Thai tea boba is a delicious drink with boba tapioca pearls added for fun and delicious flavors. The bouncy boba pearls add a playful texture to the vibrant flavors of Thai iced tea (Cha Yen), a popular drink in Thailand. It's a creamy bubble tea with a fun and delightful twist for kids and adults alike! Ready to serve in 20 minutes!
If you love Thai iced tea (Cha Yen), you'll love this Thai tea boba even more!
Learn how to make Thai bubble tea from your kitchen, where you can enjoy creamy textures meet chewy tapioca pearls, all in the comfort of your kitchen at any time!
- Why you'll love Thai Tea Boba
- What is Thai Bubble Tea?
- What are Boba Pearls?
- Ingredients for Boba Thai Tea recipe
- How to Make Authentic Thai Bubble Tea
- Garnishing Options
- Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- Helpful Kitchen Tools for making bubble tea recipe
- What to Serve With Thai Bubble Tea
- Variations of Thai Boba
- Related Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Thai Tea Boba
- Related Thai Recipes
Why you'll love Thai Tea Boba
- It's a simple recipe and quick to put together. Once you have all the ingredients, the tea can be enjoyed in 20 minutes!
- Indulge in the exotic essence of Thai bubble tea, a popular beverage cherished for its unique blend of flavors.
- Satisfy your curiosity and taste buds with a homemade version of the best Thai boba tea shops.
- Elevate your tea-drinking experience with a sweet treat that captures the essence of Southeast Asia.
- Discover the magic of combining key ingredients like black tea leaves, star anise, and coconut milk.
What is Thai Bubble Tea?
Thai tea boba, often called Thai boba tea or Thai milk tea boba, is a delicious and popular drink that you can find in Thai restaurants and on the streets of Thailand. It is a type of milk tea with a classic bubble tea flavor.
The main ingredient is Thai tea, which is a type of tea that is commonly used in Thailand. The tea is brewed and then mixed with milk to create a creamy texture.
The drink is sweet and refreshing, making it a perfect choice for a hot day. The simple ingredients used to make Thai tea boba include tea leaves, sugar, milk, and tapioca pearls, also known as boba.
The tea is usually served over ice, creating a delightful Thai iced milk tea experience. So if you're looking for a tasty and satisfying drink, try Thai tea boba!
What are Boba Pearls?
Boba pearls, or tapioca balls, are small, chewy balls made from tapioca starch. They transform into chewy morsels that elevate your bubble tea experience when cooked.
What is Tapioca Starch?
Tapioca starch is a powdery substance derived from the root of the cassava plant. It's the magical ingredient that gives boba pearls their chewy texture.
Learn more about tapioca starch and its use in Thai cooking here.
Ingredients for Boba Thai Tea recipe
- Thai tea powder mixes-Pantai brand. Find these at your local Asian grocery store.
- Tapioca pearls. I used the quick-cooking black sugar flavor tapioca pearls. They are easy to cook and ready in 5 minutes!
- Sweetened condensed milk.
- Evaporated milk. Use it to top off the drink with a little extra creaminess. Choose any milk option for a substitute.
- Sugar. Use as needed for sweetness.
- Salt. It helps round out the sweetness a bit.
- Honey or agave. Optional. (to soak the tapioca pearls in before adding to a serving glass)
- Ice cubes (for refreshing coolness to add to the glass of Thai tea boba.
How to Make Authentic Thai Bubble Tea
In Thailand, you would order Thai drinks, as you would in the States or Western shops, as a single drink. My recipe makes 4 drinks. Cut the recipe in half if you want a small amount. This is a homemade version, meaning you can make more than one serving and enjoy it for several drinks, share it with loved ones, or make it for a large group. Check out the storage section for tips on leftover tea.
For the French press method
Step 1. Prepare the tapioca pearls according to package instructions. If using the quick-cooking boba pearl (highly recommended), add the pearls to hot water until the balls float to the top of the pot. Strain the pearls over a sieve, then rinse with cold water. Place the pearls in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of water to keep them from sticking. You can add honey for extra sweetness to the tapioca pearls. Set aside until ready.
Step 2. Make Thai tea. Add Thai tea to the French press. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Then add water to the French press. Use a spoon to stir in the leaves. Steep the Thai tea for 4-6 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. Do not steep longer than 10 minutes. The tea can turn bitter if steeping too long. Setting a timer is very helpful.
Step 3. Make the sugar mixture. While waiting for the water to boil (for steeping the tea), add sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and salt in a heat-safe bowl like a pitcher or glass bowl. Mix with a small spatula or whisk until well combined. Set aside for the tea in a little bit.
