Brown Sugar Milk Tea (Milk Tea Boba)

Want to make bubble tea at home? Here’s how to make the famous Brown Sugar Milk Tea, also known as Milk Tea Boba, at home with only a few simple ingredients! Just like your favourite boba shop, this homemade brown sugar boba comes together quickly and easily with just a fraction of the price. It’s so refreshing, creamy, and addictive!

For years, it felt like 90% of my pay went to Chatime, Tiger Sugar, and Xing Fu Tang. Brown sugar milk tea was my go-to drink at every shop, and if a new place popped up and their brown sugar boba didn’t taste good… then I’m never stepping foot back in again. I’m serious about my boba, lol. But ever since moving, I’ve had to make my own as there aren’t any good boba shops near me, and let me tell you, this homemade version of bubble tea is just as good and doesn’t cost you $6 per drink.

A glass of brown sugar boba.

A fan of boba? Try my Hojicha Bubble Tea, Matcha Bubble Tea, and Thai Bubble Tea! They’re super easy to make with minimal ingredients!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients needed to make brown sugar milk tea.
  • milk — I use whole (lactose-free) milk but it’s up to you what type of dairy you want to use.
  • black tea — you want a robust tea for bubble tea so you can still taste the tea flavour alongside the milk and brown sugar. Here’s the link to the black tea I use.
  • tapioca pearls — I use these specific ones for extra sweetness for this hojicha boba. You can use any topioca pearls you like.
  • muscovado sugar — or dark brown sugar. Muscovado sugar is a little less refined than regular brown sugar so it has more pronounced caramel and toffee notes to it.

How to Make Brown Sugar Milk Tea

  • In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat the milk along with the black tea. Careful not to have the temperature too high or you’ll burn your milk. Once the milk has started to simmer, turn off the heat and steep the black tea in the milk for 10 minutes. Feel free to chill the milk afterwards or enjoy it warm.
  • Prepare your tapioca pearls according to the package.
  • In a pot, combine the muscovado sugar with 40 ml of water and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add in the prepared tapioca pearls. Simmer until the brown sugar syrup has thickened. Simmering the cooked tapioca pearls in the syrup just adds more flavour to them.
  • Remove from heat once it has thickened.
  • Assemble your drink by adding half of the brown sugar syrup and tapioca to a glass. Feel free to drizzle the syrup around the edge of the glass for the “tiger stripes” of brown sugar syrup that Tiger Sugar’s Tiger Milk Tea is known for. Add half of the steeped milk to the glass then stir to combine. Repeat with the second glass.
Two glasses of brown sugar milk tea.

Recipe Tips

  • I find this brown sugar boba to be sweet enough as is but you can also add brown sugar to the milk along with the black tea for an even sweeter treat.
  • I prefer this drink warm as it is much more cozy.
  • Feel free to double or even triple this brown sugar boba recipe.
  • Be sure to get some boba straws as your pearls won’t fit through regular straws!
  • While some other recipes steep the tea in hot water then add milk to it, I like to steep my tea directly in my milk for this brown sugar milk tea.
What tapioca should I use?

There are many recipes online on how to roll your own tapioca balls, but I just buy these instant tapioca pearls that cook in 2 minutes. Keep in mind that instant tapioca does not hold up well, especially refrigerated, so only make as much as you plan on using.

What milk do I use for bubble tea?

I use whole milk, but you can use nut milk or soy milk to make this dairy-free. I’ve never tried heating non-dairy milk so do so at your own risk.

Can I make this ahead of time?

You can steep the tea in the milk ahead of time and store it in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the fridge. I do not recommend making the brown sugar syrup with tapioca ahead of time as the balls will harden.

What is the difference between “Boba Tea” and “Bubble Tea?”

They’re the same thing. Boba, boba tea, bubble tea, milk tea, tapioca tea, pearl milk tea. It’s mostly regional verbiage.

Does this have caffeine?

Yes, black tea has caffeine in it. Black tea has the highest amount of caffeine compared to other teas but has half the caffeine of a coffee.

A board with two glasses of bubble tea.
A glass of brown sugar boba.

Brown Sugar Milk Tea (Milk Tea Boba)

Want to make bubble tea at home? Here’s how to make the famous Brown Sugar Milk Tea, also known as Milk Tea Boba, at home with only a few simple ingredients! Just like your favourite boba shop, this homemade brown sugar boba comes together quickly and easily with just a fraction of the price.

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Rate

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 20 mins

Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 bags black tea

Brown Sugar Boba Pearl Syrup

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat the milk along with the black tea. Careful not to have the temperature too high or you’ll burn your milk. Once the milk has started to simmer, turn off the heat and steep the black tea in the milk for 10 minutes. Feel free to chill the milk afterwards or enjoy it warm.

  • Prepare your tapioca pearls according to the package.

  • In a pot, combine the muscovado sugar with 40 ml of water and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add in the prepared tapioca pearls. Simmer until the brown sugar syrup has thickened. Simmering the cooked tapioca pearls in the syrup just adds more flavour to them.

  • Remove from heat once it has thickened.

  • Assemble your drink by adding half of the brown sugar syrup and tapioca to a glass. Add half of the steeped milk to the glass then stir to combine. Repeat with the second glass.

Tried this recipe?Did you make this recipe? I’m always so happy to hear about it! I’d love to see how it turned out. Tag me at @CarmysHungry on Instagram so I can see it! If you enjoyed the recipe, I’d really appreciate a comment with a 5 star rating! ♥

Nutrition

Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 363mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 307mg | Iron: 1mg

Authour: Carmy

Course: Drinks

Cuisine: Asian

More Drinks to Try

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