Tiger Milk Tea


Tiger milk tea originated in Asia but has become popular in the United States. The tea is beautiful in appearance as well as delicious in flavor. We’ll show you how to make it at home.

tiger milk tea
tiger milk tea

Tiger Milk Tea: Classic Brown Sugar Boba Recipe

Whether your desire is for classic brown sugar boba or Tiger Milk Tea: Homemade Brown Sugar Bubble Tea, you’re in for a treat!

Introduction to Tiger Milk Tea

If you’ve never tried bubble tea, this is your opportunity. This Taiwan traditional tea is wonderfully tasty and beautiful in appearance.

What is Tiger Milk Tea?

Tiger milk tea gets its name from the beautiful stripes the thick brown sugar syrup produces on the inside of the glass. It’s deliciously sweet and tasty. 

Tiger Milk Tea vs Brown Sugar Milk Tea

Tiger milk tea and brown sugar milk tea are basically the same thing. They’re both made with tea, milk, and sugar.

Taiwan milk tea with bubble
Taiwan milk tea with bubble on wood table

However, the difference comes into play in the kind of sugar that’s used. Tiger milk tea is made with a thicker syrup that coats the inside of the cup. It uses muscovado sugar.

On the other hand, brown sugar milk tea uses brown sugar and doesn’t stick to the side of the glass in the same manner.

Why This is the Best Tiger Milk Tea Recipe

This recipe simply is one of the best. It has ingredients that will give you wonderful and rich results, as well as flavor that’s excellent.

We’ve included all the details you’ll need to make a professional café like visual appearance.

Other Names for Tiger Milk Tea

You’ll be interested in knowing there are many names for this tea. We’ve listed some of the more popular ones below.

tiger boba tea

brown sugar pearl milk tea

black tiger milk tea

black sugar bubble tea

green tiger milk tea

dirty boba

mud flip tea

tiger sugar milk tea

black bubble tea

pearl bubble tea

tiger milk boba

tiger boba latte

tiger milk bubble tea

Taiwan milk tea with bubble
Taiwan milk tea with bubble on wood table

What Does Tiger Milk Tea Taste Like?

Rich iced milk tea with caramelized flavor that’s sweet, coupled with chewy tapioca pearls. It’s delicious and is loved my many.

Tiger Milk Tea Ingredients

2 bags black tea

1 cup muscovado sugar

1 ½ cup whole milk

Tapioca pearls / Boba

Yields 1-2 servings

How To Make Tiger Milk Tea

Follow along below for our step-by-step preparation.

Taiwan milk tea with bubble
Taiwan milk tea with bubble on wood table

Procedure: How to Make Tiger Milk Tea?

Interested in learning how to make delicious tiger milk tea? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll take you through our detailed instructions.

Step 1 Brewing the Tea

Bring the milk to a boil and add 2 black tea bags. You can use loose leaf tea if preferred. Allow the tea to steep for 3-5 minutes.

Remove the tea leaves or tea bags and add the tea to your shaker. Add a few ice cubes if desired and shake until the tea becomes freezing.  

Step 2 Cooking Tapioca Pearls/ Boba

Here’s how to prepare tapioca pearls from scratch.

Boil the water making sure that you use 7 parts water for 1 part tapioca. 

Add the tapioca pearls into the boiling water.

Gently stir to keep them from sticking together. Cover the pot and maintain the temperature for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Drain any water and rinse with cold water. Set aside until ready to add brown sugar syrup.

milk tea boba
milk tea boba

Step 3 Making Syrup for Black Tiger Boba

Your goal is to create a very thick brown sugar syrup so that you can achieve the tiger stripes on the inner cup.

To make brown sugar syrup from scratch, add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of muscovado sugar and bring to a boil.

Reduce and let simmer, stirring occasionally a thick molasses like consistency is achieved. Set aside and let cool.

Step 4 Assemble Brown Sugar Boba Tea

Now you’re ready to put your beautiful tea together.

Begin by using a clear glass and add as many tapioca pearls or boba as you’d like.

Add the brown sugar syrup by lining the cups with it and creating streaks down the sides of the glass.

The final step is to gently add the cold milk tea to the glass, and enjoy. 

You Need to Instagram Your Milk Tea Quickly

If your milk tea is social media worthy, you’ll want to snap a shot quickly to post. Your drink’s tiger stripes will quickly disappear as they dissolve into the milk.

How to Get Stripes in Your Tiger Boba That Last?

Add the brown sugar soaked boba and let it slide down sides of glass. Let the glass with only boba sit for about 2 minutes.

