Brown sugar milk tea is perhaps the most popular flavored milk tea on the market. That’s not surprising, either. This beverage is sure to satisfy your cravings with its many layers of flavors. At first sip, you will discover the magic that awaits you as soon as the pearls touch your lips. 

If you’re looking for a refreshingly sweet drink while spending time with your loved ones, try our brown sugar boba milk tea recipe and delight them with this sweet goodness. 

What is Brown Sugar Milk Tea?

brown sugar milk tea on the table with tapioca pearls

Brown sugar milk tea is a popular sweet beverage from Taiwan that has become a craze all over the world. In Taiwan, this drink is most commonly referred to as bubble or boba tea. There are various ways to prepare this drink, but the most common is serving it over ice with boba pearls. 

The main base of this drink is the black tapioca pearls at the bottom of the glass. It’s often created with various mixes of tea, syrups, jellies, and even herbs. The pearls are made from cassava roots, combined with brown sugar. It’s best enjoyed using a wide straw that allows you to drink the gelatinous tapioca pearls along with the refreshing blend of brown sugar, tea, and milk. 

You might be asking yourself, What is brown sugar milk tea made of? This drink only has five main ingredients: black tea, milk, tapioca pearls, ice and, of course, brown sugar. We will discuss these in detail later on. 

If you go to Taiwan, you’ll notice that their version of brown sugar milk tea is unlike the ones in most tea shops. Most shops in Taiwan pay particular attention to the ingredients they use. They’re also more inclined to use traditional recipes with ingredients they make from scratch. 

Most tea shops today use pre-made ingredients, consisting of flavored syrup, starchy tapioca pearls, and tea powder. Tea shops in most urban areas will readily serve brown sugar milk tea even before you complete the transaction. 

An authentic brown sugar milk tea has freshly brewed tea, fresh milk, newly cooked brown sugar, and tapioca pearls. Quick-serve brown sugar milk tea typically has no tea, packaged tapioca pearls (stored in water), and brown sugar-flavored syrup. 

If you want authentic brown sugar milk tea, it’s best to create the milk on your own. If you’re unsure how to do it, don’t worry; we will guide you through the process. 

What Does Brown Sugar Milk Tea Taste Like?

brown sugar milk tea splashing

You might think that brown sugar milk tea tastes like brown sugar with milk. Once you make it on your own, however, you will notice it’s much different. It’s sweet, yes, but it also has the wonderful richness of milk, the bold flavor of tea, the sweetness of brown sugar, and the chewy goodness of tapioca pearls, all rolled into an exciting, refreshing drink. You can say that it’s bursting with flavor! You can think of it as having a slice of sweet cake, but as a drink. 

It’s important to note that you can control the level of sweetness of your brown sugar milk tea. Most tea shops will allow you to choose the sugar level, which can be any of the following:

  • 100% = the sweetest you can get
  • 70% = sweet like cake
  • 50% = sweet
  • 30% = not overpowering sweetness
  • 0% = zero sugar

Brown Sugar Milk Tea Benefits

Another question you may have about brown sugar milk tea is its health benefits. Is brown sugar milk tea unhealthy? Boba teas, in general, have high levels of carbohydrates, sugar, fat, and protein. It is packed with calories! Because of that, it’s best to enjoy it in moderation. 

Most of the benefits come from the tea content (provided that you’re using real tea). Brown sugar milk tea’s benefits would mostly be limited to satisfying a sweet craving. What we’ll detail here are the benefits of tea in general.

Tea is a beverage that can be made from the leaves of a plant. Tea has been consumed for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until recently that science started to explore and understand the health benefits of tea. Many studies have shown that drinking tea regularly has many positive effects on the body and mind!

Lowers Risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s

Tea is rich in antioxidants, which help prevent free radicals from damaging cells. Free radicals are molecules that have an unpaired electron and can cause damage to your body’s cells and tissue. Antioxidants neutralize free-radical damage by donating their electrons to them, thus reducing their harmful effects on your body.

Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant found in tea that helps protect against neurological disorders, like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other brain disorders, such as stroke or a traumatic head injury.

