How to make taro milk tea with taro powder, jasmine green tea, milk (dairy or dairy-free), and either store-bought or homemade tapioca pearls in sweet brown sugar syrup. This wonderfully purple taro bubble tea is creamy, sweet, and can be enjoyed warm or cold with several customizations!
If you’re using homemade tapioca balls, prepare and cook these now, according to my recipe.If you’re using store-bought boba, follow their package instructions to cook them (usually this takes 3-5 minutes).
Once cooked, drain the boba immediately and either rinse under cold water, transfer to a bowl of cold water, or transfer them straight to the brown sugar syrup (to stop them from sticking together).
Step 2: Prepare the Brown Sugar Syrup
Meanwhile, as the boba cook, prepare the brown sugar syrup (refer to this simple syrup post for more tips and info). Add equal parts of water and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high, occasionally stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
Simmer for 3-5 minutes to slightly reduce and thicken the mixture (it will further thicken as it cools). Then remove it from the heat and add the cooked boba balls, stirring well.To infuse the boba with more flavor, allow them to soak in the syrup for 40-60 minutes.
Step 3: Steep the Jasmine tea
If you want to enjoy this as iced tea, you may want to steep the tea before any of the above steps. That way, it has time to cool.Bring water to 176ºF/80ºC on the stovetop or using a temperature-controlled kettle. Don't boil the water, or else the tea is likely to become bitter.
Steep the tea leaves (or tea bag) in the hot water for 5 minutes. Then remove the tea leaves. This will be easier if you use a tea infuser or create your own tea parcel wrapped in cheesecloth.
Add the taro powder and mix well. Then set it aside to cool.
Step 4: Assemble the Taro Milk Tea
Use tall glasses. First, add the boba syrup mixture. Then add ice if you're using it, the tea, and finally the milk. Enjoy!
The jasmine tea: Brewed jasmine tea (with or without the milk) will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator, covered.Tapioca pearls: Homemade boba will last 6 months (uncooked). However, I don’t recommend cooking them more than a few hours in advance.Brown sugar syrup: You can prepare a large batch of this simple syrup and store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.The assembled taro bubble tea: Should be consumed immediately for the best flavor and texture, as the boba won't stay fresh for longer than a few hours (up to 4).
The taro powder: Keep in mind that many store-bought options are sweetened, so you may need to adjust how much additional syrup you add to the taro milk tea. Also, look out for whether the powder contains any animal product as several contain a creamer product.
Cook the boba fresh: They will become hard and unpleasant as they chill, so they should be consumed within 4 hours maximum.
Adjust the sweetness: Reduce or increase the brown sugar syrup you add to the taro boba milk tea.
Adjust the creaminess: Both in the type of milk or cream you use and the amount you add.
If you use fresh taro root: It's best to use gloves when dealing with the raw ingredient due to skin-irritant saponins.
Use bubble tea straws: Otherwise, you’ll need to serve it with a spoon.
For a stronger purple color: Add a little purple sweet potato powder or a natural purple food coloring.
Warm tapioca balls are best: Serving them while they're still warm is when they'll be at their softest with a pleasant chew. The more they cool down, the harder they become.
Optional Add-ins and Variations:
Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract will enhance the subtle vanilla notes in taro bubble tea.
Taro boba: It's possible to buy or make taro boba pearls.
Other tea: You could use regular green tea OR black tea (Chinese breakfast tea or English breakfast tea) instead.
Without tea: This drink also works without any tea. Instead, just use more milk.
Without milk: Omit the tea for a more robust tea flavor.
Coconut jelly OR grass jelly: Could be added as a topping alongside or instead of the tapioca pearls.
Taro chunks: To add texture and more taro flavor, you could add cooked taro chunks to the taro boba milk tea.
Check the blog post for more ingredient notes as well as answers to top FAQs!