You don’t necessarily have to frequent fancy shops or fork over your hard-earned money every time you want to have bubble tea. As great as it is to go out to get some, it is very much possible to make your own tall glass of pure happiness right in the comforts of your own kitchen.


This is an unbelievably simple recipe for delicious homemade bubble tea designed with first-time drinkers in mind. However, this doesn’t exclude the more experienced bubble tea veterans and enthusiasts out there of whom we’re sure will get just as much enjoyment out of this experience.


Yes, it’s simple. But it will be more than enough to suck you – and your friend, since this recipe serves two –  down further into the inescapable black hole that will be your love of bubble tea.


Let’s get started.



  • 4 bags of any strong tea of your choice (we used chai in this example)
  • ¾ cup of cooked tapioca pearls (available at most Asian-themed grocery stores)
  • a full kettle of boiling water
  • ½ cup of a milk of your choice (we used whole milk)
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • Ice


  • a teapot
  • two tall glasses for serving
  • a tablespoon (for pouring ingredients and stirring)
  • a pair of ice tongs


  • bubble tea straws

Difficulty: Beginner

Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 drinks


Prepare the tea.

Fill your teapot with boiling water and add all of your tea bags. 

For this recipe, we are using four bags of chai tea per two cups of water.

Leave to steep for five minutes.





Add the cooked tapioca pearls into the serving glasses.

Distribute between the two glasses equally.








Add ice.

Many first-time drinkers might initially find the tea to be too strong.  If that’s the case, add more ice to dilute it.







Pour the tea into the serving glasses.










Add brown sugar.

You can modify the amount of brown sugar to your preferred taste.

For this recipe, we are using ¼ cup of brown sugar per serving.






Add milk.

Again, you can modify the amount of milk you add to your preferred taste.








Stir well.










If you are using straws, be sure to use bubble tea straws as regular straws are usually not big enough for tapioca pearls.

Easy. Simple. Straightforward. Delicious.

As you become more experienced and further hone your tastes, then you can proceed to experimenting with unique ingredients and different teas, serving styles, and flavours. But you can never go wrong with sticking to the basics.

Congratulations on your first homemade bubble tea and we hope that you make many, many more in the future.


Happy drinking!

What is your opinion on tapioca in bubble tea?

  • LOVE IT!
  • HATE IT!

Have you had bubble tea before?

  • YEAH!
  • NOPE

Top 5 bubble tea flavours

  • TARO
Brown sugar milk tea with tapioca from OneZo Tapioca in Toronto. (Matthew Chong, 2020)
  1. Labothéry Bubble Tea –  Ever seen bubble tea mixed with a science laboratory? This place looks exactly just that. If you want to try a different way to drink bubble tea with your friends and family, this is the perfect place to do it. Each guest can create their own drinks from bubble tea-themed syringes and test tubes. Labothéry only offers direct-to-venue catering services in Toronto now. 
  2. Chatime – Probably Toronto’s most popular bubble tea shop, it’s the perfect place to grab and go quickly from their delicious menu. Think of Chatime as the Starbucks of all bubble teas, everyone has to try it at least once.
  3. OneZo Tapioca – This bubble tea place is the master of tapioca. If you love tapioca or have never tried it, this is the best place to start. OneZo focuses on mastering the art of preparing the freshest tapioca and it never disappoints.
  4. The Alley – The Alley is committed to making bubble tea with its own sugar cane syrup. The boiling process is prepared in their own shop and their tapioca is also made from scratch! If you love authentic bubble teas, this place is a must-try.
  5. Real Fruit Bubble Tea – If you like your drinks to be supernatural and artificial flavour free, Real Fruit Bubble Tea is the place for you. Each drink is prepared with freshly cut fruit and tailored to everyone’s unique preference.
  6. CoCo Fresh Tea and Juice – One of Toronto’s most popular and most recognizable bubble tea brands! The franchise is known for its great bubble tea options. The menu has standard bubble tea flavours, as well as some specialty options! There are five locations just in downtown Toronto alone!
  7. TRU Bubble Tea – TRU Bubble Tea started here in Toronto. Not only are the drinks here delicious, but they also look amazing too. They use fresh ingredients like lychee, dragon fruit and strawberries. There are four locations across the Greater Toronto Area.

Click on each image above to visit their respective Instagram page!

A lychee dragon fruit drink from TRU Bubble Tea in Toronto. (Matthew Chong, 2020)

Labothéry Bubble Tea - Bay Street location

Chatime - Dundas Street location

OneZo Tapioca - Wellesley Street West location

The Alley - St. Joseph Street location

Real Fruit Bubble Tea - Queen Street West location

CoCo - Spadina Avenue location

TRU Bubble Tea - Carlton Street location