Refreshing and easy to drink, this strawberry milk tea recipe has a lot of fresh berries and can be made with or without tapioca pearls.
By following all these steps, you’ll be rewarded with a drink with a delicious strawberry taste and just a hint of black tea, as good as the one you get at Gong Cha!
Is strawberry milk tea good? What does it taste like?
You can taste the strawberry in this drink, but not so much the black tea. It has quite a bit of sugar, but it can be replaced for your favorite sweetener if you’re looking for a sugar-free version.
If you want a very strong strawberry taste and sweeter drink, double the strawberry compote.
If you’re looking for more than a hint of black tea, use black tea ice cubes instead of water ice cubes.
Want to try a different strawberry milk? This Korean Strawberry Milk makes a delicious and different drink!
Ingredients and substitutions
Strawberry milk. You can use store-bought milk or make your own strawberry milk. Store-bought might give a more artificial strawberry taste for this drink: if you like it, go for it! If you’re looking for a more natural flavor, make your own. Also, this can be made with dairy or a plant-based milk.
Strawberry compote. It makes the strawberry flavor stronger and gives a nice texture.
Black tea. You can use your favorite black tea to make this recipe.
Ice cubes. Use filtered water for a better taste. If using black tea ice cubes, brew a cup of black tea, wait for it to get to room temperature and fill an ice tray with it. Keep it in the freezer until ready to use.
Brown sugar syrup. Gives a very faint hint of caramel that matches well with strawberry and black tea. It can be substituted for simple syrup, or a sugar-free syrup.
Boba pearls. Quick cooking boba pearls are more convenient and easier to prepare. But you can use your favorite tapioca pearls for this recipe. Always prepare them following the instructions in the package.
Strawberry milk tea uses black tea that contains caffeine. A cup of black tea usually has about 47g of caffeine. That’s half the amount of a cup of coffee. You can make this recipe using decaf black tea, or substitute black tea for rooibos tea.
Boba pearls are easy to find in Asian markets. You can also find a vast variety online. Though they’re more common in black, they can have any color from green to white. When searching, look for boba pearls, black tapioca pearls, boba for bubble tea, 5 minutes or quick-cooking boba pearls.
How to make it
Start by preparing the strawberry compote. Wash strawberries and remove the stem. Dice them into small cubes.
In a small saucepan, add diced strawberries and sugar. Cook for about 3 minutes on medium-high temperature, so the strawberries soften and the compote gets less watery. Check the video to see how it should look like.
Prepare the boba if using. Both white or black tapioca pearls are ok for this recipe. Rinse pearls, placing them into a small bowl. Pour brown sugar syrup over them. Let the boba rest for 10 minutes so it can soak the sugar syrup.
Steep black tea for 5 minutes. You can also use cold brew black tea for this recipe.
While the black tea cools, prepare the strawberry milk if using homemade. Wash and remove the stem of strawberries. In a blender’s cup, add strawberries, your choice of milk and vanilla extract, and blend until smooth.
When making fresh strawberry milk, you can use dairy milk, or your favorite plant-based milk. For this recipe, if using plant based, my favorites are oat milk and almond milk. You can use vanilla flavored or plain, sweetened or unsweetened plant-based milk.
Strain strawberry milk to remove strawberry seeds.
Divide evenly tapioca pearls between 2 tall glasses. Do the same with the strawberry compote. Give it a stir to mix them.
*If you’re not using boba, add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar syrup to the strawberry compote and stir to combine.
Fill ⅔ of the glasses with ice. Pour black tea, then top with strawberry milk.
Stir to combine and serve right away!
Can I prepare the boba pearls in advance?
Don’t prepare boba pearls in advance, as boba pearls don’t keep well. Some brands advise to use within 1 hour after preparing them. After 4 hours, boba pearls get mushy and won’t be pleasant to chew like freshly made pearls.
How to store leftover boba pearls?
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Use within 4 hours or they’ll get too soft. Don’t store them inside the fridge, as boba pearls harden when refrigerated.
More milk tea ideas
Strawberry Milk Tea
- 6 medium strawberries washed and stem removed
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- about 10 medium strawberries washed and stem removed
- 1 ¾ cup milk dairy or plant-based
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry Milk Tea
- ½ cup boba pearls cooked
- 6 tablespoon strawberry compote
- ice cubes
- 1 cup black tea
- 2 cup strawberry milk
- ¼ cup brown sugar syrup
- For the strawberry compote, wash strawberries and remove the stem. Dice strawberries into small cubes.
- In a small saucepan, add diced strawberries and sugar. Cook for about 3 minutes on medium-high temperature, so the strawberries soften and the compote gets less watery. Stir frequently. Check the video to see how it should look like.
- Prepare the boba following the package instructions.
- Rinse boba pearls, placing them into a small bowl. Pour brown sugar syrup over them. Let the boba rest for 10 minutes so it can soak in the sugar syrup.
- Prepare the strawberry milk. Wash and remove the stem of strawberries. In a blender’s cup, add strawberries, your choice of milk and vanilla extract, and blend for about 1 minute or until smooth.
- Strain milk to remove strawberry seeds.
- Divide evenly boba pearls between 2 tall glasses. Do the same with the strawberry compote. Give it a stir to mix.
- Fill ⅔ of the glasses with ice. Pour half a cup of black tea in each glass, then one cup of strawberry milk.
- Stir to combine and serve right away.
- Use your favorite sweetener instead of sugar when making the strawberry compote;
- Use sugar-free strawberry milk if buying, and sugar-free milk if making fresh;
- Look for a sugar-free syrup to replace brown-sugar syrup;
- My favorite sugar replacement is monk fruit sweetener.