Beverages

Homemade Chai Bubble Milk “Tea” Recipe (Tea-Free)

Chai milk boba bubble tea

I love fun drinks. When I heard of bubble tea, or boba tea I was definitely intrigued. But I don’t drink tea made from tea leaves, so I knew I would have to make a homemade version if I wanted to try it.

I’m using chai spiced milk in place of the milk tea. Essentially I use all the spices in chai infused in milk, but I don’t add any tea leaves or tea powder. This chai spiced milk is also awesome for making hot cocoa as well, by the way.

The “bubbles” or boba are actually made from large pearl tapioca (amazon affiliate link-I may earn a small commission). Mine are large pearl, with the only ingredient being tapioca. If you find something different use the instructions for cooking on your particular package.

Large pearl tapioca

If you can only find small pearl tapioca you can still use it. You just don’t need the extra large milkshake or smoothie straws (amazon affiliate link–I may earn a small commission). You will be able to drink it with normal sized straws.

Start by getting your tapioca cooking. Cook for 30 minutes, then remove from the heat and let sit 30 minutes . Then rinse. Test the boba to see if they are done. If you have extra-large tapioca you may need to repeat this boiling a second time. The boba should be chewy, not mushy and they do not have to be clear all the way through to be “done.”

Make brown sugar syrup and stir the boba into it to sit an absorbent flavor and dark color.

brown sugar syrup tapioca

Crush chai spices to infuse better. Or you can use powdered spices if you want. Split vanilla bean. Add to 2 cups water and simmer 15 minutes. Add 2 C milk and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Allow to cool.

chai spices

Split boba between cups. Swirl boba syrup around in the cups up the sides. This will create a swirly design on the sides of the cup when you add the milk. It’s what they do at bubble milk tea shops!

pouring chai milk bubble tea

Add a scoop of ice. Pour in milk.

Serve immediately with a milkshake straw. You can cut the tip of the straw at an angle to allow the boba to slide into the straw easier. Enjoy!

The tapioca, once-cooked, is best used the same day for the best texture.

Make the chai-spiced milk early enough in advance to cool it down before layering your drink.

Chai Bubble Milk Tea Recipe (No Tea)

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Beverages
Serves: 8
Total Time: 1.5 hour

Bubble tea is a fun drink from Taiwan that gives you the experience of chewy bubbles in your drink.

Ingredients

  • Brown Sugar Bobas
  • 1 C white pearl tapioca
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • Chai-Spiced Milk
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2-inch piece of crystallized ginger
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole allspice
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ vanilla bean, sliced down the middle
  • dash nutmeg
  • ½ pinch of fennel seeds
  • 2 C milk
  • 1/2 C sugar

Instructions

1

Cook tapioca in 16 Cups water for 30 minutes, then remove from the heat and let sit 30 minutes. Rinse. Test the "boba" to see if they are done. If you have extra-large tapioca you may need to repeat this boiling a second time. The boba should be chewy, not mushy and they do not have to be clear all the way through to be "done."

2

Make brown sugar syrup by mixing 2 tablespoons water with the brown sugar and molasses and stir the boba into it. Set aside to absorb flavor and dark color.

3

Crush chai spices to infuse better. Split vanilla bean. Add to 2 cups water and simmer 15 minutes. Add milk and sugar and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Allow to cool.

4

Split boba between 8 8-oz cups. Swirl boba syrup around in the cups up the sides. This will create a swirly design on the sides of the cup when you add the milk.

5

Add a scoop of ice. Pour in milk--divide between the 8 cups.

6

Serve immediately with a milkshake straw. Enjoy!

Notes

You can cut the tip of the straw at an angle to allow the boba to slide into the straw easier. You can use powdered spices if you want.

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