Make this easy Strawberry Bubble Tea at home in just a few simple steps. It’s perfect for summertime, or anytime you want a refreshing, fruity drink.

two glasses of strawberry milk bubble tea with black tapioca pearls, fresh strawberries, and red striped straws

I’ve partnered with the American Dairy Association Mideast to bring you this recipe for National Dairy Month.

Bubble tea is one of my favorite drinks to enjoy during the summer. Unfortunately, I live in an area where it is not readily available. I have started preparing my favorite bubble tea recipes at home, and it’s fabulous!

multiple glasses of strawberry bubble tea with tapioca pearls and a mug of colorful striped staws

What is Bubble Tea?

Bubble tea is an iced tea drink that originated in Taiwan in the 1980s and has enjoyed growing popularity around the world in recent years. Bubble tea is also called:

  • Milk Tea
  • Boba Tea
  • Pearl Milk Tea
  • Boba

two bowls of uncooked tapioca pearls

Boba is made from partially cooked tapioca flour. It is naturally gluten-free and basically flavorless. It is typically sweetened with honey or a brown sugar simple syrup.

The boba pearls are traditionally black or dark brown but can also be found in rainbow colors and even green matcha boba!

cooked black tapioca pearls in a slotted spoon being scooped from a white bowl

Milk Tea typically consists of 4 main ingredients- tea, milk, sugar, and tapioca pearls but can be customized in many ways, including some with or without ice or even blended into a smoothie consistency. The possibilities are endless!

Where Can I Find Boba?

You can find many tapioca pearls (boba) online and in Asian markets. I purchase this double pack of black and rainbow boba.

Quick-cooking boba is the most convenient, but make each batch fresh for use within about 1 hour. After that time, the chewy boba starts to harden.

glass of strawberry milk bubble tea with black tapioca pearls

If you have never had bubble tea, the tapioca pearls are like a puffy, chewy gummy bear consistency, and many people find them satisfying to suck up the traditional fat straw and chew while sipping their milk tea.

For this reason, though, I would suggest children under the age of 4 be supervised while consuming boba.

Can I Prepare the Boba in Advance?

It is best to follow the instructions on the tapioca pearls you purchase because prep and rest times can vary.

Typically, the pearls are ready when they float to the top of the boiling water. Then, I turned down the heat, covered it, and let it rest for another 5 or 10 minutes.

glasses of pink strawberry milk tea with tapioca pearls alongside fresh strawberries, iced tea, and a mug of colorful striped straws

You can remove and chill the pearls or keep them warm in the pan. It is a personal preference.

If you leave the pearls to cool longer than an hour or more, they will harden and are unpleasant to chew.

two large glasses of pink strawberry milk bubble tea with black tapioca pearls and red striped straws

Strawberry Milk Bubble Tea

Strawberry Milk Bubble Tea originated in Taiwan and is a refreshing milk tea made with strong black or green tea, strawberry milk, and chewy tapioca balls known as boba.

Leave a Review »


  • 3 bags black or green tea
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 4 cups strawberry milk
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking tapioca pearls
  • 4 Tablespoons simple syrup


  • Steep the tea bags in water for at least 10 minutes for a strong tea. You can steep the tea and store in the refrigerator up to a day in advance if needed.
  • While the tea is steeping prepare the boba according to package directions on the stove top. If it is quick-cooking boba you will boil for 5 minutes and let rest covered for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the boba from the pot using a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl with about 4 Tablespoons of simple sugar syrup. See notes.
  • Divide sweetened, cooked tapioca pearls among 4 serving glasses. Pour 1/4 cup prepared tea into each topped with 1/2 cup of strawberry milk. Add ice if desired. Serve with fat straws or long dessert spoons to reach the boba.


Tapioca pearls can be cooked to desired consistency. The longer you boil them the more chewy they will become, and packages can vary on preparation times. I prefer to boil the pearls for about 5 minutes until they float to the top then cover the pot, turn down the heat and let simmer for another 5 minutes. 
Simple sugar syrup is equal parts sugar and water boiled until the sugar is dissolved. You can use white sugar or brown sugar. Simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Alternatively to the simple syrup you can drain the water from the tapioca pearls and drizzle over about 2 Tablespoons of honey according to taste. Stir gently until the honey has melted.
If not using prepared strawberry milk you can use fresh strawberries. Emulsify 1 cup of fresh strawberries and blend with preferred white milk; whole or 2% works best. 
Did you make this recipe?Tag @katrinaskitchen on Instagram with the hashtag #katrinaskitchenrecipes

June is National Dairy Month

June is National Dairy Month, a tradition that started in 1937 to celebrate America’s dairy farming families who continue to work hard during challenging times to produce the milk and dairy foods we enjoy like Donut Ice Cream Sandwiches and Homemade Whipped Cream

Did you know Ohio is a leading milk producer and many dairy foods?

map of ohio labeling where dairy products are made

For more fun dairy facts and recipes, follow the American Dairy Association Mideast on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.