You only need 2 simple ingredients to make delicious Brown Sugar Simple Syrup! And then just a few more to make Homemade Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea. I show you how to make both.
- 1 What Is Brown Sugar Simple Syrup?
- 2 How is Brown Sugar Simple Syrup Used in Milk Tea?
- 3 What Is Boba?
- 4 Is Milk Tea Easy To Make?
- 5 Brown Sugar Bubble Tea (Boba Milk Tea)
- 6 What You Need to Make (Brown Sugar Boba Tea)
- 7 How to Make Brown Sugar Simple Syrup
- 8 How to Make Brown Sugar Boba
- 9 How to Make an Iced Brown Sugar Milk Tea (Bubble Tea)
- 10 Tips, Notes & Variations:
- 11 How to Make Hot Brown Sugar Milk Tea (Bubble Tea)
- 12 Can I Make Homemade Boba?
- 13 Where Can I Buy Boba Pearls?
- 14 What Kind of Tea Should I Use?
- 15 Can I Make Vegan Milk Tea?
- 16 Are There Other Kinds of Milk Tea?
- 17 What Can I Prepare Ahead Of Time?
- 18 Iced Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea
What Is Brown Sugar Simple Syrup?
It’s a thin syrup made by combining brown sugar and water. The sugar dissolves in the water as it heats, and this cooking process creates a thin syrup.
Simple syrup dissolves quickly when added to drinks, making it the perfect liquid sweetener for things like milk tea, but it can be used in a wide variety of hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
My favorite simple syrup flavor is brown sugar, and my husband likes to add it to his cocktail creations, so we always have a jar in the fridge. You can, however, make an unlimited number of simple syrup flavors, including plain simple syrup.
Note: this is not a thick syrup like maple syrup, corn syrup or golden syrup. So it’s not ideal for topping things like French toast or pancakes.
How is Brown Sugar Simple Syrup Used in Milk Tea?
Brown sugar simple syrup adds delicious sweetness to all kinds of hot and iced milk teas — like the ever popular standard milk tea made with black tea, Earl Grey Milk Tea, and Tiger Milk Tea (the brown sugar syrup creates “tiger stripes” when poured down the sides of the glass). You can also use this simple syrup when preparing boba pearls.
What Is Boba?
Boba balls are small, chewy tapioca pearls made from tapioca starch that are cooked in boiling water, dipped in simple syrup, and added to milk tea drinks. They add another texture to creamy milk tea.
When I first saw boba tea year ago I wasn’t sure I’d like chewing the little starchy balls while drinking tea. But I did! There’s something kinda satisfying about chewing those sweet little balls while enjoying tea. I like using black tapioca pearls in Brown Sugar Bubble Tea. If you’ve never had bubble tea before, give it a try!
Wondering where to buy boba pearls? I buy them on Amazon – I like these best out of the ones I’ve tried.
Is Milk Tea Easy To Make?
Yes! There are just a few easy steps to make a simple milk tea: steep tea bags in hot water, then add hot milk. To make an iced milk tea, steep tea in hot or cold milk. From there you can add simple syrup for sweetness, boba pearls, and a creamy cheese cap.
Brown Sugar Bubble Tea (Boba Milk Tea)
I’ve been drinking milk tea for years and mostly make it at home to save money and so I can make it exactly how I like it. But every once in a while I’ll splurge on a fancy bubble tea from a tea shop (the kind with brown sugar boba pearls is my favorite) because it’s just so good.
If you’ve been wondering whether you can make your own bubble tea at home that rivals what you get in bubble tea shops the answer is yes! I’m going to show you how to make one of my favorite drinks at home: Brown Sugar Boba Tea.
You can make this milk tea iced or hot and to your exact preferred level of sweetness using a delicious brown sugar syrup. Iced milk tea is heavenly in the summer when you need a cold pick-me-up and are tired of the usual coffee drinks.
While it’s a little more involved to make bubble tea (tea with boba pearls) than it is to make a simple tea with milk, it really is quite an easy recipe. And you can use the homemade simple syrup in other drinks (it’ll last in the fridge for 3-4 weeks).
In this guide I show you how to make:
- Brown sugar simple syrup
- Brown sugar boba
- Iced Brown Sugar Bubble Tea
- Hot Brown Sugar Bubble Tea
What You Need to Make (Brown Sugar Boba Tea)
- Black tea – you can use tea bags, tea sachets or loose leaf tea
- Water – for steeping the tea when making a HOT milk tea (I steep the tea in milk when making an iced milk tea)
- Milk – use your favorite type of milk (whole milk, 2%, milk alternative, etc)
- Ice – for iced milk tea
- Black boba pearls – make sure you get the 5-minute kind (I use this kind)
- Dark brown sugar – for making the simple syrup (I like the flavor created from using dark brown sugar but you can use light brown sugar, too)
- Cheese cap – optional topping, get recipe here
- Small saucepans – for heating milk and making simple syrup and boba
- Milk frother or milk steamer – for creating that delicious frothy top on a hot latte
- Kettle – for boiling water when making hot milk tea. I use my countertop kettle multiple times a day!
