Making Bubble Tea for the First Time

On episode 2 of Test Kitchen, I attempted to make tapioca pearls and milk tea from scratch. I grew up with bubble tea around my life since the drink originated from my family’s country, and in the recent years the drink’s popularity has grown exponentially, along with its price. I used to drive 20 minutes to Chinatown to purchase a cup of bubble tea for $2 and now I find myself paying $4-5! I am ecstatic at the drink’s success in the Western world but also figure if I could make my own drink, I could save some money!




And because this recipe was a success (I got lucky!), I am posting the exact recipe I followed. The recipe is adapted from Kusina Chef.

I had a ton of fun shooting this video and cannot wait to make more food in the future. If you would like me to make something for the very first time, please leave a comment!

Bubble Milk Tea



For pearls:

  • 1 c. tapioca starch + 1 tbsp for dusting
  • 1/4  c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. water

For tea:

  • 2 c. brewed black tea (lukewarm)
  • 4 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 c. milk


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a slight boil and add in the brown sugar until dissolved.
  2. Turn the heat off and add in the tapioca starch. Stir until semi-combined. Dough will be pretty dry at first.
  3. Dump dough onto a clean surface and knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it comes together. You should now have a light brown dough that is pretty tough.
  4. Cut the dough into chunks and roll into a tube shapes until they are 1/2 cm wide.
  5. Cut the dough into small pieces and roll them into pearls. Place a cup of 1 tbsp. tapioca starch and let the starch evenly coat all the pearls.
  6. Allow the pearls to dry for at least 30 min.
  7. Boil a pot of water on high heat and pour the pearls in. Mix immediately to prevent the pearls from sticking together. Boil the pearls on high for 10 min. and then turn the heat down to medium. Let the pearls cook for another 10-15 min.
  8. Once done cooking, immediately remove the pearls and place in an ice bath.
  9. For the tea, stir in sugar until dissolved.
  10. Add the milk in and stir.
  11. In a cup, add the tapioca pearls, milk tea, and some ice. Serve and drink with a spoon or straw. I recommend a spoon since we’re trying to save plastic here! In the video I am using a reusable plastic straw.

Enjoy the drink with some friends and if you would like to see more bubble drink tea flavors, let me know!



Categories: food

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