Reduces High Blood Pressure

Tea is a great way to reduce high blood pressure, which is one of the leading causes of heart disease. Studies have shown that tea can help lower your chances of developing high blood pressure by as much as 50%! The antioxidants and bioflavonoids in tea are responsible for this effect. 

Caffeine also plays an important role in lowering your risk for hypertension. It relaxes the arteries and reduces stress on them. The combination of these three things makes tea more effective than other beverages at preventing chronic diseases, like diabetes or stroke. That’s why it’s considered one of today’s best health drinks!

Boosts the Immune System

Tea is good for your immune system. It can help fight colds and flu, infections, cancer, and heart disease.

Tea is loaded with antioxidants that help prevent cell damage in your body. Antioxidants protect cells from free radicals and products you put in your body, like pesticides or pollution (e.g. smoke). 

Research suggests that drinking green tea twice a day may reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as type-2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and coronary artery disease. They do so by reducing oxidative stress on endothelial cells – the main component of blood vessels – and lowering LDL cholesterol levels while increasing HDL cholesterol levels, all key factors involved in preventing heart disease!

Improves Bone Health

Tea contains fluoride, which is good for bone health. Fluoride helps to absorb calcium and other minerals from the water that you drink, so it’s important to get this mineral from food sources, too.

The polyphenols in tea may also help prevent bone loss by improving your body’s ability to use vitamin D3, which is needed for healthy bones.

Better Skin Health

Tea contains antioxidants, which are good for your skin. Antioxidants help prevent the formation of free radicals in the body and keep you looking young.

Tea can be used as an effective treatment for acne, as well as other skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis. The antioxidants in tea have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to the capillaries that supply oxygen-rich blood to damaged skin cells, reducing redness and swelling caused by breakouts or rashes.

Helps in Weight Loss

Tea is a good source of antioxidants, which also help in weight loss. The caffeine in tea also helps you lose weight by reducing your appetite and making you feel less hungry throughout the day.

It can be used as a natural diuretic because it increases urination and reduces water retention in the body. This means you will lose more weight than usual when you drink herbal teas, like green tea or oolong tea regularly!

Brown Sugar Milk Tea Ingredients

brown sugar on a spoon above a bottle

Yield: 2 cups

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Here’s what you need:

  • Brown sugar (2 tablespoons): You can also use honey or other sweetener alternatives. 
  • Full-cream milk (2 cups): Adding milk will enhance the flavors. Make sure to add warm milk so it won’t curdle. 
  • Black tea (4 tea bags or 4 teaspoons of loose leaf): The longer you steep the tea, the more concentrated your cup will be. 
  • Tapioca pearls (½ cup or 4 tablespoons): If you want to cook faster, use pre-packed tapioca pearls. 
  • Ice (as preferred): You can enjoy the brown sugar milk tea hot or cold, but it’s best consumed cold. 

How to Make Brown Sugar Milk Tea

Here’s our homemade brown sugar milk tea recipe you should follow:

  1. Infuse the tea.

Bring the water to a boil. Once it starts boiling, remove it from the stove. Put in the tea bags or loose-leaf tea. If you have a tea infuser, you can place the tea leaves inside and drop them in the hot water. Let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes before removing the tea bag, tea leaves, or tea infuser. 

  1. Cook the tapioca pearls.

If you choose to have pre-packed tapioca pearls, you can follow the package’s instructions. Don’t overcook them. Boil the pearls until they float to the surface. Add sweetness by adding sugar syrup (reduced sugar in water) and allowing it to caramelize. 

  1. Assemble your brown sugar milk tea.

Place the tapioca pearls at the bottom of a glass. Coat the glass with the brown sugar syrup to make it a tiger sugar milk tea. Fill the glass with ice. Add the tea then pour the warm milk into the glass. Stir before drinking. 


Is boba tea Halal or Haram?

Most boba teas are Halal. Many may be wary of consuming boba tea products because they think tapioca pearls are made of gelatin. Tapioca pearls come from the cassava root, a tuber. It’s often sold as popular pearls, flakes, and as flour. 

Which is bigger – boba or pearl?

Their size really depends on what you choose to use for your drink. These nomenclatures have adopted the boba as the bigger version, and the tapioca pearls are the smaller ones that typically fit a regular straw.