This will allow it to rest and adhere to the sides of the glass for a bit before adding the milk tea. Once the milk tea is added, the tiger stripes will begin to dissolve.

tiger milk tea boba
tiger milk tea boba

Pro Tips for Making Brown Sugar Boba Tea Recipe That Will Have You Wanting More

Following are some tips for how to make this recipe like a pro, that will have you and your guests wanting more.

Cook tapioca pearls right before assembling. Prepare your tapioca pearls or boba right before assembling the tea. If they’re left to sit around, they become hard and aren’t good.

Syrup should be thick. For the best results, use brown sugar syrup that’s thick. This will give you the best and longest lasting tiger stripes on the sides of your glass.

Water temperature. Your water temperature for making the tea should be about 212 F degrees, for the best results.

Vegan alternative. Is it possible to make this recipe vegan? Yes, by all means just use your favorite plant-based milk in place of cow’s milk.

Storage for boba. We don’t recommend storing your brown sugar boba, as the boba gets starchy and turns hard. For the best outcome, prepare it right before assembling your tea.

Other Bubble Tea Recipes:

Strawberry Milk Tea
Taro Milk Tea
Hokkaido Milk Tea

Where to Get Tiger Milk Tea

You can buy it readily available in Asian grocery stores. Or, we recommend making it at home for delicious and tasty results.

Taiwan milk tea with bubble
Taiwan milk tea with bubble on wood table

How to Serve Tiger Milk Tea

The best way to serve the tea is in a clear glass so that the stripes made from the brown sugar syrup can be seen down the sides of the glass.

We also recommend serving your milk tea with a wide mouth straw that’s perfect for consuming bubble tea. This will allow the tapioca pearls of boba to move up the straw without getting stuck.

Top Variations to Try

Once you’ve got it down, you might like to try some of these flavor variations for making your glass of tea unique.

Caramel topping. Try adding a caramel topping to your finished glass of milk tea.

Use sweet brown sugar. Though the recipe calls for muscovado sugar, you can. Try using sweet brown sugar as it will change the consistency and flavor.

Kinds of tea. We recommend trying black tea first, but if you’re adventurous, you might also enjoy trying matcha tea or another tea blend of your preference. 

Add another topping. Try adding coffee jelly or another flavor of jelly of your choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to tiger milk tea. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us using the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.

What is the history of tiger milk tea?

The tea originated in Taiwan in about 2010. It was made popular by Ming Tsung Tang who combined brown sugar syrup with milk tea and served it with boba.

It got its name from the tiger like stripes that appear from the brown sugar boba being slid down the sides of the glass.

Taiwan milk tea with bubble
Taiwan milk tea with bubble on wood table

Why did my boba get hard?

We don’t recommend letting boba sit around for long after it’s cooked. If you do, it can potentially turn hard because it thickens on cooling and it not so desirable.

Can I refrigerate the bubble tea?

We don’t recommend refrigerating bubble tea for storage and consumption later on because it tends to not be as good.

The tapioca pearls will turn hard and not be as delicious. It’s best if served as soon as it’s assembled.

What is muscovado sugar? And what can I use to substitute it?

Muscovado sugar is a dark brown sugar that is partially refined with a significant molasses content and flavor.

Substitutes for muscovado sugar include, panela, rapadela, kokuto, jaggery, and sucanat.

What does Tiger Milk Tea taste like?

It tastes like sweet, caramelized tea, has a sweet flavor that’s rich and deep in flavor.

What is Tiger Milk made of?

Our recipe calls for black tea, muscovado sugar, whole milk, and tapioca pearls or boba.

Does Tiger Milk Tea have caffeine?

Whether it contains caffeine or not will depend on the ingredients used to make it.

Some make it with no tea and if this is the case, despite its name and as a result doesn’t contain any caffeine. When made with black tea, it does contain caffeine.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

Yes, just use your favorite vegan friendly substitutes to make it.

How many calories are in Tiger Milk Tea?

The calories that are in this milk tea depends on the ingredients used to make it.  We estimate that our recipe above has approximately 940 calories per serving.

Is Tiger Milk Tea healthy?

Whether it’s healthy depends on your personal stipulations for being healthy. We’ll point out that it tends to be rich because of the milk content and it has a lot of sugar.

Who Invented Tiger Milk Tea?

It is thought to have been invented by Ming Tsung Tang. It was first invented as a drink to serve alongside other sweets.

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tiger milk tea Pinterest Pin
tiger milk tea Pinterest Pin

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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