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5 from 1 vote

Rich taro milk tea is the purple drink you didn’t know you needed! This taro milk bubble tea recipe is made with the starchy root vegetable and chewy tapioca balls for a sweet and delicious drink that you can enjoy iced, hot, or blended. This is the go-to purple bubble tea recipe.

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Vibrant purple taro bubble tea in a clear cup with fresh boba and a glass straw.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Better homemade: Boba tea shops usually have taro bubble tea, but what kind of additives are in there? Homemade bubble tea is better for you and just as tasty, if not tastier!

  • Simple: It may seem exotic to make taro bubble tea, but you’ll be amazed at how simple it is. 
  • Quick: Make homemade boba faster than going to a boba shop, waiting online, and ordering. 
  • Sweet: Even with purple sweet potatoes, this bubble tea comes out with a delightful flavor, one that you and your family will crave. 

What Is Milk Tea?

Milk tea is pretty much what it sounds like…it’s tea with milk. However, every country seems to have its own version with some variety. For example, British people drink English breakfast tea and add some milk and sweetener to it. 

Adding milk and sweetener, it helps balance out the bitterness of the tea. They do this in Hokkaido and Okinawa, Japan as well. But the milk tea we’re talking about today is bubble tea or boba, which originates from Taiwan. Bubb;e tea comes in a wide array of flavors and features chewy tapioca pearls, like a special prize at the bottom of this delicious purple concoction. 

Tasty taro milk tea with tropical flowers and foliage surrounding it.

Where Does Taro Milk Tea Come From?

Taro milk tea comes from Taiwan, like other boba teas. This version is made with the starchy root vegetable known as taro. This purple tuber is both sweet and nutty and boasted a beautiful purple color. 

You can use fresh taro paste or taro powder. The result is a purple drink that will surprise you in the best of ways. Sweet potatoes are good for you, and that’s indeed true of taro too. 

Is Taro Milk Tea Good For You? 

Taro itself is good for you since it’s an excellent source of dietary fiber. It also contains vitamins C, B6, and E, along with antioxidants and minerals like manganese, potassium, and folate. As a drink, taro milk tea will make it easy to gulp down refreshing flavors and nutrition. 

Since it has antioxidants, having more taro may help you support your immune health. Also, sweet potatoes, in general, may help keep blood sugar balanced. And with that fiber, you may also see that taro keeps you sticking to your health goals. Because it’s so filling, it could be useful in supporting weight loss. Additionally, fiber is also good for proper digestion.

What Does Taro Milk Tea Taste Like?

Taro milk tea is a bit complicated to explain in terms of flavor. It’s sweet yet nutty. And it’s a bit on the creamy side, almost like vanilla. It’s completely unexpected when you try it.

While taro has sweet notes all its own, adding a natural sweetener to it truly brings out the flavors. 

Ingredients + Notes

You’ll find these ingredients are pretty easy to gather up. Some of them you may initially need to look for, but if you’re a fan of boba, it’s worth it. Then you can make this taro milk tea with chewy boba pearls any time you want it!

Ingredients for taro bubble tea.
  • Tapioca Pearls: Also called boba, these are those chewy little balls made from tapioca starch. They give your taro bubble tea that fun texture. 
  • Taro: You can use fresh taro root, taro powder, or freeze-dried taro for this recipe. The taro powder definitely saves time, plus it’s a lot easier to find. Buy a good brand that is 100% taro and not filled with artificial ingredients or milk powder (especially if you’re vegan, too…you do not want regular milk powder in there!). I used freeze-dried taro, which I talk about a little further below. 
  • Jasmine Green Tea: I use loose-leaf tea primarily because plastic and paper options are full of nasty elements. As for Jasmine green tea, it has such a delicate and lovely flavor that makes it a beautiful match for the taro. 
  • Oat Milk: I use oat milk for my fresh taro milk tea. You can choose any plant-based milk that you have in your fridge or that meets your preference. 
  • Water/Ice Cubes: Water helps you get the tapioca pearls to the right texture when you boil them. And if you’re making this rich taro milk tea on ice or blended, you will need the ice to serve it chilled. 
Clear glass with a glass boba straw sticking out filled with taro milk tea.

Step-by-step Instructions: Iced Taro Milk Tea Recipe

Even if you’ve never made bubble tea before, following my steps for making it is going to turn you into a pro. You’ll love this refreshing drink made from purple yam!

