2020 has been the year of numerous home-based trends (for obvious reasons). This includes many to do with your morning cuppa - from CBD Hemp Tea Benefits to Dalgona Coffee Recipes.

One that has existed for a little longer is that of Bubble Tea. If this is of interest to you, you’ll probably want to know how to make Bubble Tea at home. The following article will provide the facts.

Once you know more, feel free to browse through our expansive selection of Teas. Although we don’t currently stock a readymade Bubble Tea, we have countless varieties that can serve as an excellent base for making your own Bubble Tea.

These we pack fresh to order here at our Kent-based factory, ensuring quality and consistency, time and time again.

What is Bubble Tea?

What is Bubble Tea?

It’s all fair and well finding out how to make Bubble Tea at home. However, you’ll first need to understand what, exactly, it is. This infusion (also known as Bubble Milk Tea, Pearl Milk Tea or Boba) is a Tea-based drink from Taiwan.

It emerged in Taichung City in the early 1980s, specifically, with arguably the key ingredient being chewy tapioca balls.

We’ll talk a little more about its components below. Right now, it is time to venture further into its history. The generally accepted birthplace of this unique, extraordinary invention is a Teahouse called Chun Shui Tang.

The founder, Liu Han-Chieh, started by serving chilled Chinese Tea in his cafe after seeing something similar with Coffee in Japan. He then began to experiment with methods and flavours.

Liu Han-Chieh shook Tea over ice, which created frothy bubbles on top of the drink - the first, albeit unfinished, Bubble Tea. The next significant moment in its story was in 1988.

This was when Liu Han-Chieh’s product development manager, Lin Hsiu Hui, brought in a local dessert known as fen yuan - a sweetened tapioca pudding. She decided to add it into a cup of iced Assam Tea and passed it around.

Everyone loved it, and so the drink became a regular on Chun Shui Tang’s menu. Such was its popularity, in fact, that decades after making Bubble Tea, it remains one of their biggest sellers.

It has also since spread around the world, which is why we’re going to be showing you how to make Bubble at home later in this article. Before we do that, though, we should probably discuss its ingredients further.

What are the Bubbles in Bubble Tea?

What are the Bubbles in Bubble Tea?

The name “Bubble Tea” originally referred to the frothy bubbles that form while shaking the mixture of Tea, milk and flavourings together.

However, it has since changed to the bubble-like tapioca pearls in the bottom of the blend. These are translucent spheres made from tapioca, a starch extracted from the cassava root. Most people in Taiwan know them as “boba” - hence the nickname, Boba Tea.

That’s the bubbles covered. What about everything else? You can use any  Tea Type, including Black, Green, White and Oolong, as well as fruit and herbal infusions, to make Bubble Tea.

The same applies to milk, which can be dairy-based or a Milk Alternative for Tea. Then there are the other flavours - anything from real honeydew pieces to taro, a root vegetable commonly used in Asian dishes.

Bubble Tea Calories

Bubble Tea Calories

So-called “real” Tea from the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant tends to contain no more than two calories per 8-oz serving. That would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that, when it comes to how to make Bubble Tea, you’ll need to add other ingredients.

This is where the calories start to increase dramatically. As such, if you’re a health-conscious individual, you might want to stop reading and find an alternative about now!

Two cups of Bubble Tea with tapioca are about a third of the average recommended intake of 1,800-2,000 calories. This is because it consists mostly of carbohydrates.

An 8-oz cup of it also has around 92g of sugar - about three times more than the amount of sugar in an 11-oz can of cola. The good news is that tapioca is a good source of iron and manganese.

Bubble Tea Making Kit

Bubble Tea Making Kit

You now know the answer to, “What is Bubble Tea?” and how many calories it contains. We’ll be explaining how to make Bubble Tea at home momentarily, although we’d like first to talk you through a Bubble Tea making kit.

This isn’t as complicated as it might sound. Even better, you can get at least a couple of the components right here with us.

Perhaps first and foremost is the Leaf Tea. The traditional choice is Assam Tea, originating from the Indian State of the same name. If you prefer Green Tea, then we recommend our China Sencha Tea.

Alternatives include Jasmine Tea for a floral flavour, Red Berry Fruit Tisane to satisfy the sweet tooth, or Oolong Formosa Tea to honour Taiwanese culture.

We would be remiss, of course, if we didn’t talk about its namesake: boba (a transliteration of the word for “bubble”), better known as tapioca pearls.

You’ll need to have some of these to hand before you can get started, as well as a basic sugar syrup - used to soak the pearls. When it comes to other flavourings, the possibilities are almost endless.

How to Make Bubble Tea?

How to Make Bubble Tea at Home?

There is nothing left but to explore how to make Bubble Tea at home. Are you excited? We certainly are. You have the Tea, you have the tapioca pearls, you have the milk or Milk Alternative for Tea, and you have any other ingredients you’d like to include.

The kettle is boiling, the cups are at the ready, and there are straws in each of them. Now, simply follow these instructions:

1, Start Brewing the Tea.

Put the kettle on and prepare your Loose Tea or Tea bags in mugs. If you’ve chosen Green or Oolong, say, then allow the water to cool to around 80 or 90°C and steep it for 1-3 minutes.

If you’ve gone for Black Tea, then you can pour almost immediately and infuse for 3-5 minutes. Brewing times can last longer for Herbal and Fruit Tisanes, so anything from 5-10 minutes.

2, Make the Sugar Syrup.

You can do this by adding water and sugar to a saucepan and quickly stirring it together. Heat the water to medium-high and wait until the sugar fully dissolves.

Remove the saucepan once it has boiled and allow the syrup time to cool before transferring it to a jar.

3, Heat the Tapioca Pearls.

Get your saucepan again and bring about four cups of water to boil, then add the tapioca pearls. You should stir it until the pearls start floating to the top before leaving it to cook for another five minutes.

At this point, you can test the pearls to see if they’re suitably soft. Finally, remove each pearl, rinse them with cool water, and transfer them into a bowl to mix with your syrup.

4, Put Together the Beverage.

You can look to straining the Tea - now a little cooler - into a pitcher and dividing the pearls into large glasses. Add a few ice cubes to each glass before pouring in the Tea.

Next comes 1½ tbsp of milk and 1½ tbsp of syrup. Stir and have a taste test to see if it’s right.

There you have it: you now know how to make Bubble Tea at home! If you’re entertaining guests, consider having a small pitcher of milk and the jar of syrup close by so they can make it to their tastes.

It’s worth noting, though, that instructions may differ depending on which Bubble Tea recipes you’re using. The one above is the traditional and most popular method.


This article has given you a rundown of everything you need to know about Bubble Tea, including how to make Bubble Tea at home. From its humble origins in a Taiwan cafe during the 80s, it has since become a global superstar in the world of Tea.

Why not try making Bubble Tea for yourself today? Start your journey with The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. 

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.