Love Brown Sugar Milk Tea? Now you can make this popular Taiwanese drink at home!
Brown Sugar Milk Tea has been taking over the world by storm, and people are lining up but you don’t have to!
No need to go out to get your bubble tea fix anymore by making this easy brown sugar boba recipe with only 4 ingredients.
What is Milk Tea or Bubble Tea or Boba?
Milk tea, also known as bubble tea or boba tea, is one of the most popular Taiwanese drinks that originated in the early 1980s in Taichung, Taiwan, and has now become popular worldwide!
It’s basically a tea drink that includes a wide range of toppings with the tapioca pearls (called bubbles or boba) being the most popular.
The drink can use plain brewed tea or milk that’s been steeped with tea leaves – the latter of which is milk tea.
The drink is more commonly called as bubble tea or milk tea in Asia and Canada.
Whereas in the United States, it’s called boba or boba tea.
Did you know? Boba is a slang for “breasts” in Chinese, referencing the spherical shape of tapioca pearls.
I remember when the bubble tea craze started in Manila during my high school days.
I was hooked and, when my mom picked me up from school, I would usually ask her if we can stop by to get bubble tea on the way home.
Who would’ve thought that, when I moved to Canada in 2006 for university, bubble tea wasn’t much of a thing yet and it was quite hard for me to find them.
Now, there are so many bubble tea shops in Toronto, and you can find blocks and plazas with mostly bubble tea shops.
Also Read: Best Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken Restaurants in Toronto
What is Brown Sugar Milk Tea?
With different kinds of teas and all sorts of toppings, the variations of bubble teas are unlimited.
One of the most popular milk tea drinks is the Brown Sugar Milk Tea, which consists of brown sugar syrup, tapioca pearls and milk tea.
What makes brown sugar bubble tea standout is that the tapioca pearls are slow cooked or braised with brown sugar syrup for hours.
This makes the boba very soft and chewy plus have an inherently sweet taste to it.
With slow cooking, the brown sugar syrup becomes quite thick, making the milk tea consistency thicker and adds a different kind of sweetness than the usual sugar or sweetener used for regular milk tea beverages.
Aside from its creamy sweet taste, brown sugar boba also gained popularity because of how beautiful it looks.
It’s definitely one of the most Instagrammable milk teas such that you can easily identify the drink just by looking at it.
Brown Sugar Milk Tea is normally served with brown sugar syrup streaks that blends with the milk color, making it look like art work.
Similarly, it is because of these smears of brown sugar syrup where it also got its name Dirty Milk Tea.
In Toronto, the first store to serve brown sugar bubble tea was The Alley where it’s called The Deerioca.
It’s sold in very limited quantities due to the long process to make it and sells out quite fast.
The Deerioca was my first time having brown sugar milk tea and I remember loving the taste of the brown sugar tapioca syrup so much.
But it can be quite expensive and not easily accessible due to line-ups or selling out.
I learned after that this popular drink actually started with Tiger Sugar, who specializes in all things brown sugar boba drinks.
The term “Tiger” in its name refers to the brown sugar stripes on the drink which resembles that of the tiger.
I was able to try Tiger Sugar’s Brown Sugar Boba + Pearl with Cream Mousse for the first time on my trip to Manila in 2019, and it was addictingly good!
I actually liked it more than The Alley’s Deerioca because the drink was creamier and had a mix of both big and small tapioca pearls.
With this brown sugar milk tea recipe, you can “travel to Taiwan” by making this popular Taiwanese drink at home!
Also Read: Easy 30-Minute Recipes: Meals and Snacks in 30 Minutes or Less
What You Need For Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea
Making brown sugar boba milk tea is so simple. It only needs 4 key ingredients.
Brown Sugar Tapioca Syrup
- Tapioca Pearls – I used a pre-made package. You can typically buy tapioca pearls in Asian grocery or Amazon.
You can also make homemade tapioca pearls from scratch here. People who want to avoid carbs can skip the boba.
- Brown Sugar
- Tea Leaves – You can use your favourite tea. I used roasted Oolong tea, which is my favourite for bubble tea.
You can skip the tea leaves if you don’t want caffeine or you are making Brown Sugar Boba Milk.
- Milk – You can use your choice of Milk. Brown Sugar Boba Milk typically uses fresh milk.
