Food & Drink

Milk Tea Bubble Tea at Home DIY

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  • May 22nd, 2020 10:18 am
Jan 23, 2017
245 posts

Milk Tea Bubble Tea at Home DIY

Requesting recommendations on brands & type of proper Taiwanese loose-leaf tea for making BBT-shop Pearl Milk Tea at home.

Typically I enjoy pearl milk tea from Chatime, Coco's, or The Alley, and I particularly like the Roasted Milk Tea flavour with tapioca pearls. Since the pandemic lockdown, I've tried brewing tea at home and although it's not difficult the challenge is also finding the right flavour of tea. At T&T I've purchased TenRen Taiwanese ti-kuan-yin tea and although that tasted pretty good, it was not close to the typical Milk Tea BBT flavour. I've also tried some random Taiwanese Oolong tea that had very little English on the package and it wasn't good.

I understand that a good Taiwanese wholesale store is Trading Company in Markham. I'd appreciate advice on which brand and type of tea leaves for making a close approximation of a good Chatime Pearl Milk Tea from this store or elsewhere.

For those who'd like to try making pearl milk tea at home search YouTube, it's not too hard. Essentially, it consists of boiling the pearls and letting them cool in sugar water, brewing the tea-leaves, mixing sugar and milk (cream or CoffeeMate) to taste, and chilling it with ice before serving.
6 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 24, 2005
1118 posts
If you're lazy just buy those 6 pack Lipton milk tea juice boxes. Also comes in green milk tea.
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Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 6, 2005
11286 posts
blarg wrote: If you're lazy just buy those 6 pack Lipton milk tea juice boxes. Also comes in green milk tea.
You can't adjust your sugar level and it does not taste the same. Also its powdered milk and preservatives (coconut oil, flavoring...etc) vs using real milk and/or milk powder of your choice

I use to recall Ten Ren's sold loose tea made specially for bubble tea but this was years ago and I don't know if they still sell it
Heat 43-0-0
Sr. Member
Sep 30, 2004
735 posts
You need to use evaporated milk for the milk tea - not regular milk.

I've used the yellow label Lipton tea bags to make milk tea before. You need to boil with multiple bags. Can't recall the ratio but was a good amount - i.e 4-5 tea bags for 2 cups.

Other option is getting "Dai Pai Dong" version of instant milk tea. I find that one is pretty good with taste - similar to the HK cafes. They do sell the non sugar version so you can adjust the sugar level.
Jan 23, 2017
245 posts
There's a distinct difference in flavour from Hong Kong-style milk tea and Taiwanese pearl milk tea. The HK-style tends to use evaporated or condensed milk (as mentioned) and tea bags like Ceylon tea, available at T&T or other Asian grocery stores. I've made this type at home and it's pretty close to the HK-style. The type I'm trying to replicate is Taiwanese bubble tea shop kind like Chatime ... according to "scribblesintoronto" the roasted milk tea flavour is Japanese hojicha tea.

As an aside I have tried the Chatime powered milk tea packages from T&T and I was not impressed but YMMV.
Sr. Member
May 29, 2008
825 posts
I think your best bet would be to use multiple tea bags rather than loose leaf tea. The more delicate flavours of loose leaf tea will be drowned out by the CoffeeMate or milk powder anyway, and the crushed leaves in the tea bag will have more surface area to give a stronger tea flavour than loose leaf. I know that they use tea bags through some sort of espresso machine at Presotea.

I know you've already tried oolong loose leaf, but maybe try again with multiple oolong tea bags instead.


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