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Make your own iced boba tea at home! This homemade chocolate milk tea recipe is irresistibly rich with plenty of sweet chocolate flavor. It’s easy to make, ready in 10 minutes, and budget-friendly too!
If you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for bubble tea drinks. The combination of sweet iced tea, creamy milk, and chewy boba pearls is so delicious! Fruit-based drinks are the most common, but I never overlook chocolate bubble tea. It’s decadent but refreshing all at the same time.
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Despite its name, chocolate boba tea doesn’t typically contain tea. It’s a mixture of chocolate syrup or cocoa powder, milk, sweetener, and tapioca pearls. I’ve been making my own boba tea at home, and to say I’m obsessed is an understatement. It’s just as tasty as a milk tea shop, but way more affordable!
For this version, I use hot chocolate powder because it’s easy and I always have it on hand. Enjoy this chocolate boba tea recipe with a lofty dollop of whipped cream and mini chocolate chips. It’s the perfect quick dessert that everyone will love!
👩🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Homemade chocolate bubble tea is budget-friendly!
- Super easy to make
- Ready in 10 minutes!
- Rich chocolate taste
- Refreshing ice cold drink
- Kid friendly
- Easily made vegan, naturally gluten free!
- Makes a good light dessert
Chocolate milk tea with boba requires only five ingredients, plus ice!
- Tapioca Pearls: Also known as fresh boba pearls, these tapioca balls are made from tapioca starch. They have a mild, sweet flavor and offer a nice surprise at the bottom of the glass. You can find them at your local Asian grocery store or purchase them online.
- Maple Syrup: To sweeten the boba balls. Brown sugar works great too. The pearls aren’t very sweet, so it’s important to add a bit of sweetener to make a syrup.
- Hot Chocolate Powder: Hot chocolate mix is a simple way to add chocolate flavor. Since chocolate is the main ingredient, it’s best to purchase a brand you know and love! Make sure you get hot chocolate mix, and not just unsweetened cocoa powder (unless you like a super dark chocolate flavor). I like Ghirardelli hot cocoa mix, but any brand will work.
- Milk: I have made this drink with both unsweetened almond milk and low-fat milk, but any plant-based or dairy milk works great.
- Water: Hot water dissolves the hot chocolate powder so it’s smooth once you pour it over ice.
- Ice Cubes: Use plenty of ice for a chilled chocolate tea. Or refrigerate the chocolate mixture a few minutes before assembling. Warm bubble tea isn’t the best, so go heavy on the ice!
- Whipped Cream: Optional, but recommended! For a vegan-friendly option, use whipped coconut cream.
- Milk: Choose any milk you like. For a creamier drink, use whole milk or half and half. For a non-dairy version, use soy, cashew, oat milk, or almond milk instead.
- Tea: For tea lovers, heat the milk and steep a black tea bag in it. Follow the recipe as directed. This will boost the caffeine content a bit too.
- Sweetener: Feel free to sweeten your cocoa milk tea. Maple syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar, and honey are great options. If you want it to dissolve, add it to the boiling water and hot cocoa mix.
- Sugar Free Bubble Tea: Use a sugar free syrup instead of the maple syrup, a keto hot chocolate mix, and unsweetened almond milk!
- Gluten Free: Be sure to buy a gluten-free hot chocolate mix. Some mixes are prepared on shared equipment with wheat and other gluten-containing ingredients.
- Vegan: Look for a vegan brand of hot chocolate. Some brands have milk powder in them. Swap the low-fat milk for a plant-based milk.
- Hazelnut Chocolate Bubble Tea: To recreate hazelnut chocolate Chatime, swap the low fat milk with hazelnut milk. Sweeten with hazelnut syrup.
- Dark Chocolate Boba Tea: Swap the hot cocoa mix with a dark chocolate cocoa mix.
🔪 How To Make Chocolate Milk Tea
Cook Tapioca Pearls: Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add the tapioca pearls, then reduce the heat. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes.
Strain Boba: Strain the pearls, transfer to a small bowl, and stir in the maple syrup. Set aside.