You can skip the milk to make Brown Sugar Boba Tea.
How To Make Brown Sugar Milk Tea with Tapioca
Making brown sugar milk tea at home is so easy! We’ll break it down into different parts:
How to cook tapioca pearls
Put the tapioca pearls on a pot of boiling hot water.
Let it simmer on medium high heat for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom or clump together.
Note: do not rinse the tapioca pearls before cooking.
Turn off the heat and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Rinse the tapioca pearls in cold water to stop the cooking. This also removes the starch outer layer.
How to make brown sugar syrup with boba
On the same pot used to cook the tapioca pearls, mix water and brown sugar until it dissolves then bring to a boil.
Travelling Foodie Tip: You can adjust the amount of brown sugar based on your preferred level of sweetness.
Add the cooked boba to the mixture.
When the pot starts to boil again, bring it down to medium low heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until syrup has thickened.
How to make milk tea
Combine milk and tea leaves in a pot and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, remove the pot from the heat and let the tea leaves steep for 20 minutes.
Travelling Foodie Tip: You can adjust the amount of tea leaves or the steep time based on how strong you want the milk tea.
Strain the milk tea to separate the tea leaves.
Optionally, you can chill the milk tea if you want it cold.
Assembling the brown sugar bubble milk tea
Since you have all the components for brown sugar boba ready, it’s time to assemble!
Pour brown sugar tapioca syrup on a glass or cup.
If you want your drink cold, add ice.
Here’s how to get the streaks (marble effect) on brown sugar milk tea like in bubble tea shops
We all want our brown sugar boba look pretty for photos right?
After pouring the brown sugar tapioca syrup, tilt the glass in a 45 degree angle so the syrup starts sliding towards the lid.
Once it reaches the lid, start rotating the glass until all sides are coated with syrup.
This is a quicker way to get the brown sugar streaks than letting the syrup slide down from the lid as you’re pouring.
Pour the milk tea on top.
You’ll typically want to drink this with a straw that’s big enough to drink the tapioca pearls with.
When you’re ready to drink (after taking photos for social media), stir to mix everything together.
And then enjoy your delicious brown sugar milk tea!
DIY Bubble Tea Kits
In case you don’t want to go grocery for the individual ingredients, there are stores that are selling DIY Bubble Tea Kits which contains all the necessary ingredients to make bubble tea.
Here’s a YouTube video where I made a Brown Sugar Roasted Oolong Milk Tea with Tapioca using a bubble tea kit from @teacup.to in Toronto.
Other Quick and Easy Recipes You’ll Love
- Avocado Blueberry Smoothie Recipe
- Prosciutto Arugula Pizza
- Air Fryer French Fries
- Filipino Hot Chocolate
- Homemade Guacamole
Brown Sugar Milk Tea Recipe
Be sure to bookmark/save/pin this post so you can easily make Brown Sugar Bubble Tea at the comfort of your own home!
I would love to see how this recipe worked for you! Please share your creations with me on social media and tag me so I can check them out: @TravellingFoodie on Instagram & Facebook and @TravellinFoodie on Twitter.
Brown Sugar Tapioca Syrup
Brown Sugar Tapioca Syrup
- In a pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil then pour the tapioca pearls.
- Simmer on medium high heat for 20 minutes and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Turn off heat. Set aside and let it sit for 20 minutes.
- Strain and rinse tapioca pearls in cold water then set aside.
- Add brown sugar and 120ml water on the same pot and bring to a boil.
- Add cooled tapioca pearls then simmer on medium low heat for 20 minutes.
- While making the Brown Sugar Tapioca Syrup, mix milk and tea leaves on another pot.
- On high heat, bring the pot to a boil. Remove from heat then steep for 15 minutes.
Assembling Brown Sugar Milk Tea
- Add brown sugar syrup with boba.
- (Optional) Add ice if you want it cold
- Add Milk Tea
- You can reduce the amount of brown sugar if you want the syrup less sweet.
- You can reduce the tea leaves if you want the milk tea less strong.
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Yield: 2Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 541Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 204mgCarbohydrates: 108gFiber: 0gSugar: 46gProtein: 13g
Please note that nutrition information you see is provided and automatically calculated by Nutritionix. This may vary depending on the specific ingredients that you use. To ensure the most accurate information, I suggest entering your specific ingredients into a nutrition calculator.
