Are you looking for a unique yet superbly delicious bubble tea recipe that would get high approval rating from your loved ones? If yes, then this lychee boba tea recipe would surely surprise them! 

This lychee bubble tea recipe is so easy to make at home. It doesn’t require many ingredients, and you don’t have to spend too much prep time on it! Once you have all the ingredients ready, you can serve this ultra-refreshing drink in no time! Are you ready? 

Let’s start with some interesting facts about lychee bubble tea. 

What is a Lychee Bubble Tea? 

milk tea with a bowl of boba pearls and a wooden chopping board in the background

Lychee bubble tea is a variation of your usual bubble tea drink, made even more special with its main ingredient – the lychee!

Lychee is a tropical fruit characterized by its one-of-a-kind appearance and taste. This fruit is native to China but has been well-cultivated in many warm areas of the US. 

When we say unique appearance, it’s because this fruit is truly like no other you’ve seen before. It’s sometimes referred to as the alligator strawberry because of its similarity with the strawberry fruit, but with a bumpy outer skin.  

But did you know that beneath its not-so-appealing outer skin is a luscious flesh bearing a fragrant smell with floral notes? Yes, this sweet fruit is often used as an ingredient in fruit salads, cocktails, desserts, smoothies – and, yes, bubble teas. 

What Does Lychee Boba Tea Taste Like?

Just like how we described the lychee fruit, the lychee milk tea will carry the fruit’s sweet and fragrant flavor. Some will say lychee tastes like a wonderful blend of citrus and floral note, like rose water. Others describe the taste as a cross between watermelon and strawberry. 

Mixed with tea, the taste will have a depth that would rouse your senses. The milk will give it a smoothness that highlights its creaminess. The boba balls will then give it that texture that makes the drink extremely exciting to consume on a hot day. 

You can compare the lychee boba flavor to that of a sweet grape-like taste, but it will give your senses more excitement because of its addictive scent. 

Lychee Bubble Tea Benefits

peeled and unpeeled lychees in a wooden serving plate on  a stone background

Did you know that lychee bubble tea provides more than refreshment on a hot, sunny day? Yes, lychee boba tea has benefits, too! Here are some of them:

Energy Booster

The presence of the tea will give you that caffeine kick to keep your body energized for the rest of the day. The caffeine level of your bubble tea will depend on how long you steep your tea (more on this later). If you’re feeling sluggish on your way to work, you can have this lychee bubble tea for breakfast.

Immune Protection

Black tea, the recommended base for your lychee bubble tea, has high levels of antioxidants that improve your immunity. They help fight free radicals that cause chronic diseases. 

Blood Sugar Regulation

Many may argue that lychee bubble tea may contain high levels of sugar. However, sugar can be an optional ingredient when you prepare one at home. Why? Lychee has a naturally sweet flavor. The sweetness you’ll get comes from natural sweeteners. For diabetic individuals, this tea can be consumed in moderation. 

Weight Management

If you need something to control your weight, lychee bubble tea is a good choice. It has enough caffeine to keep your energy levels up before and during a workout session. 

Bone Protection

Studies have found that drinking tea can help prevent the incidence of osteoporosis. It’s proven to have bone protection properties. When mixed with the sweetness of lychee, it’s the perfect beverage for regular consumption. 

Lychee Bubble Tea Ingredients

boba pearls in white bowls

What is lychee boba tea made of? Here’s what you need to prepare for a homemade lychee bubble tea:

Yield: 2 glasses

Preparation Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Cooking Time (tapioca pearl): 20 to 30 minutes

Here’s what you need: 

  • Fresh Lychee Fruit (8-10 pcs): You can buy canned lychee fruit doused in syrup in the supermarket. However, if you want to get the authentic taste and scented flavor that lychee is famous for, buy fresh fruits instead. For maximum sweetness, get ripe lychees. You’ll know they’re ripe when the skin is pinkish or reddish. They’re also firm to the touch. 
  • Black Tea (2 bags or 2 tsp of leaves): Using black tea will make the lychee flavor stand out. However, you can also use another tea base, like green tea. Remember that the longer you steep your tea, the more concentrated it will be. 
  • Milk (1 cup): Milk gives smoothness to your lychee boba tea. It also highlights the sweet notes of the fruit while balancing the taste of the tea. You’re free to use full-cream milk. Using almond milk (made from scratch, too) will make a healthy treat that you can’t resist!
  • Sugar (4 tbsps): For the lychee milk tea itself, adding sugar is optional because lychee fruit already has its natural sweetness. However, if you want to add a little sweetness to complement your boba pearls, you’d need sugar to make the sugar syrup by mixing water and sugar in a 1:1 ratio. Allow it to boil until it’s reduced to syrup. 
  • Tapioca Pearls (½ cup): Complete the boba experience by adding tapioca pearls to your lychee bubble tea. You can either buy quick-cook tapioca pearls or you can create them from scratch. Check our recipe here.
  • Ice Cubes: Make your drink super refreshing by adding ice!

