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How to make boba tea at home

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If you love the refreshing Thai iced tea boba, then you’ll love to learn how to make boba tea at home. This recipe is simple and fast, meaning you can quickly make this on a warm summer night whenever you want a sweet treat.

 

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How to make Thai Boba Tea at home

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What is Thai Boba Tea?

Thai boba tea is actually a combination of Thai milk tea and boba (bubble) tea. Bubble tea is typically a sweeter tea made with milk, but its other distinguishing feature is the presence of tapioca balls in the serving glass.

You can make boba tea with a variety of different teas and restaurants that offer it often do. One variety is adding Thai tea, which consists of black tea, spices, and sweet milk, as the primary liquid in the drink.

Our recipe uses a homemade Thai tea combined with tapioca pearls that you prepare in the Instant Pot. It is super easy to make and has a sweet, somewhat spicy, but refreshing drink.

🎥 Thai Boba Tea Video Recipe

 

What is the difference between Bubble Tea, Thai Tea, Milk Tea and Boba Tea?

Boba tea and bubble tea are two names for the same drink. In its basic form, it consists of a cold tea, ice, milk or cream, and pearls of tapioca that float at the bottom. While it is technically different from Thai tea, you can use Thai tea to make bubble tea.

Thai tea is a sweet and somewhat spicy black tea served chilled over ice with typically evaporated milk. The tea uses a combination of spices to give it extra flavor. The milk is often a combination of evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk.

Milk tea is similar to Thai tea. It uses sweetened milk and spices. The main difference is that you serve milk tea hot or warm.

What is Boba made of?

Interestingly enough, boba is slang in China and Taiwan (where the tea first started) as “boobs.” It is a combination of the words for big and bubble (hence why it’s often called bubble in English).

The boba in the tea is actually made of different flavors of chewy tapioca balls. When you make boba tea, you pour the ice and then tea over the tapioca balls, which will typically sink to the bottom of the glass and give the appearance of bubbles.

Thai Tea Boba Recipe

Why make this Thai tea boba at home?

Thai tea boba is a tasty treat that people often think you can only get at Thai or Asian restaurants. With our recipe, you don’t have to limit your boba Thai iced tea to going out. Our recipe is simple and fast, meaning you can enjoy Thai tea boba at home whenever you like. Plus you are not paying the overpriced rates to enjoy this tea. 

Of course, if you love cold and refreshing drinks, you should check out our other refreshing recipes:

Ingredients to make Thai Boba Tea

🥘Ingredients to make Thai Boba Tea

When you want to make Thai iced tea boba, you’ll need the following ingredients to make the Thai iced tea base:

  • Loose-leaf black tea - If you can’t find this at your local store, you can order online.
  • Pods of cardamom and star anise
  • Cinnamon stick - In a pinch, you could use powdered cinnamon for the flavor, but it can make it a bit gritty.
  • Tamarind powder - This is optional and can be added to your taste or use our recommended amount.
  • Vanilla bean - If you can’t find a vanilla bean at your local store, you could order it or sub in vanilla extract instead.
  • Boiling water
  • Sugar
  • Milks - This recipe uses both sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk or whole milk.

For the boba, you’ll also need:

  • Tapioca Pearls - If you can’t find these at your local store, you can check online. There are a variety of flavors you can choose from. Do not buy the instant 1 minute pearls, as they will get mushy. This is the brand I used.
  • Water
  • Sugar - You could use a sugar substitute if you want to cut down on the amount of sugar you use.

🔪How to make Boba Tea

Here is how to make boba tea at home.

First, make the Thai tea by following our Thai Iced Tea Recipe.

As you make the Thai tea, you can set up your Instant Pot to prepare the boba. Here’s what to do:

  • First, add the boba pearls, water, and sugar in the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
  • Next, close the lid, seal the vent, and pressure cook for 5 minutes followed by a quick release of pressure. Carefully remove the lid to allow them to cool.Thai tea boba instant pot recipe

Finally, you’ll need to bring it all together. Here’s how to make your glasses:

  • First, take two tall glasses and scoop 2 tablespoons of boba into each glass. 
  • Next, top off the glasses with ice cubes.
  • Once filled with ice, fill ¾ of the glass with the tea concentrate. Top off the remainder of the glass with the sweetened milk.
  • Finally, stir and add a boba straw to enjoy the tea.