1. Make The Boba: Add two cups of water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Scoop tapioca bubbles into the water and boil until the pearls float to the top. (This usually takes about 4-5 minutes.) (If you don’t have quick-cooking tapioca pearls, follow your package directions.) Scoop floating boba into a metal mesh strainer and rinse with cool water. (If you are making the hot version, there is no need to rinse.)

2. Taro Tea Instructions: Heat water in a teapot or electric tea kettle to 175°F or 79°C. Scoop loose-leaf jasmine tea into a tea infuser. Pour hot water over the tea and let steep for 4 minutes. 

Remove tea. Add taro root powder to freshly brewed tea and stir thoroughly. 

3. Assemble The Milk Tea: Scoop the boba into a serving glass. Add ice on top of the tapioca pearls. Pour oat milk in next, followed by the taro tea mixture. Finally, stir and enjoy with a glass bubble tea straw.    

Taro Milk Tea Recipe Video

Recipe Variations

With my recipe for taro pearl milk tea, you should be able to find everything you need to make it in your kitchen. But if you have a preference for something else or want to know a way to swap or change, these recipe variations can help!

  • Sweeteners: In my taro boba recipe, I use freeze-dried taro. It contains sugar which is why you may have noticed I didn’t list any sweeteners in the recipe. But if you use a freeze-dried version or a powder that doesn’t have added sugar, you will want to add it. You can use maple syrup, simple syrup, agave, sweet brown sugar syrup, or cane sugar.
  • Milk: If you follow my recipes, you’ll see I love oat milk. But I know not everyone else does, or they may have another plant-based milk preference. Full-fat coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk are good options. 
  • Taro: I’ve used freeze-dried taro in this recipe because it is difficult to find it fresh in the U.S. You can alternatively use powdered versions too. Just check the labels to see what else is included – you do not want tons of sugar or anything with animal products. 
  • Lychee Jelly: Lychee jelly has a fun texture that is similar to boba tapioca pearls. And it has a nice fruitiness, too, that really goes well with the taro. If you can’t find boba, this is a great substitute. 
  • Crystal Boba: Crystal boba is another option. It’s called agar boba and is chewy and fruity. 
Close up of taro milk tea in a clear glass.

Storage Tips

You can definitely make taro milk tea ahead of serving it to simplify things. However, I do not recommend making a ton ahead of time because the boba pearls can get hard and lose that charming chewiness in the fridge. 

Fridge

If you want to store your taro bubble tea in the fridge, make sure you do so without those pearls. Then it will keep for 1 to 2 days. Check out How Long Does Milk Tea Last In The Fridge for more information.

Freeze

I don’t recommend freezing this recipe for taro milk tea. It won’t taste the same, plus it’s just as easy to make it fresh or just ahead of serving it. 

Meal Prep

You can make your chewy boba pearls ahead of time, but I don’t recommend you do so too ahead of schedule. In fact, 24 hours would be the maximum, ideally though 12 hours is the best way to plan. I much prefer making the tapioca pearls just before to keep them at that perfect texture. You can steep the tea first, though, which definitely keeps it better and cuts down on that prep time. 

Top down view of purple taro milk tea with fresh boba on a wood cutting board with the ingredients.

Hot Taro Boba Tea Recipe Instructions

I’m a fan of iced milk tea, but if you prefer it hot, this is the recipe for you!

Hot Taro Milk Tea Ingredients

Boba Ingredients

Taro Milk Tea Ingredients

Hot Taro Bubble Tea Instructions

1. Make The Boba: Bring two cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Scoop tapioca pearls into the water and boil until they float to the top. (This usually takes about 4-5 minutes.) (If you don’t have quick-cooking tapioca pearls, follow your package directions.) Pour boba into a metal mesh strainer to remove excess water.

2. Taro Tea Instructions: Heat water in a teapot to 175°F/79°C. Scoop loose-leaf jasmine tea into a tea infuser. Pour hot water over the tea and let steep for 4 minutes. 

Remove tea and add taro root powder to freshly brewed tea, then stir thoroughly. 

3. Prepare The Milk: Pour milk into a microwave-safe glass and heat for one minute. (Until hot.)

4. Assemble The Milk Tea: Scoop the boba into a serving glass. (Make sure the cup is safe for hot liquids.) Pour oat milk in next, followed by the taro tea mixture. Finally, stir and enjoy with a glass boba tea straw.