Step 4. Add the tea to the sugar mixture. Plunge the French press after your timer goes off. Pour the tea over a tea sock or cheesecloth into the glass bowl with the sweetened condensed milk mixture to strain the tea even more. Whisk well and allow it to cool before mixing with tapioca pearls next.
Step 5. Put it all together! Prepare serving glasses by adding tapioca pearls and ice to the individual glasses. Add the tea, then top off with 2 tablespoons of evaporated milk. More or less as preferred. Add more ice and tapioca pearls as needed too! I like a lot of boba in mine! (: You'll need large straws to drink from with those big pearls in the tea.
For the stovetop method
Follow the same steps above, except for the French press part on step #2. The rest of the steps are the same.
Step 2. On the stovetop method. Bring 3 cups of water to a soft boil, then turn the heat off, leaving the pot on the stovetop still. Add Thai tea mix to the pot, and stir until all the leaves are submerged. Set a time to steep for 4-6 minutes. After the timer goes off, strain the tea over a tea sock or cheesecloth. Stir the tea in well with the condensed milk mixture.
That's it! Enjoy your Thai boba tea!
- Experiment with garnishes like fresh mint leaves or a grated coconut sprinkle to add flair to your Thai bubble tea.
- Or add a slight note of spices like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to your boba milk tea.
Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- Before combining, let the brewed tea cool to room temperature for a cold tea base.
- Achieve the perfect boba texture by cooking the tapioca balls until they are uniformly chewy.
- Adjust the sweetness level by varying the amount of sweetened condensed milk.
- Use a straw wide enough to accommodate the tapioca pearls.
- Freeze your leftover tea in ice cube trays. Once they are frozen, remove them from a glass container. Add those tea cubes to a tall glass when you crave something refreshing and sweet, then pour your favorite fresh milk. Allow it to melt slightly, stir well together and enjoy your leftover tea this way!
Helpful Kitchen Tools for making bubble tea recipe
- French press or copper stainless steel
- Cheesecloth or a slightly higher-grade material
- Tea socks
- Ice cube trays
- Large pot for boiling tapioca balls
- Reusable large straws for boba tea
- Tall glasses for serving drinks
What to Serve With Thai Bubble Tea
Pair your Thai bubble tea with spicy Thai foods like green curry, Thai papaya salad, Lao papaya salad, or a spicy cucumber salad for a delectable contrast of flavors.
Variations of Thai Boba
Experiment with different milk instead of sweetened condensed milk. Try almond milk, whole milk, half and half, or coffee creamers. Adjust the sugar as needed if using a less sweet milk option.
If you're lactose intolerant, replace evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk with almond, oat, or coconut milk for a dairy-free version. Add more sweetener as needed for your taste preference.
- For the best experience, enjoy your Thai bubble tea immediately after making it. Tapioca pearls can lose their chewiness over time.
- Without the tapioca pearls, you can keep the tea in the refrigerator for up to 3 days! Make a fresh batch of tapioca pearls whenever you want to add some to your drink!
- Do not freeze leftover boba pearls. They don't keep well as leftovers.
Related Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Cha Yen the traditional Thai Tea. A popular sweet drink is known worldwide for its bright orange color.
- Thai pink milk, Nom Yen, a pink and creamy drink with a sweet taste.
- Butterly pea flower tea, make it ice or hot tea.
- Mango boba tea is a delicious bubble tea with fresh mango puree.
- Hibiscus tea, or Nam Krajeep, is a fun and delicious Thai street drink.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use regular milk instead of sweetened condensed milk for Thai tea boba. However, the taste and sweetness may be slightly different.
To prevent boba pearls from sticking together, cook them properly and rinse them under cold water after cooking. You can also add a bit of sugar syrup to prevent sticking.
Yes, you can adjust the drink's sweetness by adding more or less sweetened condensed milk or adding sugar syrup to taste.
Yes, you can use black tea instead of Thai tea mixes. The flavor will differ, but it can make a delicious boba drink.
Thai bubble tea is similar to other bubble tea varieties, but it often has a unique flavor due to the use of Thai tea mixes and sweetened condensed milk.
Thai tea is bright orange because it is made with a specific type of black tea blended with spices and food coloring, giving it its distinctive color.
Thai tea powder is made from black tea, spices like star anise and cardamom, and food coloring.
Like other bubble sweet tea varieties, Thai tea boba is not considered healthy due to its high sugar content and other additives. It should be enjoyed in moderation as a treat.
Related Thai Recipes
Looking for other recipes like this Thai tea boba drink? Try these delicious sweet drinks.
These are my favorite dishes to serve with this Thai boba tea.