Dissolve Cocoa Mix: In a small bowl, mix together the hot chocolate powder and boiling water. Stir until the powder dissolves.
Assemble: Divide the tapioca pearls and syrup between two tall glasses.
Add Chocolate: Divide the chocolate mixture and milk evenly between the two glasses.
Enjoy: Add plenty of ice and whipped cream. Serve immediately.
❓ Recipe FAQs
Milk tea is any tea-based drink with milk in it. It can refer to brewed tea with a splash of milk, tea lattes, or bubble tea drinks. In this recipe, milk tea refers to bubble tea, an iced beverage with black tea, sweetener, milk, and tapioca pearls.
No, typically chocolate bubble tea is a chocolate syrup or chocolate-based drink with milk and tapioca pearls. It doesn’t usually contain black tea, like other bubble tea recipes.
This chocolate boba tea recipe tastes like a creamy, iced hot chocolate with tapioca pearls on the bottom. It’s sweet, but not overly so.
It’s best to enjoy bubble tea immediately after its made! However, you can make the chocolate mixture and combine it with the milk ahead of time. Refrigerate the “chocolate tea” in an airtight container for up to three days, then cook the tapioca pearls and assemble right before you’re ready to serve!
💭 Expert Tips
- For best results, prepare the tapioca pearls right before you plan to use them. They lose their desired texture and stick together quickly.
- Use a jumbo or boba straw if you want to enjoy the tapioca pearls with the tea!
- To make this delicious drink ice cold, either refrigerate the chocolate mixture before assembling or use plenty of ice!
- Taste and adjust the sweetness as desired. If the drink isn’t sweet enough for you, stir in more maple syrup. Or reduce the sugar considerably using my sugar free variation above!
- If you don’t have hot cocoa mix, swap with unsweetened cocoa powder and sweeten with sugar.
- This drink is more like a dessert (think of it like a iced hot chocolate) than a healthy drink for breakfast or a snack. However, you can make it much healthier by reducing the sugar, using cocoa powder instead of hot chocolate mix, and/or using sugar free versions of the various sweeteners in this drink!
🧋 More Bubble Tea Recipes!
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📋 Recipe Card
🎥 Watch How to Make It
Chocolate Milk Tea
- ½ cup tapioca pearls
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp hot chocolate powder
- 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk or regular low fat milk
- ⅓ cup boiling water
- 1 cup ice cubes
- ¼ cup whipped cream, optional
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add the tapioca pearls reduce heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes.
- Strain the pearls, add to a small bowl and stir through the maple syrup. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl mix together the chocolate powder and boiling water, stir until powder has completely dissolved.
- Evenly divide the cooked tapioca pearls and syrup between two tall glasses.
- Pour over the chocolate mixture and divide the milk evenly between the glasses.
- Add ice to each glass and top with whipped cream if using.
- Serve immediately.
- To make this drink vegan friendly substitute the milk for any plant based milk and use whipped coconut cream instead of whipped cream.
- Any sweetener can be used to sweeten the Chocolate Milk Tea eg. sugar, coconut sugar, honey, sugar substitute.
- Using lots ice makes for a deliciously chilled chocolate milk tea.
- Prepare the tapioca pearls when needed rather than preparing in advance as they’re best served immediately.
- Nutritional info calculated using unsweetened almond milk and vegan whipped cream. If you use lowfat milk, each glass will have 10 more grams of sugar (from the lactose in the milk).
I was looking for a cold drink to make for my kids and this is perfect. They absolutely loved it and I loved it because I knew that all the ingredients are natural. Win-win.
Totally!! This is one of my kids’ favorite desserts too! 🙂
This is a great milk tea recipe. It was super easy and I love the flavor from the maple syrup and hot chocolate mix.
Thanks so much Jen! 🙂
This was my first attempt at bubble tea and it turned out delicious and was so easy! Thanks for all the tips!
Aw that’s great Cyndy! Glad you liked it!
Such a treat! This is my new favorite dessert beverage and the kids loved it too!
Woohoo! So happy to hear that Amy!
Nice! Sounds like the perfect treat after a long day!
Thanks Gina! It really is!