Outsider’s Guide to D.I.Y Bubble Tea

hand holding a cup of bubble tea in front of night scenery

Staying at home does not have to be boring. Come along with us as we teach how to be your very own bubble tea barista and have fun all within the comforts of your home!

Sweet, creamy and chewy, who can resist the taste of bubble tea? From its humble beginnings in Taiwan in the 80s, Bubble Tea or 珍珠奶茶 has become a favourite among many Asian communities. First made out of milk, black tea and tapioca balls, the classic bubble tea has transformed into a variety of interesting and creative flavours. We will be introducing to you four popular flavours of milk tea that you can make at the comfort of your own home!

Taiwanese Bubble Tea Play Made, Photo by Daniel Food Diary
Play Made Bubble Tea (Source: https://danielfooddiary.com/2017/10/30/playmade/)

Tapioca Pearls

A bubble tea without its tapioca pearls is like Outside without its community taskers. To get your hands on this chewy treat, you can head over to Redman or make your own.

Tapioca Pearls (Bubble Tea)
Tapioca Pearls (https://www.bossenstore.com/blogs/bubble-tea-recipes/how-to-store-and-keep-tapioca-pearls)


  • Six tablespoons of Tapioca Flour/tapioca starch
  • Two tablespoons freshly boiled water
  • 2 cups of water
  • Black food colouring

Serving: 2 Tapioca Pearl Lovers


  1. In one bowl, place your black food colouring and one tablespoon of hot water. In another bowl, place your tapioca flour and add one tablespoon of hot water to it.
  2. Pour the coloured water into the bowl of tapioca flour. Mix the mixture with a fork until they stick together.
  3. Transfer to a flat surface and knead the dough until it becomes smooth. Roll the dough to form thin sticks. After that continue to cut them into small pieces of equal size and roll them into small balls.
  4. Boil two cups of water in a small pot. Add the pearls to the boiling water and let it cook for 15 minutes or longer until the desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Remove the tapioca pearls from the pot and let it cool for a few minutes. Transfer tapioca pearls into sugar syrup or a bowl with a little water to prevent them from sticking together.

1. Hong Kong Style Bubble Tea

Hong Kong Style Bubble Tea or Black Milk Tea can be called the father of bubble tea. Whether you are a first-time bubble tea drinker or a veteran bubble tea fanatic, a cup of this classic bubble tea can never go wrong. Being the first of its kind, it is safe to assume that easiest to make.

Koi Bubble Tea, Black Milk Tea
Koi’s Black Milk Tea (Source: https://www.facebook.com/koithesingapore/)


  • 1 cup of Water
  • 2 and 1/4 tablespoon of Black Tea
  • 15 Ounces of Condensed Milk

Serving: 2–4 Bubble Tea Lovers


  1. Boil your water using a pot of water. Once your water is boiled, lower your heat and add your black tea leaves. Make sure to let your black tea leaves seep for about 3–5 minutes
  2. After your black tea is done, turn down your heat to a low. From here, you can add your condensed milk to your own liking. If you are unsure, a benchmark would be 1 to 1.5 tablespoon of condensed milk for every cup of Bubble tea.
  3. Add Tapioca Pearls and ice and you are good to go!

2. Matcha Milk Tea

A combination of flavours from Japan and Taiwan comes the Matcha Milk Tea. Its beautiful green colour and its one-of-the-kind deep, aromatic, earthy taste are hard to miss. Your taste buds will thank you with a cup of this delicious treat.

Milksha (Bubble Tea) ’s Azuki Matcha Milk
Milksha’s Azuki Matcha Milk (Source: /www.facebook.com/milkshasingapore)


  • Authentic Japanese made Matcha Powder
  • 2 tablespoons of sweetner (honey, simple syrup etc)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla
  • 1 cup creamer (almond milk, soy milk, oat milk etc)
  • 3–4 tablespoons of hot water

Serving: 1–2 Matcha Fanatics


  1. In a bowl, scoop 1–1/2 tablespoons of your fine matcha powder into your bowl and add your 3–4 tablespoons of hot water. Mix the matcha powder and water together using a whisk or a bamboo brush until you have a frothy consistency. Remember to speed of whisking is key!
  2. After getting your matcha into a frothy consistency, add 1–1/2 tablespoons of vanilla into the cup and 2 tablespoons of honey.
  3. Add 1 cup of almond milk and stir well
  4. Add Tapioca Pearls and ice and you are good to go!

3.Strawberry Milk Tea

Don’t you love strawberries? Combing the sweetness of strawberry and milk tea, what can be more refreshing than this pink coloured tasty treat? If you love all things pinks and fruits then this is the perfect milk tea for you.

Liho (Singapore Bubble Tea)'s Strawberry Milk Tea
Liho’s Strawberry Milk Tea (https://www.facebook.com/lihosg)


  • Handful of fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of creamer (almond milk, soy milk, oat milk etc)
  • Tea of your choice (green tea works well)
  • Handful of ice
  • 1–2 tablespoons of sweetener (honey, simple syrup etc)

Serving: 2–4 Strawberry Lovers


  1. Boil your water using a pot of water or an electric kettle. Add green tea leaves to your boil water. Let your green tea leaves seep for about 3–5 minutes. After the 3–5 minutes, leave your tea to cool.
  2. With your handful of fresh strawberries, cut off the leaves and place them into a blender.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of creamer of your choices such as oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, or even whole milk into the blend. Add your 1–2 tablespoons of sweetener (we recommend honey to give it more aroma) to the blend as well.
  4. Once your green tea is cooled, add ice and green tea into the blender. Blend all the ingredients together until a slushy consistency is reached.
  5. Add your Tapioca Pearls and ice and you are good to go!

4. Brown Sugar Milk Tea

Resembling the Tiger Stripes, this popular Brown Sugar Milk Tea is creating excitement within the Bubble Tea Community. Learn the recipe to this aesthetic-looking drink and you can even “instagram” it to impress your friends!

Tiger Sugar (Bubble Tea)’s Brown Sugar Milk Tea
Tiger Sugar’s Brown Sugar Milk Tea (Source: https://www.facebook.com/tigersugarSGofficial)


  • 1 cup of muscovado sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 bags of black tea or loose leaves
  • 1/2 cup creamer (almond milk, soy milk, oat milk etc)

Serving: 1–2 Brown Sugar Fanatics


  1. To create the thick brown sugar syrup, take 1 cup of water and 1 cup of the muscovado sugar, bring to a boil, then a simmer, and stir occasionally until this mixture has a nice and thick consistency. After achieving the right texture, let it cool down.
  2. Boil your water using a pot of water or an electric kettle. Add black tea leaves to your boil water. Let your black tea leaves seep for about 10–15 minutes. After the 10–15 minutes, leave your tea to cool.
  3. After your tea is cooled, pour your tea, 1/2 cups of the creamer, and ice cubes into a cocktail shaker or a bowl and mix well.
  4. Grab a cup and put in as much of tapioca pearls as you like. Then using a spoon and the brown sugar syrup mixture, line the inside of the cup with the sugar syrup. Add as much syrup as you like!
  5. Add your tea mixture into your cup and you are good to go!

Need help getting the ingredients (or a fully prepared bubble tea)? Download Outside and get help from community heroes around you today!

Outside is a Singapore-based community tasking app that makes it fun and easy for users to help each other with daily inconveniences and errands. The award-winning community app facilitated hundreds of tasks over the circuit breaker and is officially supported by #SGStrong and #SGUnited.

Join Outside and be your community’s hero today! Find more information at https://www.outsideapp.co or get the app on Apple Store and Google Play!

Recipe adapted from Mothership and TalkBoba.

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