• 1 cup (250 ml) milk (whole milk or your choice of milk fat percentage)
  • 8 bags of black tea or 3 tbsp (45 g) loose-leaf black tea
  • 4 cups (1 L) hot water
  • ¾ cup (190 g) quick-cooking tapioca pearls
  • Simple syrup to serve, or your choice of sweetener

For the Simple Syrup

  • ½ cup (125 ml) water
  • ½ cup (125 g) sugar


  1. Prepare the tea: Steep the tea bags or leaves with 4 cups of freshly boiled water. Let the tea sit in water until it cools completely.
  2. Prepare the simple syrup (if using): Add the water and sugar to a saucepan and quickly stir everything together. Heat the water on medium-high and cook until the water boils and the sugar completely dissolves. Remove the saucepan from heat and let the simple syrup cool before transferring to a jar.
  3. Cook the tapioca pearls: Bring about 4 cups of water to boil and add the tapioca pearls. Stir the pearls and wait for them to float to the top. Then, cook them for another 5 minutes. Test a pearl to see if it has reached the desired level of softness. Cook the pearls for another few minutes if they are still stiff. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pearls from the hot water. Quickly rinse the pearls with water. Transfer the pearls into a bowl, and mix the pearls with a few tablespoons of simple syrup (to taste).
  4. Assemble the drinks: Strain the tea into a pitcher. Divide the cooked tapioca pearls into 4 large glasses. Next, add a few ice cubes to each glass. Pour 1 cup of the tea into each glass. Add ¼ cup of milk and 1 1/2 tbsp of simple syrup into each glass. Stir and taste the milk tea. Add more milk or simple syrup to your taste.
  5. Serve the bubble tea with large smoothie or boba straws and or a long-handled spoon.