This strawberry milk tea recipe is a fun and delicious spring or summer drink. Fresh or frozen strawberries are used to make sweet strawberry compote and then mixed with concentrated tea and milk. Serve with boba pearls at the bottom of the glass for an extremely tasty and refreshing beverage!
What is strawberry milk tea?
Strawberry milk tea is a type of boba tea, also commonly called bubble tea. While boba shops are less common in the US than they are in Taiwan, where the drink originated, they have been popping up around the country as the bubble tea trend continues to grow.
Strawberry milk tea has three primary ingredients:
- Strawberries (or strawberry milk)
- Sometimes tea
Despite the fact that the word “tea” is in the name, some boba shops actually leave out this ingredient; they combine strawberries and milk and pour it over ice with boba pearls at the bottom. However, those that add tea into their recipes typically use green or black tea. I personally think the tea adds depth to the drink and really enhances the flavor. I personally love making this drink with Buddha Tea’s Matcha Green Tea or Art of Tea’s Loose Earl Grey Tea.
What does strawberry milk tea taste like?
The primary flavor in this drink is strawberries, which are cooked with sugar to create a strawberry compote. This is mixed together with milk and concentrated tea to create a sweet and refreshing drink.
Because strawberries are such a prominent ingredient, I prefer using fresh ones, if possible. However, I have also made the simple syrup using frozen strawberries when fresh ones weren’t available, which works too.
Alternatively, you can use strawberry milk and omit using fruit altogether, however I think the flavor is much better when you make your own simple syrup with real strawberries.
What is boba and where do I buy it?
Boba is made of tapioca starch, which is pressed together to create chewy balls with a gummy texture. It originated in Taiwan and became popular as an addition to cold tea, known as bubble tea. You can find them at most Asian grocery stores or on Amazon, but keep in mind that you do have to cook them before eating them, and should be used immediately or the pearls will harden and be unpleasant to chew.
How to cook and prepare boba
- Prepare your boba based on your boba packaging. This will require you to cook the boba in a saucepan. While instant boba becomes ready very quickly, non-instant boba should simmer in hot water for about 25 minutes while covered. If using instant boba, they’ll only need to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow the boba to sit in the saucepan covered for another 30 minutes–if using instant boba, you can skip this step. Drain the liquid and run boba under cold water.
- Now that the boba are soft, it’s time to give them some flavor. For this recipe, we are going to steep them in a mixture of strawberry compote and simple syrup made with both brown and granulated sugar.
To make the steeping liquid:
- Combine 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons water in a pot and heat until the sugar is melted. Add 1 tablespoon of the strawberry compote and mix. Add the boba pearls to this mixture and steep for 30 minutes.
- Allow the boba to sit in this mixture for 30-45 minutes. Then use immediately for tea.
Recipe for Strawberry Milk Tea
- 2 green or black tea bags
- ½ cup of water
- 1.5 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½-¾ cup water
To assemble the strawberry milk tea, you’ll need:
- 2-3 tablespoons cooked boba pearls steeped in strawberry simple syrup mixture (see instructions above)
- ¾ cup milk of your choice
To make the strawberry compote:
- Cut the strawberries into small pieces. Place in a saucepan with the water and sugar and allow to cook on high heat until the water boils. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the strawberries start to break down.
- Stir mixture often to help the strawberries break apart. You can also use an immersion blender, fork, or potato masher to break apart the strawberries so it becomes as smooth as possible. If the mixture seems to become too thick, like jam, add a bit more water so it is still a bit liquidy.
To assemble strawberry milk tea:
- Brew tea. Pour the boiling water over a tea bag and steep for 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before assembling the strawberry milk tea.
- In a glass, add the cooked boba pearls and cooled tea. In a separate glass, pour the milk and ½ cup of the strawberry compote. Mix together and pour over the tea. Add ice and service immediately.