Hope this Brown Sugar Milk Tea recipe lets you satisfy those bubble tea cravings at home!
It can be quite expensive buying in boba shops so making this popular Taiwanese drink on your own is the way to go!
This drink is made from 3 ingredients, tapioca pearls, caramelised brown sugar and milk. The original boba drink from Taiwan does not contain any tea and is caffeine-free. It is called 黑糖珍珠鮮奶 (Hēitáng zhēnzhū xiān nǎi) in Chinese, which translates to Brown Sugar Fresh Milk.How do you answer the sugar level in milk tea? ›
100% means full sugar, 75% means less sugar, 50% means half sugar, 25% means some sugar, and 0% means no sugar. Another way you can order the sugar level in your boba is by saying 'full sugar' or 'little sugar'.How to make bubble tea step by step? ›
- Make your simple syrup by combining equal parts water and sugar.
- Boil the tapioca pearls following the instructions on the package.
- Brew your tea to the desired consistency.
- Add your syrup, ice, milk and tea into a glass.
- Add the boba, and enjoy!
Brown sugar milk tea with boba has been found as the unhealthiest option with 18.5 teaspoons of sugar. For an easy reference, a can of regular coke contains 7 teaspoons of sugar; a cup of brown sugar milk tea with pearl is equivalent to 2.6 cans of coke.What is brown sugar made of? ›
While sugar beets and sugar cane are used to make white granulated sugar, only molasses from sugar cane is used in the production of brown sugar. Molasses from sugar cane is what gives brown sugar its color, with less needed to make light brown sugar and more for dark brown sugar.Can you make brown sugar at home? ›
- Combine sugar and molasses in a mixing bowl. 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 Tablespoon unsulphured molasses.
- Use a spatula to work the ingredients together as well as you can. ...
- Continue to mix until no lumps remain and the brown sugar is uniform in color.
- Store in an airtight container.
Weak tea isn't great for milk tea. Everyone has a different level of sweet they like in their tea. Start with a teaspoon of sugar first and add more if needed. It's a good idea to warm up your teapot with hot water before brewing any kind of tea to keep the water hot during the steeping process.What is the best sugar level bubble tea? ›
Sweet as sugar
Many bubble tea connoisseurs swear by either 75 percent or 50 percent, but hey, nobody's going to stop you requesting zero percent, even if you do get a raised brow or two.
A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is normal. A reading of more than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) after two hours means you have diabetes. A reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L and 11.0 mmol/L) means you have prediabetes.How do you make boba tea in 5 minutes? ›
Pre-boil water on a stovetop. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of tapioca pearls to the boiling water and give the water a gentle stir to stop the pearls from sticking to each other. Boil until the tapioca pearls float to the top. Turn the heat to medium low and stir occasionally for 3-5 minutes.
- Add water and tea leaves into a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Add milk and sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved, and bring it to a boil again.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Strain into a cup and serve.
- Flavor: Flavored powder, flavored syrup, fruit purees or fresh fruit.
- Creamer: Powder creamer, half-n-half, full milk or other creamer.
- Sweetener: Sugar, simple sugar syrup, fructose, or honey. ...
- Liquid: Water, tea or milk.
As its ingredients are milk, brown sugar, and brown sugar soaked tapioca pearls, this drink is very sweet. Out of all the bubble tea drinks out there, brown sugar milk is definitely the least healthy for you in terms of sugar level.Why is brown sugar boba so good? ›
While bubble tea used to be made traditionally with simple syrup from white sugar, brown sugar, when caramelised into a syrup, has toasty, nutty nuances that make the drink so delicious.Which brown sugar is best? ›
Dark brown sugar provides a richer, more complex flavor for baked goods. Its dark color and rich flavor are often used in baked goods that benefit from a deep molasses flavor. It also provides more moisture because of the higher molasses content.How do you keep brown sugar soft? ›
How to prevent your brown sugar from hardening. Brown sugar should be stored in a cool, moist area in a rustproof container with a tight-fitting lid. Brown sugar can also be stored in any type of re-sealable, moisture-proof plastic bag.What is real brown sugar called? ›
Natural brown sugar, raw sugar or whole cane sugar is sugar that retains some amount of the molasses from the mother liquor (the partially evaporated sugar cane juice).How do you make brown sugar fast? ›
Just place your block of brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Wet a paper towel and squeeze until just slightly damp. Lay the paper towel over the brown sugar and microwave it in 20-second intervals, loosening the sugar with a fork between each interval, until the sugar has returned to its normal texture.How to make 1 cup brown sugar? ›
For light brown sugar: use ONE tablespoon molasses per ONE cup of granulated sugar. For dark brown sugar: use TWO tablespoons molasses per ONE cup of granulated sugar. You can also use molasses amounts in-between or less/more than, based on personal preference.What is the easiest way to make brown sugar? ›
It couldn't be simpler to make your own, just mix together sugar and molasses (or treacle). That's right: it's simply white sugar and molasses.
