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This creamy lychee bubble tea is a refreshing drink that's easy to make with simple ingredients. Save time and money making this copycat recipe at home!
It's easy and inexpensive to make all these different flavors at home.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Served over ice on a hot summer day, this is a sweet & refreshing iced drink.
- Making bubble tea at home is much less expensive than buying it in a store.
- This recipe uses real lychee nectar, rather than a flavored powder, so it tastes more authentic and is much healthier.
- It doesn't matter when lychees are in season, you can make this recipe any time of the year.
- This recipe is easy to customize so you can make your boba tea taste just the way you like it.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Lychee Nectar or Juice: The recipe is made with lychee nectar or lychee juice. This is the quickest and easiest way to make lychee milk tea since you don’t have to deal with blending actual fruit. Lychee nectar may be sold in a can or carton in the juice aisle or the international cuisine aisle.
- Milk: Use whatever type of milk you prefer. You can use 2% milk or whole milk (3.25%) for a slightly richer taste. For the creamiest version, use half and half. This bubble tea also works really well with almond milk or coconut milk for a vegan alternative.
- Tea: You can use either black tea or green tea for this recipe. Black tea will add a more bitter, stronger taste. Green tea has a more distinct flavor, but will let the lychee flavor come through a bit more.
- Tapioca Pearls: Quick cooking black tapioca pearls are the fastest boba pearls to cook since they only take about 5 minutes. Read the package to know what type you are buying. You can use white pearls or flavored popping boba as well.
- Sugar & Water: Brown sugar is heated to dissolve into water to make the brown sugar syrup. This syrup sweetens the tea and also coats the cooked boba pearls so they don't stick together. You can substitute the brown sugar with granulated sugar if needed.
Here is the equipment you will need to make the lychee milk tea:
- A small saucepan to cook the tapioca pearls in.
- A strainer or slotted spoon to strain out the cooked boba pearls.
- A kettle to boil water for the tea.
- A boba straw and boba to-go cup to drink the bubble tea.
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Heat the brown sugar and water together on a pan until the brown sugar fully dissolves. Remove the syrup from the stovetop and let it cool for a few minutes.
Step 2: Boil the water and add in the tapioca pearls. Cook the pearls according to the instructions on the packet.
Step 3: Once chewy, strain out the boba pearls and immediately mix them into the brown sugar syrup.
Step 4: Steep the tea bag in ½ cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Discard the bag and chill the tea.
Step 5: Add the boba pearls with their syrup to a glass filled with ice.
Step 6: Pour in the tea, milk and lychee nectar. Stir to combine.
Lychee bubble tea is best consumed fresh as soon as it is made.
If you have leftovers that you want to store, remove and discard any leftover ice and boba pearls. Store the bubble tea in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Tapioca pearls will generally only last a few hours at room temperature before they start to become hard. Make the pearls fresh each time you want to drink bubble tea.
To speed up the process of making lychee boba tea, make the brown sugar syrup and chilled tea in advance. Store the brown sugar syrup and green tea in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 1 to 2 weeks.
- Adjust the quantities to taste. Everyone has a different preference for how to make their bubble tea. Some people like a stronger tea flavor, others like a creamier & sweeter drink. If you are not happy with the final taste, adjust the quantities of each ingredient to make your bubble tea taste just right.
- Mix the boba pearls into the syrup right away. As soon as the boba pearls are cooked and strained, mix them into the brown sugar syrup. The syrup coats the boba and prevents them from sticking together. Otherwise, the pearls will form a clump that is impossible to separate.
- Try other types of boba pearls. There are so many types of boba pearls besides the classic black tapioca pearls. Try some white tapioca pearls or popping boba pearls instead. You could even add in some homemade boba pearls.
- Use a bubble tea straw. If you drink bubble tea regularly, a bubble tea straw is essential. Otherwise, you won’t be able to sip up any of the pearls!
Yes. To use canned lychees instead of the lychee nectar, blend 8 to 10 lychee fruit into a purée. Mix in the lychee purée and optionally 1 to 2 tablespoon of lychee syrup from the can.
Lychee bubble tea is a sweet drink. Lychee fruit tastes like a combination between a grape and pear with a hint of floral.