This brown sugar milk boba tea is an incredibly simple and easy-to-make boba drink for whenever the craving hits. It's full of caramelized brown sugar flavour and chewy tapioca pearls. You only need a few ingredients so it's the perfect recipe to make at any time!
This brown sugar milk boba is one of the easiest bubble tea drinks you can make. This iconic drink can be made at home with just a few ingredients. The brown sugar in this drink tastes warming and nutty when caramelized into a syrup and the milk makes the perfect, creamy base to let the brown sugar flavour shine on its own. Don't forget to add your favourite chewy tapioca pearls!
What is brown sugar milk boba?
Brown sugar milk boba is a drink that originates from Taiwan, most notably from the Tiger Sugar bubble tea chain. Despite sometimes being called brown sugar milk tea, it doesn't actually contain any tea. Instead, it's a type of bubble tea that is made by cooking tapioca pearls in brown sugar and then simply adding milk.
Brown sugar milk boba is most recognizable by the brown sugar syrup smeared around the walls of the cup which is meant to be mixed with the rest of the drink before enjoying. This drink is also known as brown sugar milk, brown sugar milk tea, brown sugar bubble tea, and many other variations.
Why you'll love this recipe
- This recipe is so easy to make! You only need 3 ingredients (and water and ice!).
- It's simple but delicious and full of caramelized brown sugar flavour.
- The recipe is easily scalable to make drinks for more people or just for yourself.
- Tapioca pearls - You'll need uncooked tapioca pearls or boba pearls. You can usually find them in Asian grocery stores in vacuum-sealed packaging.
- Brown sugar - This is what gives this bubble tea all its sweetness and warming brown sugar flavour.
- Water - The amount of water used to cook the tapioca pearls doesn't really matter but the amount of water used to make the brown sugar syrup should be measured according to the recipe.
- Milk - Fresh dairy milk is the classic way to make this brown sugar milk boba and it's what will taste the best. You can definitely use another non-dairy milk but just know that it will taste a little different.
- Ice - Use as much or as little ice as you prefer!
How to make brown sugar milk boba
Cook tapioca pearls - In a small pot, bring about 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the tapioca pearls and stir immediately. Boil for 15 minutes uncovered. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let sit for another 15 minutes.
Make brown sugar syrup - Drain the water away and add brown sugar and fresh water. Bring this to a boil again on med-high heat and boil for 5-7 minutes until the brown sugar syrup becomes thick and sticky.
Assemble drink - Divide the pearls with the brown sugar syrup into two glasses. Use a spoon to smear the syrup around the walls of the glass. Fill glasses with ice and top with milk. Stir together well before enjoying!
Bubble tea should be enjoyed right away and does not store well. The boba pearls are best consumed while they're still warm and they will change texture if kept for too long. If you must store it, it can be kept in the fridge for up to a few hours but keep in mind that it will not taste as good as freshly made.
Tips & tricks
- Experiment with different tapioca pearl brands. The boba pearls can really make or break a bubble tea. Some brands are better than others. Your pearls should be soft with a perfect amount of chewiness. If you don't already have a favourite brand, try out a few different ones that you can get your hands on or you could even make your own.
- Cook the brown sugar syrup until moderately thick. It should still be viscous enough to drizzle like caramel sauce and will continue to thicken as it cools. If overcooked, it will be too thick and dry to coat the sides of the glass and the pearls will become hard.
- Enjoy while the pearls are still hot. There's nothing like fresh and warm pearls when you buy boba at a store. Assemble your drink right after cooking the pearls and the brown sugar syrup.
- Mix thoroughly before drinking. While the brown sugar looks nice on the walls of the glass, you really should be mixing it all into the drink before sipping. This drink gets all its flavour from the brown sugar otherwise, it will just taste like milk!
- Don't forget to use a bubble tea straw. This is obvious but you'd be surprised how often this is forgotten (I've done it before and had to drink my boba with a spoon). You'll need a straw with a large opening that will allow the tapioca pearls to pass through.
Frequently asked questions
It's definitely a sweet drink which some people love while others may think it's too sweet for their preference. It's made with lots of brown sugar for flavour and sweetness otherwise it would just taste like plain milk.
Boba pearls will naturally become harder after cooling down or when ice is added to the drink. You'll want to be sure to keep your boba pearls warm until you're ready to use them and enjoy your drink right away while the pearls are still soft.
More bubble tea recipes to try
- Earl Grey Bubble Tea
- Sweet Potato Bubble Tea
- Taro Milk Bubble Tea
- Bubble Tea Crème Brûlée
- Avocado Boba
- Boba Milk Tea Popsicles
Brown Sugar Milk Boba
- 100 g tapioca pearls
- 100 g brown sugar
- 100 g water
- 600 g milk
- In a small pot, bring about 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the tapioca pearls and stir immediately. Boil for 15 minutes uncovered. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let sit for another 15 minutes.
- Drain the water away and add brown sugar and fresh water. Bring this to a boil again on med-high heat and boil for 5-7 minutes until the brown sugar syrup becomes thick and sticky.
- Divide the pearls with the brown sugar syrup into two glasses. Use a spoon to smear the syrup around the walls of the glass.
- Fill glasses with ice and top with milk. Stir together well before enjoying!