Aiming for a 50% water 50% milk proportion: If making it this way, unless you opt for a plant milk, you won't need to increase the amount of tea used. It's best to make the water part of the tea first, before adding the milk.How many scoops of sugar do you put in tea? ›
As a general rule, you should add no more than two teaspoons of sugar to tea. Not only is adding even more sugar unhealthy, but your cup of tea will become too sweet for most palettes. A cup of tea with more than two sugars is liable to taste more like sugar than tea!Can you eat boba? ›
The tapioca pearls in bubble tea, also known as bubbles or boba, have a jelly-like texture and are made with tapioca starch, making it completely safe for human consumption.Is boba good for diabetes? ›
Unfortunately, boba itself provides very few health benefits, though its calories and carbohydrates can provide you with a boost in energy. In most cases, boba tea contains high levels of sugar, which is linked to long-term health conditions like diabetes and obesity.What bubble tea is most popular? ›
The 5 most popular bubble tea flavours are:
Tiger Milk Tea. Thai Milk Tea. Taro Milk Tea. Lychee Fruit Tea.
Black Milk Tea or Hong Kong Milk Tea
The black milk tea flavor or selection of boba is the all time classic and some may say the father of bubble tea or boba. It all started with this flavor and shortly after many other flavors came about. Without a doubt, this is the most popular boba tea flavor.
If your blood sugar level is slightly high for a short time, emergency treatment won't be necessary. But if it continues to rise you may need to act fast to avoid developing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). If your blood sugar level is 15 mmol/l or more, you should check your blood or urine for ketones.How do I calculate my sugar level? ›
The level of glucose in the blood can be measured by applying a drop of blood to a chemically treated, disposable 'test-strip', which is then inserted into an electronic blood glucose meter. The reaction between the test strip and the blood is detected by the meter and displayed in units of mg/dL or mmol/L.Is 102 sugar level normal? ›
In general: Less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L ) is normal. 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L ) is diagnosed as prediabetes. 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L ) or higher on two separate tests is diagnosed as diabetes.Is boba OK overnight? ›
Providing your bubble tea has been refrigerated overnight then yes - you can drink bubble tea the next day. However keep in mind that your bubble tea should be consumed within 24 hours of being refrigerated and if it contains dairy, may not keep as well.
