How to Make Flavored Bubble Tea

Written by melissa martinez
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How to Make Flavored Bubble Tea
A strong tea is the base of bubble tea. (A cup of tea surounded by tea bags image by Wallace from

Bubble tea is made from a base of green or black tea with tapioca pearls at the bottom. Many people consider the tapioca pearls to be the "bubbles" of the tea. Bubble tea is sweetened with simple sugar syrup and creamer to make it sweet and delicious. To make flavoured bubble tea, add other flavourings, such as vanilla, honey, lemon zest, ginger or even basil for a new twist on the basic recipe.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tapioca pearls
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 118ml. green or black tea (your choice)
  • 1 gallon water
  • Nondairy creamer
  • Oversized bubble tea straws
  • Honey, lemons, oranges or any other natural or artificial flavourings you desire

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  1. 1

    Cook 2 1/2 cups of tapioca pearls according to the directions on the package. Drain and let cool.

  2. 2

    Mix 1 cup of each of the sugars and 2 cups of water in a pot and boil until the sugar dissolves and forms a syrup.

  3. 3

    Pour the sugar syrup mixture over the cooled tapioca pearls and refrigerate until ready to use.

  4. 4

    Make another batch of sugar syrup using the remaining cup of each sugar and 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add any flavouring you like. Common choices include vanilla, citrus zest, basil and ginger.

  5. 5

    Pour 1 gallon of water into a large pot and add the tea leaves. Tea bags are fine too, as long as the total weight of the tea is approximately 113gr. Bring to a boil and let boil for 8 minutes before removing from heat. Strain immediately (or remove the tea bags) and let cool.

  6. 6

    Pour 118ml. of the tea into a glass. Add 3/4 cup of the tapioca pearl/sugar syrup mixture, 1 tbsp of the flavoured syrup, 2 tbsp of the dairy creamer, and 1 cup of ice. Stir until blended. Add more syrup to taste, if desired.

  7. 7

    Place into the glass an oversized straw (needed to suck up the tapioca pearls at the bottom of the glass) and drink.

Tips and warnings

  • Store the tapioca pearls in a refrigerator if you are not going to use them right away. The tapioca pearls will stay in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days before they get mushy and should be discarded.
  • The tea mixture is very strong and can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week.
  • Instead of flavouring the syrup to make flavoured bubble tea, you can use flavoured nondairy creamers. Or experiment by using flavoured syrup and flavoured creamer.
  • You can use flavoured green or black teas or even chai tea for different flavours, too.
  • The sugar syrup is extraordinarily hot when finished, so handle with care. Getting even a small amount on your skin can cause burning.

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