Taro Bubble Tea

March 17, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland, prop styling by Alya Hameed, food styling by Anna Billingskog
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Throughout Asia, taro is a popular ingredient used in savory cooking, but it’s also featured in many Asian desserts. Growing up in Hong Kong, I saw taro frequently on dessert menus: in baked taro pudding, taro and sago soup, taro frozen yogurt, and, my personal favorite, taro bubble tea. The best bubble tea shops in Hong Kong make their taro bubble tea with fresh taro paste and add tender cubes of the cooked tuber to the bottom of the beverage. In North America, taro can be challenging to locate if you don’t live near an Asian or Hispanic grocery store. Most bubble tea shops I’ve been to make their taro bubble tea with taro powder, which is available to purchase online. Although taro and ube are not the same, including a touch of ube extract helps to add vanilla notes, brings out the earthiness of the taro, and also gives the beverage a vibrant purple hue.

I used PG Tips here, but you can use any black tea you like. I use 1 tea bag per 250 milliliters water, and steep it in boiling water for 4 minutes.

The tapioca pearls should be made and enjoyed fresh, as they do not keep well. The tapioca pearls should be kept in the simple syrup at all times, and if the pearls begin to harden, 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave should help bring them back to life. Hope you enjoy making taro bubble tea at home as much as I did. —Genevieve Yam

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Taro Bubble Tea
  • Boba & Simple Syrup:
  • 1 cup (168 grams) black tapioca pearls (not quick-cooking)
  • 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  • Taro Milk Tea:
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) black tea
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 3 tablespoons taro powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ube extract
  1. Boba & Simple Syrup:
  2. Prepare the boba: Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, add the tapioca pearls. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until chewy and cooked through. Depending on your tapioca pearls, this could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes—check your package for instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, make the simple syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk the sugar and 1⅔ cups (396 milliliters) water and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the simple syrup for the taro milk tea; pour the remaining simple syrup into a medium bowl.
  4. Strain the tapioca through a fine-mesh strainer and give it a light rinse to remove any excess starch. Transfer the tapioca to the bowl with the remaining simple syrup and stir to combine.
  1. Taro Milk Tea:
  2. In a high-powered blender, blitz the tea, ice, half-and-half, 3 tablespoons of the simple syrup, the taro powder, salt, and ube extract on medium-high speed until well combined.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, divide the tapioca pearls between 2 glasses. Top with the taro milk tea.

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1 Review

xingkong January 3, 2023
Jasmine green milk tea is an incredibly popular drink known for its combination of flavors. The tea itself is made from real jasmine flower petals and green tea leaves, while the milk adds a creamy, subtly sweet flavor to the mix. The drink is often served hot or cold with sugar and other additives such as tapioca balls, cooked rice pudding, or even pumpkin seeds for texture and flavor. Jasmine green milk tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, becoming increasingly popular throughout Asia over the years. Its popularity has spread around the world now, becoming a favorite drink among many cultures. From :