- Small bowls – for cooling boba in simple syrup
- Mug – for hot milk tea
- Tall glass – for iced milk tea
- Wide straw – for drinking iced milk tea with boba pearls (like this one)
How to Make Brown Sugar Simple Syrup
This Brown Sugar Simple Syrup Recipe is quick and easy to make. You can make half or double this recipe. Just keep the water to sugar ratio 1:1. Here’s what you need:
- 1 cup (236 ml) water
- 1 cup (198 g) dark brown sugar
Pour water and brown sugar into a small saucepan over medium high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar as the water heats.
When sugar has dissolved, take off heat and let cool. Pour syrup into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
How to Make Brown Sugar Boba
Tip: make the boba no sooner than a few hours before you want to make bubble tea. Even in simple syrup, they will start to harden from the inside out after a few hours.
- 5 cups [1250ml] water
- 1/2 cup [85g] boba pearls
- 1/4 cup [75ml] brown sugar simple syrup
Heat water over high heat until boiling. Add boba and stir. Boil the boba until they float to the surface. Place a lid on the saucepan and boil for 5 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to remove boba from the saucepan and transfer to a bowl of cold water. After a couple minutes, place boba in a small bowl of brown sugar simple syrup.
How to Make an Iced Brown Sugar Milk Tea (Bubble Tea)
This recipe makes 1 cup of tea (8oz / 256 ml). You can double, triple or quadruple this recipe.
Heat 1 cup milk (8oz / 256 ml) in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Place 2-3 tea bags or 2-3 teaspoons of loose tea in the milk.
As the milk heats it will bubble and can easily boil over so keep an eye on it. When the milk starts to bubble, take off the heat.
Let the tea steep until the milk has cooled. Stir the milk periodically so a skin doesn’t form on the top of the milk. Remove tea bags or pour tea through a strainer if using loose leaf.
Add boba and simple syrup to a glass. Then fill glass with ice.
Pour the cooled tea-infused milk into the glass. Add additional simple syrup to taste (optional).
Add a cheese cap (optional) and top with a sprinkle of brown sugar. Add a wide boba straw and enjoy!
Tips, Notes & Variations:
- A hands-off way to steep the tea is to pour 1 cup milk (8oz / 256 ml) into a jar with a lid. Place 2-3 black tea bags or 2-3 teaspoons loose leaf tea in the milk. Place in the fridge to steep for 24 hours.
- To make a simple Black Tea Latte, skip the boba and cheese cap.
- If using sugar or a sugar alternative, rather than simple syrup, add it to the milk and stir to dissolve before pouring over ice.
- To make a low sugar version of this Bubble Tea add the boba with as little of the Brown Sugar Syrup as possible.
- I make my iced milk tea differently than hot milk tea. For iced milk tea I steep the tea directly in the milk.
- You can steep the tea in hot water and then let it cool but I’ve found that creates a weak tea flavor once you add the milk. If you want to steep the tea in water, I recommend increasing the amount of water you steep your tea in and use half and half or heavy cream to your tea instead of milk.
How to Make Hot Brown Sugar Milk Tea (Bubble Tea)
While iced milk tea is generally more popular, you can make a hot version of this milk tea.
This recipe makes 1 cup of milk tea (8oz / 256 ml). You can double, triple or quadruple this recipe to make a larger tea or multiple cups of milk tea.
If making several servings, you can steep the tea in a tea pot. You can customize the ratio of tea to milk to your tastes.
Boil 4oz (118 ml) water to 205F / 96C.
Place 2-3 tea bags or 2-3 teaspoons of loose leave tea in a mug (more tea = stronger flavor).
Pour hot water over tea and steep for at least 5 minutes (longer for a stronger flavor) then remove tea bags (or strain tea into a different mug if using loose leaf tea).
Heat and froth milk. (I using the steam wand on my espresso machine but you can also heat the milk on the stove or in a microwave and then use a hand frother.)
Place boba in your mug of tea and add additional simple syrup to taste.
Add hot milk to the mug.
Add cheese cap (optional) and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
Can I Make Homemade Boba?
Yes, you can make homemade tapioca pearls – but it takes time. After making a tapioca dough, you have to cut the dough into small pieces, and then form those pieces into balls. However, while you can make homemade boba, I recommend saving yourself time and buying a package of ready-made boba.
Where Can I Buy Boba Pearls?
You can typically find them at Asian markets or you can buy them here on Amazon. Make sure you buy the type that cooks in 5 minutes. I tried a few different kinds of boba from my local Asian market and Amazon before I found this one, which is easy to prepare and tasted great in my tea latte. There are also instructions in English on the side of the bag.
What Kind of Tea Should I Use?
For this Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea I recommend using your favorite black tea. You can use tea bags, tea sachets, or loose leaf tea.
Can I Make Vegan Milk Tea?
Yes. Simply use your favorite dairy milk alternative (e.g., coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc) and either leave off the cheese cap or make a vegan version. And, of course, make sure all of your ingredients are vegan-friendly.
Are There Other Kinds of Milk Tea?
Yes, lots! The most popular bubble tea flavor is made with black tea but you can use various types of tea (green tea, oolong tea, etc…) But you’ll find many are other delicious bubble tea recipes like Early Grey Milk Tea, Taro Milk Tea, Tiger Milk Tea, Hokkaido Milk Tea, Strawberry Milk Tea, Chocolate Milk Tea…the list goes on!
What Can I Prepare Ahead Of Time?
You can make the simple syrup 3-4 weeks ahead of time, steep the tea a day or two in advance, and the boba a few hours ahead.