Homemade Bubble Tea — Two Ways!

Obviously I’m a fan of bubble tea, hence the dedicated post…but since learning how to make it at home, my fandom has developed into a sweet and healthy (?) obsession.

For two full weeks I’ve been experimenting with different varieties of tapioca, syrups and base mixes.  Two of my favorites will follow the quick tapioca prep tutorial below…

Tapioca Pearls in Simple Syrup (adapted from The Kitchn)

  • 1/4 cup dried tapioca pearls (brown or white)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pinch salt

Bring the water and salt to a boil over high heat.  Pour in the tapioca pearls and boil on high until the pearls begin to float.  Lower to medium, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let the tapioca sit for 15 minutes or until chewy.  Make a simple dark syrup by combining one part water with one part brown sugar in a pot over high heat.  Stir until all the sugar has dissolved and transfer into a resealable container to cool.  Strain the tapioca pearls and add to the syrup, set aside at room temperature until ready to use.

Chai Bubble Tea with Tapioca Pearls

  • 1 cup steeped chai tea
  • 1-2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon non-fat creamer
  • 2 heaping tablespoons white tapioca pearls

Combine the prepared tea, condensed milk and creamer into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.  Stir in additional condensed milk or creamer to taste.  Shake again and pour into a tall glass.  Stir in the tapioca pearls, add ice if desired and garnish with nutmeg and fresh mint.


Brazilian Lemonade with Tapioca Pearls (adapted from Playz With Food)

  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 limes
  • 1-2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 heaping tablespoons brown tapioca pearls

Stir water and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved, set aside until ready to use. Roughly peel the outer skin from the limes, cut off each end and chop into small pieces. Combine the limes and sugar water in a blender and pulse until liquefied. Pour through a strainer into a resealable container and discard the pulp. Combine the condensed milk with 1 cup of the lime mixture in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Stir in additional condensed milk to taste. Shake again and pour into a tall glass. Stir in the tapioca pearls, add ice if desired and garnish with a lime wedge and fresh mint.


  1. YUM!
    Bubble tea is my absolute favourite!

    Did you find those black tapioca pearls in Edmonton? (I’ve only been able to find the brown coloured ones, and am not a huge fan of those)

    • Maegan Lukian (Author)

      I’ve only been able to find the white and brown ones in Edmonton so far. The black looking ones in my images look darker than they actually are…those ones are the brown pearls soaked in a dark syrup 🙂

      If I do find the black ones I’ll be sure to let you know!

  2. Karen

    I realize this is a very old post but I’m an Edmontonian looking to make my own bubble tea at home and am wondering if you had any favourite locations to pick up supplies? Can I get the pearls, powders, and straws all at T&T? Or am I better off going to one of the smaller stores in Chinatown?

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