No need to consume copious amounts of sugar or pay ridiculous prices for a fancy drink – make your own honey-sweetened boba milk tea! It’s easy, delicious, and healthy.

What is boba?

If you’ve never heard of boba before, don’t be afraid. It’s perfectly safe. Simply put, boba is little balls of tapioca starch, which comes from the cassava plant. Cassava is usually white, but most boba you buy in a shop or online is black, due to being mixed with a lot of brown sugar. Adding boba to tea provides a fun, chewy texture.

Traditionally speaking, boba tea is a Taiwanese drink from the 1980’s. It is usually made with either black or green tea, but there are also versions made with oolong tea, white tea, and coffee. I do love putting boba in coffee, but it’s just not as fun as milk tea, for some reason.

boba milk tea without foam

boba milk tea with foamHoney-Sweetened Boba Milk Tea

Boba milk tea usually consists of three parts: the boba, the tea, and the milk tea. You can also add an optional topping such as whipped cream or sea cream (which is just heavy whipping cream with sea salt). Since you’re making it at home, you can totally make the ratio of tea to milk whatever you like. Boba milk tea usually has lot of sugar in it, but I prefer to be able to taste the tea more than the sugar. And of course, since this is honey-sweetened boba milk tea, it’s gonna have a different taste than a boba milk tea you’d buy at a restaurant or stand.

Black tea. As I mentioned before, you can use many different kinds of teas to make this drink. Traditional teas used are black, jasmine, or oolong. I happen to be allergic to jasmine tea, and I prefer the strong taste of black tea anyway (thank you time lived in Russia for that), so I just use plain black tea. Of course, tea in general is a very heavily sprayed product, so make sure you get a good quality organic tea for you drink. A few of my favorites are Frontier Co-op’s organic Ceylon black tea, their fair-trade black Assam tea, Anthony’s organic English breakfast tea

I love loosing loose-leaf tea for brewing, but you can totally use a tea bag if that’s your jam. Numi and Whole Foods’ 365 brand are both good.

two glasses of boba milk tea

Milk. To keep this drink dairy-free, of course please use coconut milk. I usually make my own and it’s super simple! If you can handle raw dairy, that’s the best option, though. And so delicious. You could also just use heavy cream or half-n-half (ew) or use my yummy walnut milk creamer.

Honey. I love to use Azure Standard’s honey for everything. But feel free to use whatever kind you like. You will need about 1/2 cup of honey for this recipe, but you could always use less if you like things less sweet. The entire recipe makes about 4 servings, fyi. So it’s not like your drinking half a cup of honey in one go! You’re only getting about 2 tablespoons per serving.

The boba. Since I’m not the best at figuring out what’s *actually* in packages that are written in Chinese, I usually opt for getting my boba from Azure Standard. They are the small, white variety, which I prefer. Most of the boba milk teas in shops or restaurants will serve the large black boba. I prefer the small white because they don’t come pre-sweetened like the black do, plus the small can fit through a normal-size straw so I don’t have to get the special straws boba shops use.

The topping. You can totally make boba milk tea without any topping. But what’s a fun drink without a fun topping? Not as fun, that’s what. I love adding homemade whipped cream on top of my boba milk tea, you can use coconut whipped cream or meringue for dairy-free.

boba milk tea from the top

More healthy drinks.

If you’re not into boba milk tea, but you’re on the lookout for other fun and healthy drinks, here are a few of my favorites!

Honey-sweetened boba milk tea from


In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!

Honey-Sweetened Boba Milk Tea

Free from gluten, grain, eggs, and refined sugar.


For the milk tea:

For the boba:

For the topping:


For the tea:

Put the kettle on with at least a quart of water.

Bring to boil, then let rest for a minute.

Place your tea leaves or bags in a glass quart-sized mason jar or whatever you brew your tea in. Pour the water over and steep until cooled.

Place the cooled tea in the fridge to chill while you make the boba.

For the boba:

Bring water to boil in medium pot. When boiling, add in tapioca pearls.

Let boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium low and cover.

Simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes.

Check to make sure boba is mostly translucent. Remove from heat.

In pint-sized jar, mix honey and 1/2 cup of the boiling boba water. Strain boba and add to honey mixture.

Cover and set aside to cool.

To make a cup of boba milk tea:

In your glass, place a few heaping spoonfuls of boba in the honey-syrup mixture.

Pour in your tea until your glass is full about 3/4 of the way.

Fill your glass the rest of the way with milk of your choice.

Top with meringue or cream, or serve it as is.


If you don’t like your tea very strong, you may use less tea leaves/bags.

I find that this drink is best after all the ingredients are chilled. Sometimes I make the tea and boba in the evening and then stick it all in the fridge overnight. Then in the morning I make myself a glass of boba milk tea!

You do not have to drink this chilled. You can serve it all up hot if you want! Or you can serve it over ice. It’s totally up to you.

Raias Recipes -

Easy homemade honey-sweetened boba milk tea recipe from