago palm pearls (note: these are not the same tapioca pearls found in Western tapioca pudding)
  • 3 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 1 8-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 8-10 Tablespoons of good quality black tea

Ready to go? Remember to wash your hands and clean your workspace!

First, bring the 8 to10 Tablespoons of black tea to a boil in an 8-quart pot.* Boil for 10 minutes, or until the tea has steeped to a very dark color. (If you’d prefer your tea to be less bitter or stronger, simply adjust the amount of tea leaves and water.)

* Note: Since extra-large tea strainers are something most of us don’t own, I chose to place the leaves in a metal fine-mesh strainer which I sat on top of the boiling water, this keeps us from having to strain the leaves out later!



Next, we poured one can of sweetened condensed milk into the tea (after the leaves are removed) and stirred until this was well blended.

While we waited for our tea to cool, we took our quick-cook tapioca pearls and added them to another pot of boiling water. Once the pearls turned soft and dark in color, we added three teaspoons of brown sugar and mixed well. Then, we drained the pearls and rinsed them with cold water!

Be sure to use a large pot or risk having the pearls spill over while boiling!


Once the tea is cool, add your pearls to your drink, top it off with a boba straw and serve!

Bubble Milk Tea

A few notes...


  • If you’re not using the “quick-cook” or “five-minute” tapioca pearls, be sure to read the package instructions for how to cook the pearls, since you may need to boil them twice before you can enjoy!
  • Pearls can’t be made too far ahead of time. If you have them sit in a refrigerated container overnight, they will congeal and become a gummy clump. It’s best to only make enough for immediate consumption instead of making too many and trying to reserve some for later!
So, how’d your version of bubble milk tea turn out? Know another dish we could make? Let us know in the comments below!