Thai Boba Tea Recipe

💭Pro tips and tricks

When you make Thai milk tea boba at home, follow these easy tips and tricks for best results:

  • Thai iced tea boba is best served cold over a cup of ice and fresh. Don’t try to store it, it won’t taste nearly as good.
  • When you make this boba thai tea, make sure to use actual tapioca pearls, not the instant stuff. The instant varieties will create a lumpy, mushy mess.
  • Make sure to seep the tea and spices together for at least 5 minutes so the flavors all blend together nicely.

Thai Boba Tea

📖 Recipe variations

You can make Thai boba tea a few different ways. 

If you don’t like the added sweetness of the condensed milk or evaporated milk, you could use half and half, whole milk, or a plant-based milk instead.

Another option for variety is to switch up the flavor of the tapioca pearls you use. Depending on where you shop, you may be able to find different varieties, such as black sugar, strawberries, or other assorted flavors. 

We also like to vary what we serve with the boba Thai iced tea. Here are a few of our favorite food pairings:

Thai Tea Boba Recipe

What does Thai boba tea taste like?

Thai boba tea is a mostly sweet, creamy beverage with a hint of spice from the Thai tea. If you get boba tea at a restaurant, they often serve the beverage with a large straw to suck up the pearls, which have a creamy texture and sweet flavor. 

Which boba to use for this recipe?

When we make Thai tea with boba, we use tapioca pearls. We strongly recommend avoiding the one minute instant boba. These become lumpy and gross when added to Thai tea. If you can’t find them at your local store, you can order them online.

Can I make Boba and store it?

We strongly recommend always making Thai boba tea fresh when you are ready to drink it. In general, it does not store well.

How to make Thai Boba Tea

⭐ Let us know what you think

If you make this delicious recipe, let us know how it went! When you make this, be sure to take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind!

More Easy Recipes on the blog

Thai Tea Boba Recipe

Thai Tea Boba Recipe

Yield: 2 glasses
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

If you love the refreshing Thai iced tea boba, then you’ll love to learn how to make boba tea at home. This recipe is simple and fast, meaning you can quickly make this on a warm summer night whenever you want a sweet treat.

Ingredients

Ingredients for 2 servings of Thai Iced Tea

  • loose-leaf black tea 2 tbsp
  • star anise 1 pod 
  • cardamom 2 pods 
  • cinnamon stick 1/2 
  • vanilla bean 1/8 
  • Tamarind powder ¼ teaspoon or to taste, optional
  • boiling water 1 cup 
  • sugar 1 tbsp 
  • sweetened condensed milk 1 tablespoon
  • evaporated milk or whole milk 2 teaspoon

Ingredients For Boba

Instructions

First, make the Thai tea by following our Thai Iced Tea Recipe.

As you make the Thai tea, you can set up your Instant Pot to prepare the boba. Here’s what to do:

  • First, add the boba pearls, water, and sugar in the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
  • Next, close the lid, seal the vent, and pressure cook for 5 minutes followed by a quick release of pressure. Carefully remove the lid to allow them to cool.

Finally, you’ll need to bring it all together. Here’s how to make your glasses:

  • First, take two tall glasses and scoop 2 tablespoons of boba into each glass. 
  • Next, top off the glasses with ice cubes.
  • Once filled with ice, fill ¾ of the glass with the tea concentrate. Top off the remainder of the glass with the sweetened milk.
  • Finally, stir and add a boba straw to enjoy the tea.

Notes

  • Thai iced tea boba is best served cold over a cup of ice and fresh. Don’t try to store it, it won’t taste nearly as good.
  • When you make this boba thai tea, make sure to use actual tapioca pearls, not the instant stuff. The instant varieties will create a lumpy, mushy mess.
  • Make sure to seep the tea and spices together for at least 5 minutes so the flavors all blend together nicely.

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