Tea and Tea Bubble Tea Shop home
tiger milk bubble tea

A Step-By-Step Guide: How to Make Bubble Tea

Master the art of how to make bubble tea with our step-by-step guide from Tea & Tea. Learn from experts in Portland and Beaverton to create your perfect boba drink.

How to Make Bubble Tea in 5 Steps

Welcome, bubble tea enthusiasts and curious newcomers! We at Tea & Tea, your go-to bubble tea shop in Portland and Beaverton, are excited to share with you the delightful world of bubble tea. This unique beverage, originating from Taiwan, has captured hearts globally with its irresistible blend of tea, milk, and those fun, chewy tapioca pearls known as “boba”. Let’s embark on a flavorful journey to create your very own bubble tea at home, inspired by our beloved recipes and expertise.

Understanding Bubble Tea

Before we dive into the making process, let’s appreciate what bubble tea is. At its core, bubble tea is a versatile drink that usually combines a tea base with milk or fruit flavors, sweetened to taste, and most famously, includes those signature tapioca pearls. From our popular Black Panda to the exotic TNT, the variations are endless.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Tea Base: Choose from black, green, oolong, or jasmine tea. Our signature Black Panda milk tea, for instance, uses a robust black tea.
  • Milk: This can be dairy or a non-dairy alternative. For a classic taste, condensed or whole milk works great.
  • Tapioca Pearls: Available at Asian supermarkets or online.
  • Sweetener: Sugar syrup, honey, or agave nectar.
  • Flavorings (Optional): This could be fruit syrups, purees, or even a sprinkle of matcha powder.
  • Ice Cubes
hokkaido milk bubble tea

A bubble tea made to your liking!

Total Time: 15 minutes

Step 1: Brew Your Tea

Start by brewing your tea. Steep 1-2 tea bags (or equivalent loose leaf) in hot water. For a stronger flavor like our Black Panda, brew for a longer time. Let the tea cool to room temperature, then chill it in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Prepare the Tapioca Pearls

Cooking tapioca pearls is an art. Boil water in a large pot – use about ten cups of water for every one cup of tapioca pearls. Add the pearls to the boiling water and stir gently until they float to the surface. Reduce the heat and cook for 15-20 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and let the pearls sit for another 20 minutes. Drain them and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. For a sweet touch, soak the cooked pearls in a simple sugar syrup. This not only adds sweetness but also keeps them from sticking together.

Step 3: Sweeten Your Tea

Sweeten your tea to your liking. In our shop, we offer different sweetness levels from 25% to 125%. You can use sugar syrup, honey, or any sweetener of your choice. Stir well to ensure it’s evenly distributed.

Step 4: Assemble Your Drink

Now, the fun part! Put a generous amount of tapioca pearls in a glass. Add your cooled, sweetened tea. For a milky bubble tea, like our Honey Milk or Classic Boba, pour in your milk of choice and stir. For a fruit-flavored drink, add your fruit syrup or puree and mix well.

Step 5: Add Ice and Serve

Top your drink with ice cubes for a refreshing touch. Give it a final stir, pop in a wide straw (essential for those boba pearls!), and voilà! Your homemade bubble tea is ready to be enjoyed.


  • Ice
  • 1-2 Tea Bags
  • Tapioca Pearls
  • Honey, Sugar, Any Sweetness
  • Any Other Fun Additions


  • Measuring Cup
  • Boiling Pot
  • Cup for Drinking

Check out our bubble tea menu for inspiration!

Tips and Tricks

  • Customization is Key: Feel free to experiment with different tea bases, milks, and sweeteners. Bubble tea is all about finding your perfect combination.
  • Quality Matters: Use good quality tea and fresh ingredients for the best flavor.
  • Timing is Everything: Don’t overcook your tapioca pearls; they should be chewy, not mushy.
  • Temperature Play: Try serving your bubble tea both hot and cold to see which you prefer.

Final Thoughts

Making bubble tea at home is a delightful experience that allows you to tailor the drink to your personal taste. At Tea & Tea, we take pride in bringing you the most authentic and enjoyable bubble tea experience, whether in our shops or in your home kitchen. Remember, the perfect bubble tea is the one that brings you joy in every sip.

We hope this guide inspires you to create your own bubble tea masterpieces. And if you’re ever in Portland or Beaverton (View Locations), drop by Tea & Tea to taste our signature creations like the Black Panda, Tiger Boba or TNT. Happy brewing! 🧋🎉