I love going into bubble tea shops and ordering a taro bubble milk tea, but making them at home from scratch is easy with this taro milk tea recipe! Firstly, you’ll need to make from scratch the best taro powder recipe out there, which can be useful in more recipes than just classic milk tea.
What is Taro?
Taro is a root plant that is derived from Colocasia Esculenta and is native to Southeast Asia, and therefore, can often be purchased in Asian stores worldwide that are selling food. It is mostly well-known for its bright purple color and has quickly become one of the world’s most popular ingredients, featured in boba shops all over.
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Fresh taro root is toxic when consumed raw and is a starchy root vegetable like the potato, but it has a vanilla and nutty flavor. Taro root powder, the main ingredient to taro tea, can be store bought or made at home with added extra sugar as sweetener for this purple drink.
There is folklore in Hawaiian culture that says taro played a part in the creation of the human race, but regardless of whether or not that is true, the beautiful purple color of the drink and taro flavor keeps people thirsty for delicious taro milk tea.
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For this recipe, you’ll just need 6 ingredients to make one of the best tasting bubble teas – and one of my favorites!
Jasmine green tea: I like using loose leaf, but a tea bag will work as well.
Taro powder: You can make this yourself or use store-bought taro powder. Just keep in mind that many store bought brands are sweetened.
Keep in mind: If you’re vegan or dairy-free, be aware that some store-bought brands may contain animal products or dairy. I like to use this brand, which is both gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
Water: You’ll need this for the jasmine tea.
Brown sugar: Used to sweeten your taro tea. This is optional if your store-bought taro tea already has sugar in it.
Tapioca balls: These are used to create the “bubbles” in the tea. They taste so good and are my favorite! Make sure you buy the quick-cook tapioca balls as regular tapioca can take a very long time to cook. I recommend this brand.
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Are Taro Teas Healthy?
Yes, taro boba tea can be good for you, especially when it’s made in your kitchen and you can control the recipe by choosing to add only a little bit of extra sugar and a non-dairy creamer!
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, fresh taro root alone has high levels of vitamins A, E, C, B6, folate, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper, as well as contains significant amounts of fiber and carbohydrates.
It improves digestive health, aids in the prevention of cancer, improves vision, helps prevent sudden spikes and plunges in blood sugar for people with diabetes, promotes cardiovascular health, improves overall skin health and more.
Since taro powder purchased at the grocery store often contains artificial taro powder, it is always the preferred method to prepare a taro powder recipe from home, which also ensures your favorite drinks will have a sweeter flavor you can achieve by using natural sweeteners like maple syrup that you can feel good about!
Often, myself and others at bubble tea shops love to add another tea to the milk and taro blend, such as jasmine tea, black tea or jasmine green tea, all of which have their own string of health benefits also.
Taro Powder Recipe
The need to cook the purple yam vegetables before dehydration and grinding them into a fine powder is due to the fact that, in order for the real taro root to be safe for human consumption, it has to be cooked first!
Whenever I’m itching to whip up some scrumptious, fresh taro milk tea, I bust into the taro powder I’ve typically got on hand because this taro powder recipe keeps in an airtight container for 6 months, or 1 year if kept frozen.
While there are many different ways to enjoy this purple sweet potato powder, such as in a taro smoothie or taro ice cream, I mostly come back to the taro milk bubble tea- it’s the perfect drink!
- Wash and pat dry the purple sweet potatoes and stab in a few spots with a fork.
- For the next step, instructions will tell you to bake them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a preheated oven at 475 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-60 minutes.
- Allow to cool to room temperature and then peel. Mash with a potato masher or fork until they’re spread out in a thin layer, still on the baking sheet.
- If your oven can not go as low at 113 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll need to use a dehydrator for this next step. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours until it breaks rather than bends.
- Once you’re 100% certain it’s dry, place the dried slices into an electric spice grinder and grind into a powder, and this easy step may need to be completed in batches.
- Sieve the purple potato powder, regrinding any large chunks you may find. Store and add to your favorite taro powder recipes.
How To Make Taro Boba Milk Tea
Making taro boba milk tea is my personal favorite taro powder recipe, and it’s such a simple recipe I even go ahead and use my shaker cup to mix the homemade powder with whatever fresh milk or non-dairy creamer I decide to use!
- Using a blender or a shaker cup, combine 3 tablespoons of your taro root powder, 3 tablespoons of whole milk, condensed milk, or a non dairy creamer like almond milk, 2 teaspoons of raw cane sugar, and 1 ¼ cups of water for a next level taro milk tea powder liquid.
- In a large cup, pour ½ cup of ice and add in your freshly made taro tea.
Tip: To add texture to this taro bubble tea recipe, feel free to stir in a spoonful or two of tapioca pearls or cooked boba pearls for a fun, purple taro pearl milk tea. Be sure to follow all cooking instructions for homemade and store-bought, chewy boba pearls or chewy tapioca balls, as either work for a chilled beverage using this taro powder recipe This goes for all other alternative recipes for fresh taro milk tea that include black tea, jasmine tea, and more.
Prepare Brown Sugar Syrup
One more option to add for a rich taro milk tea is this yummy brown sugar syrup, which is just as easy to make as the taro powder recipe. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together ½ cup water and two tablespoons of brown sugar until it has dissolved completely.
Simmer an additional 3-5 minutes for thickening, and make sure that the cooked boba pearls have been shocked under cold water prior to the next step. Toss the cooked boba in with this simple syrup and mix into your prepared taro milk tea powder drink.
If you’re also adding an additional tea, it must be prepared separately via a tea bag in hot water over high heat prior to being added to your taro bubble milk tea.
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Taro Milk Tea Recipe
Tapioca Pearls (Boba)
- ½ cup uncooked quick-cook tapioca pearls
- 5 cups water
Brown Sugar Syrup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp water
Cook the Tapioca Pearls
- Follow package instruction for cooking tapioca pearls. This should take 3-5 minutes.
- Once cooked, drain tapioca pearls immediately under cold water and set them aside in a bowl of cold water. This prevents them from sticking together. Leave them in the cold water until they are ready to be added into the brown sugar mixture.
Brown Sugar Syrup
- In a small saucepan, heat brown sugar and water over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
- Simmer for 3-5 minutes to thicken the mixture (it will thicken as it cools).
- Remove from heat and add the cooked, tapioca pearls to the brown sugar syrup mixture.
Steep Jasmine Tea
- Bring water to near boil in tea kettle on stove.
- Steep tea bag (or tea leaves) in hot water for 5 minutes.
- Remove tea leaves (or tea bag) and add taro powder and mix well. Set aside to cool.
Assemble Taro Milk Tea
- Make sure you're using tall glasses. Add in brown sugar and tapioca pearls mixture to the glass.
- Add the tea and then finally the milk.
- To infuse the boba with more flavor, let the tapioca pearls and brown sugar syrup mixture sit for about an hour for an incredible flavor.
- If you want to enjoy the boba milk tea iced, steep the tea first before doing any of the steps above in the recipe. This way, the tea has time to cool.
- Make sure you make the boba fresh as they will become hard as they chill. It’s best to consume the boba within 4 hours of making it.
- Serving warm tapioca pearls is the best way to serve your boba milk tea as they are the softest at this time and will taste the best. The longer you let them sit out, the harder they will become.
- To adjust the sweetness to your liking, add less or more of the brown sugar syrup – or omit it altogether if you’re using a store-bought brand of taro powder that is already sweetened.