Hey there, Mason jar fans!
Whether you’re a boba novice or a total devotee, you’ve probably noticed a number of bubble tea shops popping up in your area. My kids were obsessed with the idea of boba (and drawing pictures of it) before we ever went into our first tea shop – and once we went – well it was all over! They both declared it better than a Frappuccino (though not appreciably better for my wallet) and were head over giant straws in love with this strange mixture of tea, milk, and chewy boba pearls.
Now I’m just entering the world of making boba tea at home because my budget said that’s what needs to happen to keep my children in the bubbly lifestyle they want to become accustomed to, which means I’m not an expert (yet!). I wanted to share with you my first adventures into making my own, at home, boba milk tea and would love to hear your tips, tricks, and recipes too!
Boba pearls are made from the root of the cassava plant – a starchy root vegetable. Cassava is gluten, nut, and grain free for those who have allergies. It comes in a variety of options: black , clear, fruit flavored, chewy, popping, slow cook, quick cook, mini sized, and more. Boba pearls have a mildly sweet flavor, but if you get a plain pearl, you’ll want to be sure you soak it in tea or syrup for added flavoring. I was a little overwhelmed strolling down the aisles of our local Asian market trying to decide what to buy (and some of the bags were HUGE and way more commitment than I was ready for!).
So as I said above, this was my first boba making adventure. As such I thought I’d try semi-homemade and purchased prepared boba pearls in a brown sugar syrup. The directions on the bag were less than accurate though, as they stated to simply microwave the boba packet for 30 seconds and add to your tea. This did NOT work and my older child described them as “boba pearls that just wanted to give up on life.” Not entirely sure what that means, but it can’t be good!
For my second attempt, I ended up simmering the contents of the pouch with a little water on the stove top, which was vastly more successful and tasty. Still, I’m not sure these semi-homemade bubbles were worth purchasing (kinda pricy!) so I’m not personally going to recommend them to you. I’m hoping to try other brands in the future and hopefully come back with more educated recommendations on what to try.
Boba pearls once cooked don’t keep well, though, so you only want to make enough for your current drink(s).
I’m always a fan of cold brewing, whether it’s coffee or tea. The results are so smooth and delicious that it makes the wait worth it every time – plus our cold brew filter kit makes it so easy, there’s no reason to not make your own! You can decide how strong you want your brew by changing the amount of tea or coffee you put into the filter and how long you let it brew. I wanted more of a concentrate for this recipe, so I filled the filter about 2/3 full of loose leaf tea and allowed it to steep over 12 hours.
There maybe 50 Shades of Grey, but there’s only one for me – EARL! Seriously though, I love Earl Grey tea! I love it with vanilla, lemon, lavender, milk, plain… You get the picture. So I found this wonderful recipe for inspiration from Plum Deluxe to make my own Earl Grey Milk Tea with my brown sugar boba pearls (and I made a homemade brown sugar syrup which I’ll share in the next section).
I started by putting loose leaf tea into my cold brew filter and filling the jar with filtered water. Then I just let it sit on the counter (or fridge – either works) overnight (about 12 hours) to make a delicious, cold brew, Earl Grey concentrate. When it’s done brewing, you just pull the filter out, allow the tea to drain out of the filter, and I like to put a pour and store lid on the jar because that makes using it a cinch!
Making simple syrups at home is easy and really elevates your coffee or tea, plus you can customize them by adding vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and more. I love it for cold brew especially because it’s so easy to mix in. The recipe is just equal parts sugar to water, gently cooked over medium heat until all the sugar dissolves. You don’t want to boil the mixture and burn the sugar. If you want a recipe for reference, you can check out this one.
I decided to make a brown sugar syrup to go with my brown sugar boba pearls by combining 4oz of brown sugar with 4oz of water into my sauce pan. Heating until the sugar dissolved, then pouring into a regular mouth, half pint (8oz) Mason jar to cool, and finally topping with a pour and store lid. I labeled the jars with one of chalkboard stickers before putting it in the fridge at the MJL warehouse so everyone knew what it was.
I think I say this every blog post with a recipe, and I do apologize, but I’m NOT good at following recipes or being super precise, so this will be my best approximation! Adjust to your taste and preferences. This recipe is to make one pint and a half (24oz) Earl Grey Milk Tea with boba pearls.
- Boba pearls (cooked according to their instructions)
- 6-8oz Earl Grey tea concentrate
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar syrup
- 4-6oz of milk of your choice
Start by putting your prepared boba into your pint and a half Mason jar, then add ice, tea, brown sugar syrup and milk. Stir together with a stainless steel boba straw. Enjoy!
I will continue my boba adventures and hopefully write up more recipes in the future. I’d love to hear what your favorite combinations, recipes, and other tips are. Comment below or find us on social media and share it with us. We LOVE to hear from you! Join the conversations going on right now on our Facebook business page, Mason Jar Lifestyle, or Facebook group, Living The Mason Jar Lifestyle! We are also on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Looking forward to connecting with you soon!