Bubble tea is actually pretty easy to make. Try this vegan version at home

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Tune into In The Know Live: Kitchen Tools every Tuesday at 5 p.m. EST/2 p.m. PST. The show, hosted by In The Know cooking editor Ellie Conley, dives into the newest kitchen gadgets and food trends for at-home chefs and foodies alike.

Bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea or boba tea, hails from Taipei, Taiwan, but is popular all across Asia. It’s actually been around since the 1980s, but in recent years, Americans have caught on to the deliciously sweet drink. Bubble tea is essentially tea filled with sweet tapioca pearls (called boba) and milk. There are so many innovative flavors out there that you can really get creative with your creation. But this recipe makes two cups of a simple vegan version — and it tastes amazing.


For the tea:

For the simple syrup:

For the tapioca pearls:



  1. Steep the tea bags with the two cups of boiling water for about five minutes. Then let the tea cool or put it in refrigerator while you prepare the syrup and the pearls.
  2. Make the simple syrup: Mix water and sugar in a saucepan and quickly stir it together. Heat the water on medium-high and cook until the water boils and the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from heat and transfer the simple syrup to a jar or another container to completely cool.
  3. Make the black sugar tapioca pearls: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring six cups of water to a boil. Add the pre-sweetened tapioca pearls and cook until softened all the way into the center, about three to five minutes. (Do a taste test to check the consistency.) Stir the pearls while they boil so that they don’t stick to each other or the bottom of the pot. Once soft in the center, strain the pearls and rinse under cold water.
  4. To make your bubble tea, add ¼ cup to ½ cup of the pearls to two glasses, and one cup of tea per glass. Top with ice.
  5. Finally, add two to four tablespoons of dairy-free creamer and simple syrup to your desired consistency and taste. (Tip: If your creamer is already sweetened, taste it before adding simple syrup or it may be too sweet.)
  6. Stir and enjoy!

If you liked this story, check out this handy kitchen towel printed with measurement conversions for baking.

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