Top down view of vibrant purple boba tea with a clear glass bubble tea straw.

Blended Taro Bubble Tea Recipe Instructions

Alongside iced and hot taro milk tea, you can make blended taro boba tea too! Here’s the recipe for your taro milk tea smoothie.

Taro Smoothie Ingredients

Boba Ingredients

Blended Taro Milk Tea Ingredients

Taro Smoothie Boba Tea Instructions

1. Make The Boba: Bring two cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Scoop the tapioca bubbles into the water and boil until they float to the top. (This usually takes about 4-5 minutes.) (If you don’t have quick-cooking tapioca pearls, follow your package directions.) Pour boba into a metal mesh strainer and rinse with cool water.

2. Taro Tea Instructions: Heat water in a teapot to 175°F/79°C. Scoop loose-leaf jasmine tea into a tea infuser. Pour hot water over the tea and let steep for 4 minutes. 

Remove tea (compost it) and add taro root powder to freshly brewed tea, then stir thoroughly. 

For the creamiest taro smoothie, I recommend putting the tea mixture in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes or so to cool it down.

3. Blend Taro Smoothie: Add taro tea mixture, oat milk, and ice to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

3. Assemble The Smoothie Bubble Tea: Scoop the boba into a serving glass a pour the taro smoothie overtop. Add a glass boba tea straw to the glass, and enjoy!

Taro milk tea and ice added to the clear glass cup with tapioca balls.

FAQ

Does taro milk tea have caffeine?

The taro root itself is free of caffeine. However, the tea you use likely has caffeine. How much caffeine will depend on the type of tea. I use jasmine tea in this taro milk tea recipe, but it does have caffeine, so be aware. 

Is taro milk tea sweet?

Yes, taro milk tea is a sweet drink. With the freeze-dried taro, it is sweetened already, but if you use some powders that are free of sweeteners, you may need to add sweetener to your boba tea to balance out the flavor. 

Why is taro milk tea so popular?

Taro milk tea has a fun color, but the intrigue lasts well beyond that because this bubble tea has a creamy texture and wonderful taste. It’s hard to believe a purple sweet potato can make for such an incredibly delicious drink. 

Why is taro milk tea purple?

Real taro has white flesh with purple spots. For freeze-dried and powdered taro, the color is dialed up a bit to give it that attractive color. 

What is the healthiest bubble tea?

While taro bubble tea is healthy, matcha tends to win the title of the healthiest bubble tea. However, both matcha and taro are excellent for your health goals. 

Glass of taro milk tea with boba on a wooden cutting board with a glass straw sticking out.

Homemade Bubble Tea Equipment

More Milk Tea Recipes

Purple taro milk tea with flowers and tropical plants behind it.

Recipe

Vibrant purple taro bubble tea in a clear cup with fresh boba and a glass straw.
5 from 1 vote

Taro Milk Tea Recipe

Yield 1 Serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Rich taro milk tea is the purple drink you didn’t know you needed! This taro milk bubble tea recipe is made with the starchy root vegetable and chewy tapioca balls for a sweet and delicious drink that you can enjoy iced, hot, or blended. This is the go-to purple bubble tea recipe.

Ingredients 
 

Boba Ingredients

Taro Milk Tea Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Make The Boba: Add two cups of water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Scoop tapioca bubbles into the water and boil until the pearls float to the top. (This usually takes about 4-5 minutes.) (If you don’t have quick-cooking tapioca pearls, follow your package directions.) Scoop floating boba into a metal mesh strainer and rinse with cool water. (If you are making the hot version, no need to rinse.)
  • Taro Tea Instructions: Heat water in a teapot or electric tea kettle to 175°F or 79°C. Scoop loose-leaf jasmine tea into a tea infuser. Pour hot water over the tea and let steep for 4 minutes.
  • Remove tea. Add taro root powder to freshly brewed tea and stir thoroughly.
  • Assemble The Milk Tea: Scoop the boba into a serving glass. Add ice on top of the tapioca pearls. Pour oat milk in next, followed by the taro tea mixture. 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: 257kcal, Carbohydrates: 57g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 133mg, Potassium: 0.3mg, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Calcium: 29mg

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