This creamy taro milk bubble tea can be made with real taro paste or a premixed taro powder! The taro is mixed with sweetened condensed coconut milk and soft yet chewy homemade brown sugar boba. Real taro root gives this classic milk tea a fresh, slightly nutty taste that is so refreshing! Add in jasmine tea or black tea for another layer of deep flavor.
Why you’ll love this taro Milk Tea
Taro milk tea is sweet and creamy. I love that is recipe is so versatile! You can use fresh taro paste or a pre-made taro powder depending on your preference. Here’s why we love this recipe and you will too!
- Fresh taro root OR taro powder: Fresh taro root provides a mild nutty flavor that’s fresher than taro powder, however you can use pre-made powder as well!
- Sweet and creamy: sweet flavor and ultra creamy from the sweetened condensed milk (but also dairy free!)
- Brown sugar simple syrup: a homemade sweet and sticky brown sugar syrup coats each tapioca pearl.
- Easy recipe: make the taro paste in advance and have it on hand for your own bubble tea any time!
What is taro bubble tea?
Bubble tea, or boba milk tea, is a Taiwanese drink that consists of tea, sometimes milk, along with soft yet chewy tapioca balls. These drinks come with a variety of toppings and different types of tea. They can even be blended to create a milkshake or smoothie consistency.
Bubble tea shops sell taro milk tea that has a purple hue from artificial coloring. Real taro root is white with a grayish color when cooked. However, this recipe includes a few options for you to get that characteristic purple color if you’d like!
Milk Tea and Bubble Tea
- Milk tea refers to a drink with milk combined with tea. Boba and toppings aren’t always incorporated.
- Boba tea and bubble tea often refer to the same thing. Bubble tea often has milk but it also has chewy tapioca balls or jelly added to it.
Today we’re using simple ingredients for this fresh taro milk tea. Most of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store, Asian market, or can be ordered online.
- Fresh Taro: taro is a starchy root vegetable similar in texture to a potato
- Taro Powder: alternatively, you can use your taro powder of choice! The one I’ve linked is actually a purple sweet potato and taro root powder that’s vegan friendly (most taro powders have dairy). The purple sweet potato provides a beautiful purple color without artificial dyes!
- Brown Sugar & White Sugar: to make the simple syrup and taro paste
- Almond Milk or Oat Milk: these two milks enhance the nutty flavor of the taro root, but you can use any milk you’d like
- Black or Green Tea: this is optional, if you’d like tea/caffeine in drink
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: I’m using sweetened condensed coconut milk to make this recipe dairy free
Where to find taro root
My local grocery store carries baby taro root in the section with the tropical fruits (next to the coconut and tamarind pods).
If your grocery store doesn’t carry taro, most local Asian markets will! They should have both baby taro root and normal taro.
Either will work in this recipe, but you only need about 100g (2-3 small taro roots). So if buying the normal, larger taro root, you’ll have some extra. No problem though! It just means you can make lots of taro tea 🙂 .
Substitutions & Add-ins
- Purple Sweet Potato: sub in half of the taro for cooked purple sweet potato (ube) for a natural purple color.
- Alternative Sweetener: use maple syrup or coconut sugar (or one of these sugar alternatives) in the taro paste for a slightly healthier alternative.
- Sugar-free: although I haven’t tried this, you could use Swerve Brown Sugar instead of the light brown sugar in the boba syrup.
- Different pearls: this recipe uses quick cooking black sugar tapioca pearls, however, you could sub in your favorite type of boba instead. Just be sure to follow the cooking instructions on your package!
- Small saucepan: to make the brown sugar boba and to boil the taro
- Blender: to create a super smooth, creamy texture
- Metal Sieve: to strain any large chunks of taro
*Video tutorial is in the recipe card below!*
Homemade fresh taro paste
Below are the instructions to make fresh taro paste. If you’re using taro powder, you can skip this step!
STEP 1: Peel and cube the taro root. Smaller chunks will cook faster.
STEP 2: Place the taro in water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes or until fork tender.
STEP 3: Strain the cooked taro and place in a medium sized bowl. Add the sugar and mash into a smooth paste with a fork or potato masher. There should be no lumps.
to make the homemade boba
STEP 4: Bring water to a boil over medium heat. Add the tapioca pearls and cook covered for 3 minutes. Then turn off the heat and cook them in the hot water for another 3 minutes.
STEP 5: Make the brown sugar syrup.
STEP 6: Strain the cooked tapioca balls. Add them to the brown sugar syrup.
TIP: to cool the boba down faster, place the heat proof glass in cold water or an ice bath.
How to Serve the Milk Tea
STEP 7: In a blender, combine a cup of milk, sweetened condensed coconut milk, 2-3 tbsp of the taro paste (or up to 6 tbsp for a smoothie consistency), and the tea. You can also add ice to create a frappe texture. Blend until smooth. If using taro powder, add 2-3 tbsp of the powder instead of the taro paste.
STEP 8: Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of prepared brown sugar boba in the bottom of a glass.
STEP 9: Top the boba with a handful of ice. Add as much or as little ice as you’d like.
