How to Make Bubble Tea at Home (Save Money AND Say No to Plastic!)

How to Make Bubble Tea at Home (Save Money AND Say No to Plastic!)

Dec 30, 2019Mandy Yeung

With 2019 coming to a close, it's a good time to start planning for 2020 and the next decade. In the last two years, many people have discovered or rediscovered their passion for boba. It's been fun to see (and try) creative variations of bubble tea like brown sugar milk, boozy boba, even sea salt ice coffee boba, but sometimes we forget the cost, financially and environmentally, impact of our boba addictions.

Let's say one cup of bubble tea is $5. If you're having two cups a week, for 10 months out of the year, that's $5 per cup x 2 cups per week x 4 weeks per month x 10 months = $400.  

$400 a year is a conservative estimate. At face value it may or may not seem to be a lot of money, but it could be money better spent towards your future, such as paying down your student loans, purchasing an online course to learn a new skill, or even buying yourself a share of TESLA stock ($TSLA)*.

If saving $400 is not enough incentive for you, how about saving our planet from plastic pollution? Bubble tea takes no more than an hour to consume, even if you're trying your best to sip as slowly as possible. But that single-use plastic cup, plastic straw, and plastic lid that boba comes in? They take 500-1,000 years to degrade. Plastic waste pollutes our oceans, kills off our marine life, and if we end up eating a fish that ingested plastic waste, it comes back to poison us. Not a fun cycle to help perpetuate. 


So do we give up our love for bubble tea? No way! Boba is not only a fun and delicious drink, but it's also become a cultural symbol of asian identity. We've formed friendships and bonded with people over our shared passion for bubble tea. We've said "I'm sorry" to our significant others and mended relationships with this drink. Bubble tea itself is not draining our wallets and sucking the life out of our planet. It's the habits we've formed around our love of boba. Luckily, we can shift our habits and our mindsets, and it's not too late to start today!

One way to cut down on costs and plastic waste is to make your own bubble tea at home and enjoy it in your choice of cup or mug. A bonus is that you get to control the quality of the ingredients of your boba when you do it yourself. Taste the quali-tea difference of loose tea leaves vs. powder! 

Super Simple & Easy Bubble Tea Recipe

What You'll Need

  • Tapioca pearls - you can buy these in Asian supermarkets or even Google a recipe to make these fresh yourself
  • Tea - loose tea leaves is best tasting and the healthiest. Assam black tea, Earl Grey tea, and Green Tea are popular tea options
  • Milk - or your choice of milk substitute such as oat milk or Lactaid
  • Sugar
  • Ice (optional)
  • Cocktail shaker (optional)

What to Do

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add desired amount of tapioca pearls. Instructions for this vary depending on the tapioca pearls you buy, but at bobagreen we recommend 4 cups of water to cook ⅔ cup of our boba for 25 minutes, and this makes 2 servings. I know some other boba brands tout "5-minute bubbles," but for best taste and consistency, look for products that take at least 20 minutes to cook. If you're going to have bubble tea, do yourself a favor and make sure you're feeding yourself high quality boba! 

2. Steep your tea leaves in 8 oz of hot water per serving for 5 minutes. For our teas, we recommend 1 tablespoon of tea leaves for 8 oz of water, but it's up to you if you prefer your tea stronger or not. Cool off in the fridge for immediate use.

3. After your boba cooks, add in sugar to give your tapioca pearls some sweetness. How sweet? We recommend 1/2 cup, but it's really up to you! Adjust it to your taste preference. You can also try sweetening your boba with brown sugar or agave.

4. In a cocktail shaker, combine tea, milk, and ice. If you don't have a shaker, simply stir the tea, milk, and ice together.

5. In your drinking glass, lace the bottom with your desired amount of cooked bubbles. Pour milk tea mixture over the bubbles, add more ice if you'd like, and serve with a wide-mouth straw (try a reusable one like stainless steel or paper)!

Bonus step: If you want to show off your creation online, don't forget to tag us at #gobobagreen. We'd love to see how your boba came out!

Our simple boba recipe is not easy enough for you? You can try one of our DIY Bubble Tea Kits where we package all the high quality ingredients you need for your drink, along with reusable straws.

* TESLA is a volatile stock that fluctuates a lot. If it's over $400 today, maybe wait a couple of days and it'll get there. =P Also, please don't take this as a stock recommendation for Tesla. It was the first one that came to mind when I thought of $400.

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