Due to the caffeine content found in bubble tea, it is the perfect way to get a burst of energy whilst drinking. This energy boost derived from caffeine is said to give a much-needed boost of energy making you stay awake for longer, making it perfect for those cold and dark winter mornings.Do you put boba in hot or cold water? ›
Strain the boba from the water and pour into a bowl/container. Add just enough cold water to cover the pearls.Do you pour the milk or tea first? ›
The answer is: In a formal setting, milk is poured after the tea. You may have heard or read that milk precedes the tea into the cup but this is not the case. You do not put milk in before tea because then you cannot judge the strength of the tea by its color and aroma.How long should milk tea steep? ›
Boil the water, then pour it over the teabag. Let the tea steep for at least 5 minutes to get the strongest flavor possible.What type of milk is used in bubble tea? ›
Bubble teas fall under two categories: teas without milk and milk teas. Both varieties come with a choice of black, green, or oolong tea as the base. Milk teas usually include powdered milk or fresh milk, but may also use condensed milk, almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk.What is bubble tea vs boba? ›
TLDR: Boba tea and bubble tea both refer to the same thing - a milk tea or fruit tea drink. Boba can also refer to tapioca pearls a.k.a boba balls (the squishy topping often found in a bubble tea).Is bubble tea and boba the same? ›
Bubble tea, a popular beverage that originated in Taiwan, is known by many names. Bubble tea can be called 'pearl milk tea,' 'boba tea,' 'tapioca tea,' or simply 'boba. ' The name most popularly used for this drink will vary in different regions.Does Brown Sugar boba tea have tea in it? ›
Brown sugar milk tea is an iced black tea drink with brown sugar, milk, and tapioca balls (also called boba). This drink is also called brown sugar bubble tea. My secret to making the best bubble tea is to use warm tapioca balls. The soft and chewy texture of boba is perfect when it's still warm.What is the difference between boba and brown sugar Boba? ›
“Regular” or clear boba pearls are made from tapioca starch, which comes from the cassava root, and they're relatively tasteless. Brown sugar boba pearls (a.k.a. black sugar boba) are made from tapioca and brown sugar, which gives them a black color and sweeter taste. For this bubble tea recipe, use black boba pearls!Is brown sugar Boba the same as milk tea? ›
Brown Sugar Bubble Tea
Also known as brown sugar milk tea, this tasty treat substitutes the black tea and milk infusion of classic milk tea and replaces it with milk, dark brown sugar syrup and brown sugar-infused tapioca pearls.
It also displayed the different sugar levels in seven types of bubble tea orders, all 500 ml. Brown sugar milk tea with boba pearls ranked the highest at 18.5 teaspoons of sugar. The drink with the lowest amount of sugar was the avocado tea with boba pearls with 7.5 teaspoons of sugar.What is the unhealthiest bubble tea? ›
A comparison showing the sugar level in seven types of bubble tea orders revealed that the unhealthiest option was brown sugar milk tea with pearls as it contained 18.5 teaspoons of sugar. Winter melon tea comes in at a close second with 16 teaspoons of sugar.What is the healthiest boba? ›
While many bubble teas often lack nutritional value, BUBLUV boasts no added sugar, no artificial ingredients and contains less than 50 calories per bottle. This has far fewer calories and sugar content than regular tapioca pearls in bubble tea, which can contain 200 or more calories per quarter cup serving.Is boba good for you? ›
Unfortunately, boba itself provides very few health benefits, though its calories and carbohydrates can provide you with a boost in energy. In most cases, boba tea contains high levels of sugar, which is linked to long-term health conditions like diabetes and obesity.What is dirty boba milk tea? ›
Dirty Boba is a “signature drink created first when the boba are coated and cooked in brown sugar. The drink can be filled with a choice of milk or fresh teas. Finally, the dirty boba is topped with a milk cheese foam and a caramelized creme brulee topping.”What sugar is in boba? ›
One published nutrition study suggests that boba tea drinks are part of the larger group of sugar‐sweetened beverages (SSB) because these beverages are usually sweetened with high‐fructose corn syrup (HFCS).Why is boba called boba? ›
The tea became known as boba because the term is slang for breasts in Chinese (a reference the spherical shape of the tapioca balls).Is boba healthier than Coke? ›
That cup of fresh fruit juice could contain as much sugar as a soft drink. For instance, a 500ml cup of brown sugar boba milk can contain about 92g of sugar, about three times more than the amount of sugar in a 320ml can of Coca-Cola.Can you use regular sugar instead of brown sugar for boba? ›
It's the quickest and easiest way to make boba at home. Brown sugar gives the drink a deep, rich flavor, but you can use regular white sugar if that's what you have.What kind of milk is in boba? ›
Every cup of boba milk tea had this signature condensed milk flavor that fused perfectly with the concentrated black tea. A lot of stands also use whole milk, so if you're not a fan of condensed milk, whole milk will also give you an authentic taste of Taiwanese Boba Milk Tea!
Popular brown sugar milk has none, and true to its name is a blend of milk, bubbles (aka tapioca pearls), and a boiled brown sugar syrup that's extremely easy to make at home by cooking two parts of dark brown sugar with one part of water until it thickens.What is the best milk tea for boba? ›
The best kinds of tea to use are those that have a robust flavor, such as black or jasmine tea. Because you will water down the tea with milk and ice cubes, you want a strong tasting tea that will retain its flavor. I used Numi's Chinese Breakfast Tea for the recipe, but any strong tea will work.