This easy Strawberry Milk Tea recipe is so refreshing and smooth, it’s perfect for those hot summer days! It has a soft strawberry flavor, creamy texture, and fun tapioca boba pearls!
Strawberries are in season, the birds are chirping, and the lake weekends are back! Here in the midwest, strawberry picking is a great summer activity and an even better ingredient to add into meals.
Now, just imagine you are at the cabin for the weekend, you just got fresh strawberries from the local farmers market and are back at the house looking out from the kitchen window onto the lake. The trees are swaying in the gentle wind and jet skis zooms can be heard in the distance. But, you are starting to get sleepy. It’s not easy being on a lake all weekend after all.
You find some green tea stashed in the depths of the seasonal cabinet and have milk, honey, and that fresh fruit. Turns out you have everything needed for this super easy, super creamy strawberry milk tea! This milk tea comes together in minutes and all you need is something to strain the strawberries with (like that slightly discolored silver colander in the cabin that was your grandparents). So, let me show you how to make this refreshing caffeine pick me up!
What is Milk Tea, and Does Strawberry Milk Tea have Caffeine?
Milk tea is a broad category of tea lattes typically made with black tea, but can be made with green or white tea. It has also become known as boba tea or bubble milk tea because it is often served with tapioca boba pearls that resemble bubbles. Some common examples of milk tea are chai tea, golden tea, and thai tea, all of which have become increasingly popular in recent years in North America. Because this strawberry boba drink does have some type of tea infused in it, it does contain caffeine but depending on what tea you use, you can control just how much caffeine.
Ingredients and Substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted
Strawberry: Strawberries are a sweet fruit with a slight tang that are one of the main ingredients of this tapioca pearl milk tea. That tang is a great compliment to the earthy jasmine tea.
Substitutions: Fresh strawberries or frozen can be used. You can also use a quarter cup of strawberry juice, jam, or puree, or you can use strawberry milk in place of the strawberries, honey, and milk.
Oat Milk: Oat milk is mild in flavor which helps to not overpower the flavor of strawberries. We use unsweetened oat milk, regular (not low fat or barista).
Substitutions: You can use your choice of milk, as long as it’s not sweetened. Almond milk, soy milk, dairy milk, or hemp milk would all work. Coconut milk can be used but due to its strong coconut flavor, it has a tendency to overpower the strawberry.
Green Tea: Green tea is great for getting that afternoon caffeine fix because while it has some caffeine, it is a lower dosage that releases in the body much more evenly than coffee or other caffeine drinks. This is why green tea is less likely to cause a crash.
Substitutions: We used Jasmine green tea bags but you could use any green or white tea you have. You could use a strong black tea, but it may overpower the fresh strawberry flavor.
Honey: Honey provides a little extra sweetness and goes super well with strawberry.
Substitutions: Agave or simple syrup can be used if you do not have honey. I love to use a floral infused honey to compliment the strawberry!
Boba: These are just plain fun! Boba are tapioca gels that are sold dried. To make them, you just boil them and wait for them to float. Just like cooking gnocchi! These boba are what we used.
Substitutions: We used clear or white tapioca pearls, but you can use black tapioca pearls, flavored gels, or any other fun add in you like. These can also be left out.
How to Make this - Step by Step
This bubble tea recipe is seriously so easy to make. It only takes 10 minutes and 6 ingredients to have your very own strawberry bubble tea at home! Read on for how to make easy strawberry milk tea with real strawberries!
Step one: Bring water to a boil over high to medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, add the green tea bag to the hot water and remove from heat. Let this steep for 5 minutes.
Step two: While the tea steeps, make the boba by bringing water to a boil in another small saucepan. Add the boba and cook until it floats to the surface. Strain out the cooked tapioca pearls and put them into the bottom of the serving glass. Add a few drops of honey to the boba and stir. This helps to keep them from sticking to each other.
Step three: Remove the tea bag from the tea liquid. Add tea liquid, honey, and strawberries to a blender and blend until smooth. This could be done in a small blender or food processor.
Alternate method: If you do not have a blender, simply microwave the strawberries for 1 minute to soften and release the sugar. Then mash with the back of a fork. Add the honey and tea liquid and mix and mash until decently combined.
Step four: Strain the strawberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a cup with boba. Use the back of a spoon to push the liquid through the sieve.
Step five: Add ice cubes and milk and stir. Enjoy this ice tea drink with a wide straw (for the boba, of course!)! This can also be enjoyed hot - to do that, heat the milk, skip the ice, and combine the hot milk and strawberry mixture in a mug with boba and enjoy! I love to serve this in skinny, tall glasses to really show off the boba!
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
After cooking boba, add a splash of honey, agave, brown sugar, simple syrup, or other sweetener liquid. This keeps the boba from sticking to each other (which happens very quickly!).
Facts and Common Questions
What does strawberry milk tea taste like?
Strawberry milk tea is incredibly refreshing and slightly sweet. It has the flavor of green tea with a hint of strawberry. If using boba, they will add another depth of flavor. While we used plain tapioca pearls to avoid overshadowing the strawberry, you can find them in brown sugar, vanilla, and many other flavors!
How do you store leftover boba pearls?
If you have left over pearls, place them in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for 4 hours (I know, not ideal) before getting soggy. If they are placed in the fridge they will harden and not stay chewy boba.
Are tapioca pearls sweet?
Yes, tapioca pearls can be sweet. It depends on what kind but generally, they are made with tapioca and brown sugar making them sweet.
Where can I find boba?
Boba can be found online or in Asian markets. We prefer the quick cook version because it's obviously much faster and cooks very similar to gnocchi or ravioli in that it floats when done. We used this boba for ours.
Want to Save it for Later? Here’s how!
Fridge: This tapioca milk tea can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to two days. I recommend removing the ice and boba before saving. Boba should only be kept at room temperature for 4 hours as it will harden when kept in the fridge.
The mixture will begin to separate due to the fresh strawberries. Any pulp left over, will float to the top as the drink sits. To enjoy later, mix well to combine, add ice (or heat up) and fresh boba and enjoy!
Strawberries, while typically grouped with berries, are not technically a berry. A berry, by definition, has seeds on the inside, while strawberries have seeds on the outside and not just a few, 200 seeds! Despite their slightly confusing background, people still love them! (source)
More Joyful Recipes!
Try these other delicious drinks!
- 5 strawberries fresh or frozen
- 1 green tea bag
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ cup oat milk unsweetened
- 2 tablespoon boba pearls optional
- ½ cup ice optional
- Bring water to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, add the green tea bag to the hot water and remove from heat. Let this steep for 5 minutes.
- While the tea steeps, make the boba by bringing water to a boil in another small saucepan. Add the boba and cook until it floats to the surface. Strain out the cooked pearls and put them into the bottom of the serving glass. Add a few drops of honey to the boba pearls and stir. This helps to keep them from sticking to each other.
- Remove the tea bag from the tea liquid. Add tea liquid, honey, and fresh strawberries with the leaves removed to a blender and blend until smooth. *See notes below for an alternate method if you do not have a blender.*
- Strain the strawberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a cup with boba. Use the back of a spoon to push the liquid through the sieve.
- Add ice cubes and milk and stir. Enjoy with a wide straw (for the boba, of course!)! This can also be enjoyed hot - to do that, heat the milk, skip the ice, and combine the hot milk and strawberry mixture in a mug with boba and enjoy!
Nutritional information is an estimate and for informational purposes only.