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Jasmine milk tea is a delicious drink with creamy, floral, and delicately sweet notes. With a base of jasmine tea, plant-based milk, and chewy tapioca pearls, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how simple it is to make a homemade version.
Table of Contents
🍵 What is jasmine milk tea?
Jasmine milk tea is simply made up of steeped jasmine tea and milk. But with the ever-changing demands of consumers, it has evolved to mean different things.
Common preparations involve added sweeteners like cane or brown sugar. In some cases, tapioca pearls (boba) are added as well. When you visit a bubble tea store, you will typically find jasmine milk tea in this presentation.
The thing is, making it yourself can be just as good! Plus, you’ll save a fortune by replacing store-bought milk teas with homemade versions.
As you’ll soon discover, there are so many fun ways to customize milk tea to suit your dietary and taste preferences!
😋 What does it taste like?
Jasmine tea carries a floral, sweet, and delicate taste that perfectly compliments the underlying bitterness of green tea.
Of course, the flavors may vary depending on the region it’s grown in and the processing, making each brew a unique drinking experience.
Paired with plant milk, cane sugar, and boba, the mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and satisfying. The ratio of milk and sweetener is completely up to you, but we believe this recipe achieves the perfect balance!
Jasmine has a long history in Asia — It is considered a holy flower in Buddhism, it is the national flower of both Pakistan and the Philippines, and it is widely revered for medicinal and ceremonial uses like the gongfu tea ceremony.
The jasmine plant, which is native to South Asia, is believed to have been introduced to China during the Han dynasty (2nd century BC). Soon after this, they began infusing jasmine into tea.
In China, jasmine tea flourished during the Ming Dynasty when floral objects and patterns rose in popularity.
As jasmine tea spread throughout China, it quickly became a sought-after drink for the rest of the world too. Currently, jasmine tea is primarily produced in the mountainous province of Fujian.
🫖 Milk tea vs bubble tea
Although both terms are often used synonymously, there are a couple of differences between the two:
Milk tea — Milk tea refers to any tea with milk added to it (e.g. jasmine green milk tea). It can be sweet or non-sweet.
Boba — Boba generally describes a drink made from tea or juice that has tapioca, fruit, or jellies added to it.
Bubble tea, boba tea, pearl milk tea — Depending on the country, each of these terms describes tea with milk and tapioca pearls.
Note: This recipe is jasmine milk tea with boba or jasmine bubble tea.
🌱 Is milk tea vegan?
Milk tea is traditionally served with animal-based milk, but it is becoming more commonplace to find tea houses and bubble tea shops offering dairy-free options.
For our jasmine milk tea, we enjoy the rich flavors of coconut milk as we think it accentuates the floral notes well. However, you can use whichever plant milk you enjoy most.
🛒 Ingredients & substitutions
Jasmine tea — We prefer loose-leaf jasmine green tea, but you can use dragon pearls or tea bags as well. Careful not to let it steep past 2-3 minutes to avoid a bitter taste. You can also try other jasmine teas like jasmine white, oolong, or black tea.
Milk — Our preferred choices for jasmine green milk tea are coconut, soy, or oat milk. For a lighter consistency, try almond or rice milk.
Tapioca pearls — Also known as boba, you can purchase uncooked tapioca pearls to prepare yourself. You can find these at any Asian food market, or use quick-cooking boba if you are short on time.
Sweetener — We use cane sugar to sweeten both the boba and jasmine milk tea. Adjust up or down depending on your preferences, or use beet sugar, brown rice syrup, or date sugar instead.
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Step 1 — Bring the water for the tapioca pearls to boil in a medium-large saucepan. Once boiling, add in the tapioca pearls and lower the heat to just under medium.
Step 2 — Simmer for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook time will depend on your specific pearls. Make sure to check your package for instructions, but ours took 30 minutes.
Step 3 — Add the cane sugar and water to a small saucepan and whisk them together. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes, or until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove from heat and reserve a few tablespoons, then add the rest to a medium mixing bowl.
Step 4 — Strain the tapioca pearls through a fine-mesh strainer, rinsing them lightly. Transfer the pearls to the mixing bowl with the syrup and stir to combine. Set aside to soak while you make the tea.
Step 5 — While the tapioca pearls are soaking, bring water for the tea to boil, then let it cool for a few minutes (it should be ~175-180°F). Brew the jasmine tea for 2-3 minutes, then remove the leaves and let the tea cool down.
Step 6 — For a hot milk tea, scoop 3-4 tablespoons of tapioca pearls into your cup. Next, add 2-4 teaspoons of syrup, or to taste.
Step 7 — Pour the jasmine tea up to about halfway or slightly more, then top your cup off with coconut milk or another plant milk.
Step 8 — For a cold milk tea, let the tea cool down to room temperature. Repeat the same steps, but add ice cubes into your cup first. Happy drinking!
If you have questions about this jasmine green milk tea, check out our FAQs or leave a comment down below!
🧋 How to drink bubble tea
If you are serving your jasmine milk tea with boba, you’ll want to use a wide-mouth straw made for bubble tea. There are a lot of different materials to choose from like bamboo and metal, but we tend to prefer glass bubble tea straws.
Once your tea is made, simply slurp up some tea with a few boba and enjoy! Note: Careful not to sip too quickly to prevent choking on the tapioca pearls.
🌡️ Storage & reheating
If you have any leftover jasmine milk tea, here’s what to do:
Fully assembled — For the best texture and flavor, drink your bubble tea right away.
