Immerse yourself in the rich, velvety allure of homemade brown sugar milk tea, a sensation that dances between tradition and trendy. With each sip, experience the magic of chewy boba pearls swimming in a sea of caramel-like sweetness. Perfectly brewed with actual tea. Enjoy a glass of brown sugar milk tea in 20 minutes flat!

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Healthy: Who knows what they’re putting into it in the boba shops when you order brown sugar bubble tea? But with this easy recipe, you’ll know exactly what you’re serving yourself and your family. 
  • Taste: Brown sugar adds a rich caramel-like sweetness to the actual tea, creating a drink that tastes like sweet caramel and is silky in texture.
  • Refreshing: Served over ice, this bubble tea recipe is perfect for cooling off on a hot day.
  • Simple: It’s really much easier than you think to make brown sugar milk tea. My simple instructions will walk you through this easy recipe!

What Is Boba Tea?

Boba tea, also called bubble tea or pearl milk tea, is a drink that has tea as the base and a bunch of wonderfully chewy tapioca pearls at the bottom. Sometimes, it’s made with juices and fruity jelly chunks at the bottom, but the whole purpose is for it to be a healthy and refreshing beverage. 

Traditional boba tea is made with steeped tea leaves, milk, and boba tapioca balls at the bottom. This brown sugar milk tea is one of the most popular flavors of bubble tea, one that, if you make it yourself, really is a much healthier option. 

A wooden spoon is being used to stir a bowl of black beans.

Where Is Brown Sugar Milk Tea From?

The brown sugar milk tea was first created in Taiwan, which is the place we have to thank for inventing boba tea. Boba tea shops are so popular over there, you’ll find them on every corner.

While the trend is just now becoming super popular in the U.S., you can still find plenty of shops here. Brown sugar milk tea is also called tiger milk tea and mud flip milk tea. Call it whatever you like, but this delicious drink is full of sweet flavors that you can feel good about drinking. 

What Does Brown Sugar Boba Tea Taste Like?

Brown sugar boba milk tea tastes like sweet caramel. It’s so silky and creamy in texture that this tiger sugar drink is one of the most frequently ordered. It’s very approachable, so if you’ve never had bubble tea before, this may be the flavor to go with, especially if you like sweet flavors. 

Ingredients + Notes

Satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling guilty about it. You can make brown sugar milk tea at home with just a few simple ingredients. Once you make it yourself, you’ll never go back to the boba shops. No lines, no waiting, no artificial ingredients, and best of all, it’s much more affordable this way!

A bowl of water, a bowl of seeds, and a bowl of coconut oil.
  • Tapioca Pearls: For an authentic experience, use brown sugar boba pearls. If making your own pearls, you’ll need tapioca flour, a small pot for the cooking process, and some cold water to achieve the right consistency. The pearls should be cooked until they achieve the sticky tapioca residue associated with typical boba. For this tasty recipe, I used store-bought regular boba.
  • Brown Sugar: I’ll show you how to turn brown sugar into a dark brown sugar syrup to glaze your cup with tiger stripes for a picture-perfect bubble tea drink. 
  • Black Tea: For this easy recipe, I’ve used loose black tea. I find it’s better in quality and much more budget-friendly. I don’t recommend using any tea in plastic satchels or bags because the chemicals from those confinements leak into the tea. You’ll get the best taste by simply using the leaves. 
  • Oat Milk: If you’re a fan of my recipes, you know I rely on plant-based milk, especially oat milk. It gives your bubble tea a creamy milk texture that is simply sublime.
  • Water
  • Ice Cubes: Create a perfectly chilled and delicious drink that you may very well slurp down in seconds!
Brown sugar syrup tiger stripes dripping down a glass.

Step-by-step Instructions: Brown Sugar Milk Tea Recipe

Don’t worry if you’ve never made bubble tea before. This easy recipe for brown sugar milk tea is simple enough for beginners. You’re going to want to make this boba tea full of little spherical balls all the time!

1. Cook The Boba: Add two cups of water into a saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil. Then, add the quick cook boba and boil until all the pearls float to the top (about 4-5 minutes). Strain the boba, reserving 1/4 cup of liquid.

2. Make The Brown Sugar Boba Syrup: Return ¼ cup liquid to the saucepan along with the cooked boba and brown sugar. Next, cook on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes. (Let it simmer and boil, stirring every minute or so.) It will start to thicken, and a lot of sugary bubbles will start to form. Then, remove it from the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Finally, using a rubber spatula, pour the brown sugar syrup boba into your serving glass. Set in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

3. Make The Tea: Heat water in a teapot to 212°F/100°C. Add the loose-leaf black tea to a tea infuser and place it in a thin glass. Pour hot water over the tea and let steep for about 7-10 minutes. Remove the tea.

