Bubble Tea

Now that I’m an ex-habitual coffee drinker, my primary fluid of choice is tea. Most mornings and even throughout the day (at least in colder weather), you can find me sipping on a cup of herbal or white tea. Since spring is here, I have been incorporating more iced tea (or is it ice tea?) into the mix. A fun take on traditional iced tea is bubble tea.

To make this bubble tea I used a mix of Thai tea leaves and pandan leaves, and tapioca balls (“boba”). Both items were purchased at my local Asian market.

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First, I boiled 5 cups of water with 5 teaspoons of the dried tea leaves for about 5-6 minutes. Next, I strained the tea leaves.


The boba were boiled until plumped and then left to simmer at medium heat for 5 minutes with a lid on the pot. Then I ran them under cold water to bring down their temperature.

IMG_3667 _SnapseedSince I was going for a bubble Thai iced tea, I also needed a condensed milk. Creamer works just as well, but I have never tried making vegan condensed milk so I thought this would be a great opportunity. I roughly followed Richgail’s recipe over at astigvegan, but I didn’t include the butter, mainly because I was lazy. I also used a combination of almond milk and coconut milk. The idea of using coconut milk came from cupcakecottle.

Next time, I will follow Richgail’s recipe diligently because mine did not come out very thick, though it was still tasty and indeed thicker and sweeter than regular vegan milk.
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Finally, I put it all together. First, a layer of boba, then some ice and finally the sweetened vegan condensed milk to taste. The condensed milk sunk to the bottom immediately and made for an interesting picture. Before Neal and I drank it though, we stirred it all up.

It was earthy, refreshing and sweet! I’ve only made this version of bubble drink as well as an iced coffee version, but I imagine this would be a great twist on any strongly brewed iced tea.

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13 thoughts on “Bubble Tea

  1. Richgail Enriquez

    Thanks for the mention. My vegan condensed milk recipe is still a working progress, which now makes me think I should go back to it and refine it more. Your boba tea looks goood! Is that other cup for me? hehe Who needs overpriced boba tea at Tapioca Express when you can have homemade ones like these??? You new blog design looks cool too!

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks! Neal worked on the design for me because I felt the blog needed a face lift. The condensed milk came out good but I shouldn’t have wimped out on your directions.

      ps I still buy boba teas when I am lazy 🙂

  2. Maggie Muggins

    Bubble tea always kind of freaked me out, just something about those tapioca balls…I still think it’s very cool that you made it at home. I’ve always wanted to try condensed milk, I just need to think of something to use it in before I put in the effort.
    Love the new blog layout!

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Haha! Yeah the tapioca balls have an interesting texture -slippery and chewy. I don’t make it at home that often, but I have some free time this week because I’m on spring break.

      Thanks for the compliment on the blog layout! Neal did the art.

  3. Hannah (BitterSweet)

    This is such a funny coincidence- I literally just finished writing my next article for VegNews, which is about bubble tea, of all things! I used the average large tapioca that cooks up clear though, since it’s tough for me to find the authentic Taiwanese sort. I’d love to try your rendition and see how they compare!

  4. Pingback: Chill Out With A Dozen Cool Summer Drinks | this time - this space

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