Fridge — Jasmine milk tea without boba will last in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Freezer — Leftover milk tea freezes well in ice cube trays. Use these frozen cubes in place of regular ice in your next batch of jasmine milk tea.
Prep in advance — Prepare the jasmine tea in advance and keep it in your fridge in a glass container or jar. You can also prep the syrup 2-3 weeks in advance.
Dry tapioca pearls — Homemade boba will last 6 months (uncooked). Once cooked, they are best consumed within an hour or two.
Different tea — Instead of jasmine green tea, try jasmine silver needles for a lighter flavor or jasmine oolong and black tea for a more robust taste.
Flavoring — Jasmine tea pairs well with vanilla essence, so try adding pure vanilla extract to your milk tea.
Caffeine-free — If you are sensitive to caffeine or it’s late in the day, brew a pot of decaf jasmine tea.
Sugar-free — Use monk fruit or stevia, or leave out the sweeteners altogether for a sugar-free version of jasmine milk tea.
Different pearls — Try using clear boba, coconut jellies, popping boba, or mini boba instead of black tapioca pearls.
🧑🍳 Top tips
Brew time — If using jasmine green or white tea, the max steep time is 2-3 minutes. For jasmine black or oolong tea, you can steep it for about 3-5 minutes.
Prep in advance — For a cold jasmine milk tea, prepare the jasmine tea and simple syrup a few hours in advance so they have time to cool.
Use fresh pearls — Make sure to use the cooked pearls right away for the softest and chewiest boba. When they cool, they start to harden up again.
Bubble tea straws — For a better drinking experience, make sure you use wide-mouth straws designed for bubble tea.
Use good quality tea — Opt for a high-quality jasmine tea to ensure the best flavors in your milk tea.
Jasmine tea has floral, sweet, and delicate flavors with a beautiful aroma.
The caffeine content all depends on the tea varietal, but jasmine tea is generally not caffeine-free. Jasmine black tea contains the highest caffeine content, while jasmine white tea contains the least. For a decaf option, see our variations section.
The most common variety is jasmine green tea, but you can also use jasmine white, black, or oolong tea in this drink.
🍴 More recipes like this one
If you enjoyed this jasmine milk tea, be sure to check out some other popular tea drinks:
- Taro milk tea: Fresh taro root mixed with milk of your choice, sugar, and tapioca pearls.
- Hokkaido milk tea: A Japanese milk tea that’s extra creamy and filled with chewy boba.
- Honeydew milk tea: Fresh melon mixed with green tea, plant milk, and pearls.
- Oolong milk tea: Milk tea featuring oolong tea balls, soy milk, and boba.
- Thai tea boba: Spiced Thai iced tea served cold and with tapioca balls.
- Dirty chai latte: A spicy chai with plant milk and espresso.
Creamy Jasmine Milk Tea (With Boba)
- Medium saucepan
- Small saucepan
- Boba straw
- ½ cup uncooked black tapioca pearls ($0.70)
- 6 cups water
- ⅓ cup cane sugar + ⅓ cup water ($0.05)
- 4 cups filtered water
- 2 tablespoons loose-leaf jasmine green tea ($0.35)
Milk & sweetener
- 1 cup coconut, soy, or oat milk ($0.25)
- 3-4 tablespoons extra simple syrup ($0.02)
- Ice to serve optional
- Bring the water for the tapioca pearls to boil in a medium-large saucepan. Once boiling, add in the tapioca pearls and lower the heat to just under medium.
- Simmer for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook time will depend on your specific pearls (check the package for instructions — ours take 30 minutes).
- In the meantime, prepare the simple syrup. Add cane sugar and water to a small saucepan and whisk together. Bring to a simmer for about 3-5 minutes, or until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove from heat and reserve ¼ cup, then add the rest to a medium mixing bowl.
- Strain the tapioca pearls through a fine-mesh strainer, rinsing them lightly. Transfer the pearls to the mixing bowl with the simple syrup and stir to combine. Set aside for ~30-40 minutes to soak.
- While the tapioca pearls are soaking, bring water for the tea to boil, then let it cool for a few minutes (it should be ~175-180°F). Brew the jasmine tea for 2-3 minutes, then remove the tea leaves.
- Hot — For a hot milk tea, add 3-4 tablespoons of tapioca pearls to your cup. Add 2-4 teaspoons of simple syrup, or to taste. Pour the jasmine tea to ½ – ¾ of the way up, then milk the rest of the way.
- Iced — For a cold milk tea, let the tea cool down to room temperature. Add 3-4 tablespoons of tapioca pearls to your cup, then a handful of ice. Add 2-4 teaspoons of simple syrup, or to taste. Pour the jasmine tea to ½ – ¾ of the way up, then milk the rest of the way. Happy drinking!
- Brew time — If using jasmine green or white tea, the max steep time is 2-3 minutes. For jasmine black or oolong tea, you can steep it for about 3-5 minutes.
- Prep in advance — For a cold jasmine milk tea, prepare the jasmine tea and simple syrup a few hours in advance so they have time to cool.
- Use fresh pearls — Make sure to use the cooked pearls right away for the softest and chewiest boba. When they cool, they start to harden up again.
- Bubble tea straws — For a better drinking experience, make sure you use wide-mouth straws designed for bubble tea.
- Use good quality tea — Opt for a high-quality jasmine tea to ensure the best flavors in your milk tea.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe to recipe. All prices are in USD.