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How To Make Thai Tea Boba at Home

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Brewing the perfect cup of tea depends on your personal preference as well as the specific type of tea that you are looking at. If you are interested in Thai tea boba then you will want to take a closer look at the steps we are going to outline below, so you can make the perfect cup each time and determine your own personal preferences along the way.

What is Boba Tea?

The short answer is that boba tea is a mix of Thai tea and bubble tea and it’s most definitely becoming a popular drink. Boba tea is unique because of the ‘boba’ that sink to the bottom of the drink. These boba are partially cooked tapioca flour with a chewy texture and a naturally gluten-free and flavor-free makeup. That means they have the potential to become just about anything and have been used in many forms for different hot and cold drinks. Boba tea is a special type of Thai tea that is made with those boba.

Thai tea is a black tea with condensed milk and crushed ice. It’s a bold and flavorful tea because it’s infused with star anise and cloves. It then has sugar or sweetened condensed milk to sweeten it up. In Western cultures you will often find orange food coloring added to the tea to give it a unique color. When making boba tea you would then add in the boba.

What is Boba Made Of?

Boba is simply black tapioca pearls that are at the bottom of the tea drink. The balls are formed from tapioca sweetened with black sugar and then boiled. For many, the flavorless aspect of the boba is the perfect compliment to the milk tea or Thai tea. For others, adding flavors to the boba adds to the flavor profile of the drink and helps create a unique contrast that is very good.

Why is Boba Orange?

The truth is, in Thailand, boba tea is not orange. It’s a black tea and it is drunk just like a standard black tea. In most cases, you will not find anything orange in the tea. However, in Western cultures you will often find orange food dye added to the tea in order to turn it a brilliant orange color. This is believed to be simply to differentiate the Thai tea from a standard black tea. However it’s not actually necessary for the flavor of the drink and actually does nothing for it.

jasmine milk boba tea

How to Make Thai Boba Tea at Home

There are two ways that you can make Thai boba tea at home. One is using a pre-made mix for this type of tea and the other is to start with a strong black tea and mix it yourself. Making the tea with a mix will obviously be easier and will take less time to prepare but will not be as authentic as making it from scratch.

Thai Boba Tea from Mix

You will need a Thai iced tea mix to start with. They come with all of the spices and coloring already mixed in so you don’t need to worry about getting the balances right. You will only need a couple simple ingredients to add in.

Next, make sure you have milk or half-and-half or you could even use heavy cream or sweetened condensed milk if you are looking for a thoroughly sweet and creamy drink.

Sweetener of your choice, such as agave, honey, simple syrup or even basic white table sugar are important for your boba tea as well. These will help add even more sweetness and give it the right flavor.

Ice is going to make sure that you have a cold drink. If you’re looking for a hot Thai boba tea you could skip the ice and drink the tea hot, but for this recipe we will add in ice to make a traditional cold drink.

And finally, you need to have the tapioca pearls or boba. You will want to make your own boba immediately before you are planning to make your tea as they will start to dry out quickly and you will lose the chewy texture that you are looking for.

  1. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and add the loose tea from the mix.
  2. Add in approximately 1 tablespoon of sugar per glass of tea you plan to prepare and mix well.
  3. Lower the heat and cover to steep the tea approximately 15-20 minutes. The result will be a bitter tea.
  4. Strain the tea through a fine strainer to separate the tea from the leaves so that it will not continue to steep.
  5. Place in refrigerator to cool.
  6. Prepare your boba by boiling a pot of water and adding the boba.
  7. Cook your boba for 5-7 minutes and immediately drain and rinse under cold water.
  8. Add boba to the bottom of a glass and fill with ice.
  9. Pour approximately 1-1 ½ cups of cooled tea into the glass.
  10. Add approximately 2-3 tablespoons of your chosen milk product and stir well.

Thai Boba Tea from Scratch

To make a Thai boba tea from scratch you will need black tea, which you can find anywhere and use your preferred type. You will be adding spices to the tea to get the right flavor for a Thai tea.

You will need sugar or some type of sweetener in order to get the right flavor profile for the tea.

Star anise, whole cardamom, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, turmeric and vanilla or almond extract will finish out the flavor profile to turn your standard black tea into a Thai tea.

Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk are going to give you the creamy texture that your tea needs to be a true Thai boba tea or milk tea.

  1. Put the tea bag, 2 ½ cups of water, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 2 pieces of star anise, 1 tablespoon of whole cardamom, 1 cinnamon stick, ¼ vanilla bean, and 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric into a pot and simmer.
  2. Once the tea is simmering lower the heat and leave to simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Pour through a strainer to remove all pieces of spices and tea.
  4. Put tea in the refrigerator to cool.
  5. Prepare your boba by boiling a pot of water and adding the boba.
  6. Cook your boba for 5-7 minutes and immediately drain and rinse under cold water.
  7. Place boba in the bottom of a glass and fill with ice.
  8. Pour the tea over the ice.
  9. Mix sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk together to create a smooth ingredient.
  10. Pour into iced tea.

Why You Want to Make Homemade Thai Milk Tea with Boba

Why would you even want to make this type of tea for yourself? Well, the truth is there are several reasons to consider it and definitely several more that you will find once you’ve had a chance to try this drink for yourself.

  1. It’s quick and easy to do. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it you’re going to be really happy with the flavor and especially with that flavor compared to the amount of time that it takes to prepare the drink properly.
  2. You can save money. You don’t have to spend all that money buying your Thai boba tea at a coffee shop or anywhere else. You can make it yourself and save a lot of money. Plus, you’ll be able to make it up whenever you want, without having to leave your own home. That makes it a whole lot mor convenient for you as well.
  3. It’s more authentic when prepared properly at home. If you’ve ever had true Thai boba tea or you’re looking for a more authentic experience you will definitely want to prepare it at home. This will give you more of the authentic flavor profile and you’re going to love it a whole lot more. Not to mention if you ever do go to Thailand and get this drink there you will have a better idea of what to expect.
  4. Everyone will love it. Those who are younger and older tend to love this type of tea. It doesn’t taste like a standard tea but rather tastes sweet and creamy. Not to mention the boba in the bottom can be a whole lot of fun for everyone. They give the tea a unique taste and a unique texture. Plus they can be made in different ways to add flavor rather than just changing the texture of the tea.

What to Keep in Mind

When it comes to preparing Thai boba tea there are several things that you want to be prepared for. You will want to make sure that you are careful when preparing your tea, for example, as you want to be sure that you are getting the right flavor profile of a strong black tea with a milky, creaminess.

  • Watch small children with boba tea. Whether you’re giving them actual boba tea or any other drink with boba in it or even giving them the boba alone to eat, it’s important to keep in mind that these are small balls that can easily become a choking hazard. It’s best to give them to children as a snack rather than in a drink as this encourages them to chew them.
  • Drink the tea immediately after preparing. Your Thai boba tea is not something that gets better the longer you let it sit. Instead, make sure that you are ready to drink it immediately after you have prepared it. This is especially true when you add the boba to it because they will lose the right consistency if they are left for too long.
  • Shaken, not stirred. If you’re looking for your boba tea to be as cold as possible you can actually put the tea, milk and ice cubes into a cocktail shaker and shake it up. This ensures that all of the tea is as cold as possible. Once you’ve shaken it well add the boba to a glass and pour your mix over the top.
  • Use a proper boba straw. Boba straws are designed to let the boba get through. If you use a standard straw or even try to drink the tea straight out of the glass without a straw you will not get the full experience because the boba will not be able to get through. Using a proper boba straw will improve your experience.
  • Make to your liking. There are plenty of ingredients in boba tea whether you make it from scratch or with a mix. But you have the opportunity to make it as unique as you want. In fact, it’s recommended that you try out different combinations to get just the flavor profile that you and your family like most. If you want it creamier you may want to try a heavy cream or sweetened condensed milk. If you want it sweeter you may want more sugar or honey. Or you may want more of one of the other flavor profiles.

Summary and Conclusion

When it comes down to it, Thai boba tea or Thai milk tea is most definitely a drink you’ll want to at least try. There’s no reason you should miss out on this sweet and creamy drink. And adding the boba in the bottom just makes it even more fun. You’ll find that this tea is one that everyone enjoys trying out and the boba do a great job of that.

For those who aren’t as keen on cold tea drinks you can even make it a hot beverage instead and still get all of the great flavor profiles that come along with the authentic drink.

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