Boba Milk Tea

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— Hope K.

Welcome back to A Common Kitchen this week everyone! I am so excited to be sharing this weeks recipe with you for Boba Milk Tea. If you have never had Boba before let me tell you this: you are missing out! Basically, Boba are black (or sometimes other colors) tapioca pearls that are added to sweetened tea drinks. They are chewy, slightly sweet, and make these drinks so unique. In this recipe I made a simple sweetened Milk Tea (black tea) and added my boba pearls and the entire recipe is really quick and easy and now you can have homemade Boba Milk Tea anytime from home!

Now I will admit that I tried making homemade boba pearls and I completely failed. The texture was okay but I couldn’t get that deep black color that you get in the boba shops. I made them twice (each time took 2+ hours to roll all of the balls out) and both times were fails. So, I decided to save myself and you from the headache of homemade boba pearls and I call for store bought boba in this recipe. Take it from me, it is 100% worth it to just buy already-made boba as opposed to homemade. Just… trust me you guys…

The best thing is that Boba Pearls are extremely easy to find nowadays both online and in-store. You can get them at almost every Asian Market (I have yet to find one that does not have them and I live in Utah!) and you can also very easily order them online for a very affordable price. I highly recommend buying them at a local Asian Market but if you don’t have that option then Amazon is a great place as well. I always buy the quick cooking boba because they only take about 5-10 minutes to cook whereas some non-quick cooking ones take 30-40 minutes and who has time for that? I also let these bad boys rest in a brown sugar + honey mixture to add a little sweetness and I highly recommend doing so because boba pearls don’t have very much flavor on their own.

Now that we have talked about the boba pearls, we can move on to the Milk Tea. Now I know that there are tons of ways to make milk tea and I prefer making it the way I did in this recipe. I make a large batch of strongly brewed black tea (any kind will do) and then let it cool in the fridge overnight. I then pour it into a glass with the boba pearls and some ice and top it off with a delicious sweetener that is just one can of sweetened condensed milk and one can of evaporated milk. And Voila! No more trips all the way to the boba shop and spending $5+ on one drink. You can now make it at home for a fraction of the cost.

Things Needed for the Recipe:

  • Boba Tea Pearls: I recommend purchasing at a local Asian market because they are usually A LOT cheaper (I get mine for $2.99/bag) but you can also order them on Amazon —> here. That is the same brand I purchase at the Asian market and they are really easy to make and turn out perfect every time!

  • Boba Straws: Now these are not a complete necessity for this recipe but they are traditional for Boba and to be honest, if you don’t have them you will have no way of sucking up those delicious boba pearls! Again, I purchase my boba straws at my local Asian market but you can get the same ones on Amazon —> here or you can even buy reusable boba straws —> here and here.

I hope you guys are just as excited for this recipe as I am. I will be making my own homemade Boba Milk Tea all summer and I might even try some other flavors (hint: Vietnamese Iced Coffee Boba, Taro Boba, etc) but let me know if you’d like to see any specific flavors. If you try this recipe or any other from A Common Kitchen, please share your thoughts, feedback, and/or photos with me. I would love to hear from you! I hope you are all having a wonderful summer and happy baking! Xx

Boba Milk Tea


  • 5 Cups Water

  • 8 Black Tea Bags

  • 1 (12 Ounce) Can Evaporated Milk

  • 1 (15 Ounce) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

  • 1 Package Boba (Black Tapioca) Pearls

  • ¼ Cup Brown Sugar, packed

  • ¼ Cup Honey

  • Ice Cubes


  1. Make the Tea: In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Remove the water from the heat, add the tea bags, cover the with pot with a lid, and let steep for 30 minutes. Remove the teabags and transfer the tea into a large pitcher or jar and refrigerate until completely cooled.

  2. Cook/Prepare the Boba: In a medium sized bowl whisk together the brown sugar and honey until evenly combined. Set aside. Now cook the boba according the package directions, adding 1-2 minutes of extra cooking time (I find that the boba pearls firm up quite a bit once the tea and ice gets added at the end so I like to cook them a little bit longer but no more than 2 minutes). Once finished cooking, pour the boba into a sieve, draining the water, and rinse with cold water for 30 seconds, swishing the boba around to make sure every boba gets rinsed fully. Let as much water drain out as possible and transfer the boba into the bowl with the brown sugar + honey and stir gently to evenly coat all of the boba. Set aside.

  3. In another bowl whisk together the evaporated and sweetened condensed milk until well combined. Transfer to a pouring glass or measuring cup.

  4. Assemble the Boba Milk Tea: In a cup add a few spoonfuls of boba. Add in a handful or two of ice and pour the chilled tea over it, filling the glass ¾ of the way full . Top it off with the sweetened milk and stir to combine. Enjoy!