If you or your kids love bubble tea than this strawberry milk tea might become your new favourite way to drink boba! It’s made with fresh strawberries instead of syrup and has a fraction of the sugar of store-bought versions. It's fresh, fruity, and delicious, with just the right amount of sweetness. With ready-made tapioca pearls it’s very easy to make at home.
For those who haven't tried it, bubble tea is a drink that first originated in Taiwan in the 1980’s. The basic ingredients are black tea, milk, sugar, and the characteristic chewy tapioca pearls, also known as boba. Bubble tea comes in many flavours. When you make it at home you have the added advantage of tailoring every step to your liking. Choose your favourite tea, control the sweetness and consistency. This healthy, fresh strawberry milk version is made in the Vibe Blender and is creamy, fruity, and impeccably smooth.
TEA: Because the tea gets diluted with strawberry milk and ice, you want to choose a strong tasting tea. Black tea is traditional, but any type of robust flavoured tea can be used. For the best flavour we suggest steeping 2 tea bags in one cup of boiling water. Make sure to not leave the tea bags for too long or it will turn bitter. If you want to make a caffeine-free version, you can use a herbal tea of your choice or skip the tea altogether. Note: This recipe is assembled with cold tea, so prepare and chill the tea several hours or even the night before.
STRAWBERRIES: For best results, use the sweetest ripe strawberries you can find. If you can't access fresh strawberries use frozen ones.
TAPIOCA PEARLS: Boba are available online or in Asian grocers. They are made from tapioca flour and are chewy and slightly sweet. We are using brown sugar-flavoured boba, but any flavour will work. The secret to the best bubble tea is to make it with freshly cooked tapioca pearls. Warm tapioca pearls have the most satisfying soft and chewy texture. If you can, try and have all the components ready so that you can assemble and serve the drink while the boba are still warm. While it’s best to make bubble tea with warm boba, they will last for about 4 hours before they get hard and tough.
Follow the cooking instructions on packet for best results but all that’s involved is boiling tapioca pearls in water for approx. 5 minutes. To prevent the cooked boba from sticking together, coat with maple syrup immediately.
BOBA STRAW: Available online or from your local bubble tea shop.
½ cup uncooked tapioca pearls (boba)
1 cup strong brewed tea of your choice (see notes)
1 punnet (250g) fresh strawberries
½ cup full cream (whole milk) or plant based milk of your choice
3-4 tablespoons maple syrup (+ more to taste)
Handful of ice, optional
1. Start by brewing your tea. Let steep for 3-5 minutes, then set aside to cool to room temperature or place in the fridge until you are ready to assemble your bubble tea.
2. Wash, hull and halve the strawberries.
3. Add the strawberries and milk to the Vibe Blender jug. Secure the lid on then blend on ‘smoothie’ mode for 30 seconds. Set the jug aside.
4. Fill a saucepan with water and cook the tapioca pearls following the packaging instructions. (The preparation changes slightly depending on the brand, flavour, and size, so it's hard to give exact instructions.)
5. Once cooked, drain the tapioca pearls in a sieve and rinse briefly under cold water to remove any excess starch.
6. Transfer the warm boba to a small bowl. Add the maple syrup and stir to coat.
7. Now you are ready to assemble your strawberry bubble tea. To a large glass, add the cooked boba, dividing the syrup equally. Add ice cubes, tea and finally, pour over the strawberry milk.
8. Insert a boba straw, stir well and enjoy right away!
9. If your strawberries were not sweet enough, feel free to add a splash of maple syrup.