STEP 10: Pour the taro milk on top. Serve with a large bubble tea straw.
TIP: To make a purple color, add in purple sweet potato powder or purple food coloring.
The brown sugar boba should be consumed within 1-2 hours. If they sit in the syrup too long, the boba will become too soft.
NOTE: If the boba pearls are left in the cold taro tea for too long, they’ll firm up and become too chewy.
The taro paste can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5-7 days. Be sure to keep the taro paste sealed well in the fridge. Because the taste of fresh taro is mild, it can easily absorb other flavors and smells in your fridge.
Tips and Tricks
- To get a beautiful purple color: use purple sweet potato powder or this taro powder, cooked purple sweet potatoes, or purple food coloring. This isn’t traditional, but you could even try adding 2-3 frozen blueberries. Be careful not to add too many though, since you don’t want the blueberry flavor.
- Fresh Boba Pearls: bubble tea is best when served with freshly made boba. Fresh boba has the best soft yet chewy texture.
- Good Quality Tea: use a high quality loose leaf tea and don’t over-steep it for the best flavor.
- Adjust the sweetness to your liking: add in more sweetened condensed milk if you prefer a sweeter milk tea.
- Consistency: the more taro you add, the thicker the bubble tea will be. If you prefer a smoothie consistency, use up to 6 tbsp of taro paste.
Taro Bubble Tea FAQ
Taro Milk Tea from most bubble tea shops does contain dairy. Some shops use dairy free ingredients. This homemade recipe is completely dairy free, however you could use dairy ingredients if you prefer.
Taro milk tea from bubble tea shops is made with taro root powder that is mixed with either artificial or natural coloring. Real taro root is grayish in color when cooked.
Taro has a very mild nutty taste. When mixed with sugar it is sweet and it has an earthy, starchy texture. Raw taro, when peeled, is a bit slimy because of the starches. This article has an in depth explanation on the taste of taro.
Taro Milk Bubble Tea can be made with or without tea. Jasmine or oolong tea would go well with the taro flavor.
More Yummy Drink recipes:
- Creamy Butterscotch Milkshake
- Brown Sugar Pumpkin Spice Shaken Espresso
- Oreo Bubble Milk Tea
- Oat Milk Matcha Latte
- Strawberry Latte
- Coffee Milk Tea with Boba
- Strawberry Bubble Tea
Did you make this taro milk tea recipe with real taro paste?
I’d love to know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating and comment below!
For Taro Paste:
- 100g taro, peeled and cubed, about 2 small taro roots (about 3/4 of a cup)
- 2 tsp granulated cane sugar
For Taro Powder:
- 2-3 tbsp taro powder of choice, the one I've linked is vegan
Brown Sugar Boba:
- ½ cup black sugar tapioca pearls
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 cups of milk of choice, I like to use Oat Milk or Almond Milk
- 3-4 tbsp sweetened condensed coconut milk, I used Nature’s Charm
- Handful of Ice to Serve
- ½ cup black or jasmine green tea
- 2-3 drops purple food coloring or 2-3 tsp purple sweet potato powder
- Video tutorial is above the recipe card and below the note's section!
- The ingredients above make 2 servings.
To Make the Homemade Taro Paste
Skip this step if using taro powder.
- Peel and cube the taro root.
- Place the taro in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Boil the taro for about 20 minutes or until fork tender.
- Strain the cooked taro and place in a medium sized bowl. Add the sugar and mash in to a smooth paste with a fork or potato masher. There should be no lumps
To Make the Brown Sugar Boba
Learn how to make homemade tapioca pearls here!
- Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the tapioca pearls once boiling, cover the pot, and cook for 3 minutes. Then, turn off the heat, and remove the pot from the burner and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- While the tapioca pearls cook, make the brown sugar syrup.
- Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 2 tbsp water to a small pot. Bring to a simmer and whisk continuously. Simmer the mixture for 1-2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, pour into a heat proof bowl or glass and set aside until the tapioca pearls are cooked.
- Strain the cooked tapioca pearls. Add them to the brown sugar syrup. Tip: to cool the boba down faster, place the heat proof glass in an ice bath.
To Make the Milk Tea
- In a blender, combine 1 cup milk of choice (I use Almond or Oat), the sweetened condensed coconut milk, 2-3 tbsp of the taro paste or taro powder, and 1/4 cup of the tea, if using. Blend until smooth. You can use up to 6 tbsp of taro paste for a smoothie consistency.
- To make a purple color, add one of the options listed above and blend to combine.
- Optional: strain the milk tea in a metal sieve to remove any small pieces of taro.
- Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of prepared brown sugar boba in the bottom of a glass. Top the boba with a handful of ice.
- Pour the taro milk on top. Serve with a large bubble tea straw.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 232
Nutritional info is an estimate.
Want to Save this Recipe for Later? Pin it to Pinterest!
Disclosure: This page contains some affiliate links. Please know that I may receive a percentage or commission from a link included on this page, at no cost to you. I will only recommend a product or service that I have used or believe has substantial value to my readers.