4. Assemble The Brown Sugar Boba Tea: Remove the brown sugar boba mixture from the fridge. Then, using a spoon, scrape the brown sugar syrup up the sides of the glass like tiger stripes. Next, add ice on top of the boba and pour the oat milk over the ice, followed by the tea. Finally, stir and enjoy with a reusable boba straw.

How To Make Brown Sugar Boba Tea Recipe Video

Recipe Variations

Need to make a change or shake things up? These recipe variations for my brown sugar milk tea will help you out!

  • Milk: As mentioned, I use oat milk as my go-to milk, but any plant-based milk you prefer will work here. Coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc., would all make a tasty boba drink.
  • Pre-made tapioca pearls: I recommend pre-made tapioca pearls, which you can get from your local Asian grocers because they’re so simple to prepare. But you can always make your own from fresh tapioca starch. It’s a bit more complicated, though you can roll them in the palms of your hands until a sticky brown dough forms.

Storage Tips

While it is indeed tempting to drink all the brown sugar milk tea, it’s surprisingly filling. You don’t need to let it go to waste, though, if you can’t finish it all in one sitting. You should remove any boba pearls first before putting it into the fridge. Tapioca pearls get hard when they’re in the fridge like that, and they will no longer be chewy and delightful. You can then keep the rest of the brown sugar tea mixture in an airtight container to enjoy later. 

Fridge

Remember, take out the tapioca pearls, and you can keep the rest of your brown sugar boba tea. I wouldn’t wait too long to enjoy it, though…the max is about 2 days. Once you master making bubble tea at home, you’ll see it’s easy enough to make any time you want it, and you won’t wind up with too much left over. 

Freeze

There are lots of things you can freeze to enjoy later. Boba tea is not one of those things. Because of the creamy milk, the texture will change. And boba pearls do not freeze well, either. 

Woman adding reusable glass boba straw into cup of milk tea.

Meal Prep

Are you preparing brown sugar milk tea for the family to enjoy later or for friends who are coming over? You can definitely make the milk tea portion of this recipe ahead of time so you can spend your time enjoying their company. Don’t prepare it more than 24 hours in advance, though. Steeping the tea is an easy way to meal prep boba tea. You can get the tapioca pearls ready just before you’re about to serve it for the best texture. 

FAQ

What does brown bubble tea taste like?

Brown sugar boba tea tastes like the marriage of tea, milk, and lots of sugar. The brown sugar gives it a caramel molasses undertone. 

What is the difference between bubble milk tea and brown sugar milk tea?

Bubble milk tea is typically sweetened with cane sugar or simple syrup (made from cane sugar). Brown sugar milk tea, on the other hand, is sweetened with brown sugar syrup. 

Why is brown sugar boba so popular? 

It’s packed with sugar, and its taste resembles that of a traditional Taiwanese dessert. 

Tropical pink flowers with a glass of brown sugar bubble tea.

More Milk Tea Recipes

Recipe

A cup of bubble tea on a table next to a pot of tea.
5 from 2 votes

Brown Sugar Milk Tea

Yield 1 Serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Immerse yourself in the rich, velvety allure of homemade brown sugar milk tea, a sensation that dances between tradition and trendy. With each sip, experience the magic of chewy boba pearls swimming in a sea of caramel-like sweetness. Perfectly brewed with actual tea. Enjoy a glass of brown sugar milk tea in 20 minutes flat!

Ingredients  

Brown Sugar Boba Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • cup tapioca balls
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

Milk Tea Ingredients

  • ½ cup water, hot
  • 2 tablespoons black tea, loose-leaf
  • 1-1½ cup ice
  • ½ cup oat milk

Instructions 

  • Cook The Boba: Add two cups of water into a saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil. Then, add the quick cook boba and boil until all the pearls float to the top (about 4-5 minutes). Strain the boba, reserving 1/4 cup of liquid.
  • Make The Brown Sugar Boba Syrup: Return ¼ cup liquid to the saucepan along with the cooked boba and brown sugar. Next, cook on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes. (Let it simmer and boil, stirring every minute or so.) It will start to thicken, and a lot of sugary bubbles will start to form. Then, remove it from the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Finally, using a rubber spatula, pour the brown sugar syrup boba into your serving glass. Set in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
  • Make The Tea: Heat water in a teapot to 212°F/100°C. Add the loose-leaf black tea to a tea infuser and place it in a thin glass. Pour hot water over the tea and let steep for about 7-10 minutes. Remove the tea.
  • Assemble The Brown Sugar Boba Tea: Remove the brown sugar boba mixture from the fridge. Then, using a spoon, scrape the brown sugar syrup up the sides of the glass like tiger stripes. Next, add ice on top of the boba and pour the oat milk over the ice, followed by the tea. Finally, stir and enjoy with a reusable boba straw.

Video

Notes

Please read through the above blog post for helpful tips and tricks!

Nutrition

Calories: 384kcal, Carbohydrates: 93g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Sodium: 150mg, Potassium: 143mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 63g, Vitamin A: 246IU, Calcium: 247mg, Iron: 1mg

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