How to Make Lychee Bubble Tea

woman making hot drinks

How do you make lychee tea more appetizing? Make it a lychee bubble tea! Ready for your homemade lychee bubble tea? Let’s start!

Step 1: Infuse the black tea.

Get your black tea bags and infuse them in boiling water. The steeping time will determine the caffeine level of your tea. If you want to get the right amount, infusing the tea bags or tea leaves for up to three minutes is enough to get that tea flavor oozing. However, if you want to kick it up a notch, steep it until five minutes. 

Avoid over-steeping since it may bring out the tannins that will make your tea taste bitter. You can use more tea leaves with less water to also get the strong tea flavor. 

Step 2: Prepare the boba pearls.

While waiting for the tea flavors to come out, you can start cooking your tapioca pearls. For quick-cook tapioca pearls, follow package instructions. But if you prefer to make tapioca pearls from scratch, you can follow our recipe here.

Boil the tapioca pearls in water. Make sure your water covers the tapioca pearls so they can cook evenly. Once the bobas start floating, you can turn off the heat and drain the water. Wash them with cold water so they remain chewy. The heat from the boiling water will continue to cook the pearls, making it mushy. 

Step 3: Prepare the lychee compote.

Set aside the boba pearls and allow it to cool. If you’re using canned lychee, drain the syrup and set it aside. If you’re using fresh lychee fruits, you need to prepare the fruit for blending.

  • Peel the lychees. It’s easy to remove the skin from the fruit, especially if it’s ripe enough. 
  • Make a small cut on the lychee, enough to remove the seed from the fruit. 
  • Once the seed is out of the way, you can start cutting the lychee into cubes for blending. Note that the seed will have an inner lining that will remain after removing the seed. You can try stripping this off, but it’s okay to leave it as it is.  It won’t affect the taste of the lychee.
  • Blend the lychee with milk and water. 
  • Set it aside as you assemble the lychee bubble tea.

Note: Lychee fruits don’t continue to ripen when left after you pick them off. However, allowing them to sit on your counter for too long will make the fruit soft and less springy to the touch. 

Step 4: Assemble the lychee bubble tea 

Now that you have everything ready, it’s time to assemble your lychee bubble tea. Here’s how:

  • Put the cooked tapioca pearls mixed with sugar syrup at the bottom. 
  • Add your steeped tea.
  • Pour the lychee compote.
  • Top it off with fresh lychee bits
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can refrigerate pre-mixed lychee compote for up to three days. Make sure to store it in the deeper part of your refrigerator so it stays chilled. It’s perfect to prepare a night before going to work so you can be energized. 
  • If the lychee compote has cooked boba, it’s best to consume it within an hour. Cooked boba pearls will disintegrate and turn mushy. 

FAQs

What is the jelly in boba?

The jelly in boba is not gelatin. These gelatinous sinkers can be coconut meat, a vegetable by-product, or konjac. If you’re not familiar with konjac, it’s a starchy corm known for its high fiber content. The most common jelly used as a sinker would be the coconut meat. 

Is it ok to drink boba once a week?

Yes, drinking boba once a week should be okay. Consuming too much can cause health issues, such as constipation, dehydration, and even high blood sugar. If you need to consume more, shift to healthy fruit flavors. 

What is the healthiest boba tea?

Boba teas may have earned a reputation for being an unhealthy drink, primarily because of its sugar content. However, zero-calorie bubble teas are also available. Plus, you can also have a zero percent sugar level, especially if your fruit flavoring is sweet enough. The healthiest would probably be a matcha bubble tea. It’s packed with nutrients to help boost your immunity and keep your calories in check.