Tiger milk tea: all about this amazing drink and 2 best ways to make it

If you love caramel taste, then this drink will definitely become your favorite! Tiger Milk Tea, which is also known as brown sugar boba tea, and black tiger milk, is in great demand. But at the same time, many people do not even know about its existence. This is the paradox.

Today I decided to write instructions on how to make tea with brown sugar or tea with tiger milk, what components it consists of, and what is exceptional in it, which is not found in other drinks. Well, let’s get started!

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What is black tiger milk? What are its exceptional features and how is it different from other milk teas?

If you are familiar with bean teas, then you are probably aware that there are a huge variety of these drinks. Black tiger milk or Tiger Milk Tea are one and the same – a kind of bubble tea.

The main feature of tiger milk tea boba is that you can observe incredible brown stripes when served in a transparent glass. They are formed due to the fact that a special brown sugar syrup is used in the recipe.

Despite prejudice, I want to reassure you – this drink is very easy to prepare at home. If you have children, you can invite them to participate in the process. I am sure that they will be interested in making a black sugar bubble tea with boba pearls.

Authentic tiger milk tea: a brief historical background

Recently, Asian dishes and drinks have become more and more popular in the world. And no wonder. Eastern culture is striking in its versatility and creativity.

Tiger Milk Tea was first discovered in Taiwan. It is worth noting that despite the name of the drink, the original recipe does not use tea as the main ingredient. Later versions of Tiger Milk Tea began adding black tea. In addition to tea, black tapioca pearls, dark brown sugar syrup, and fresh milk are needed to make the boba recipe.

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Initially, this milky drink was introduced along with the famous Taiwanese desserts Tang. The manufacturer company officially introduced it only in 2017. It so captivated the buyers that it became more popular and the experience of its creation was adopted by foreign culinary specialists.

This type of boba recipe is now very popular. I recommend you try it and tell us about your impressions. It not only looks amazing in a transparent glass, but also conquers with caramel taste.

Tea: is it in the composition of the ingredients or is it still not there?

Yes, that’s right, at the time of debut and for some time after, tiger milk tea boba was made without any added tea. But since then enough time has passed to make adjustments to the recipe. As a result, we have a popular recipe with the addition of tea. The most commonly used is black tea or green tea.

What is another name for tiger milk tea?

Yes, of course, you are more interested in the recipe itself and the features of this original drink, but you should definitely familiarize yourself with the name under which it can be found in various establishments.

Brown sugar boba tea and tiger milk boba tea are two names that occur about 70% of the time. But tiger milk tea has other variations. This drink is also available under the following name, which is important to know if you plan to place an order:

  1. New tiger milk bubble tea” – this is a reference to the fact that in modern variations tea is often added to this drink, although it was not originally provided for by the instructions.
  2. Brown sugar bubble tea” is another common name that you can find in this or that establishment.
  3. Black tiger milk tea” is a slightly poetic name that appeared in the common people due to the presence of dark stripes on the glass.
  4. Brown sugar pearl milk tea” – here we can see that right from the name we can understand what ingredients (black tapioca pearls, milk, dark brown sugar) are used to create this dried tiger stripe Tapit.
  5. Tiger bubble tea” – this name suggests to us that the drink contains bubbles characteristic of Asian culture, and, of course, the word “tiger” characterizes this drink and hints at the similarity of the drink with an incredibly formidable beast.
tiger sugar

The following are names that, if seen, indicate that the desired item has been located. With the addition of brown sugar syrup and spectacular drips in the glass, this is that incredible beverage.

What is tiger milk tea made from?

The benefits of tea have been discussed for a long time. Now we can move on to the basic components. You can get them in Asian markets or online.

  • Dark-colored tapioca or bubble pearls. This bubbly additive can be found in many popular bubble drinks. Black or dark brown pearls are used to make tiger milk tea. Incorporating black tea into your boba tea ritual has never been easier with these handy tools. This amazing feature sets this bean tea apart from the rest. The main attraction of Tiger Milk Tea is the chewy pearls.
  • Fingerprints in brown sugar syrup will be visible on the walls of transparent glass when we drink tea with tiger’s milk. You can cook it yourself or buy it already prepared. You can make your own using just water and tiger sugar. A ladle of water, some tiger sugar, and now we’re bringing the caramelized brown sugar syrup to a boil. For me, this is a great alternative to the finished product. In addition to brown sugar, you can use muscovite. This is another type of brown sugar that is quite dark. Muscovite, unlike other common brown sugars, tastes more like toffee. Tiger boba tea is delicious and the flavors complement each other perfectly. Also, muscovite is a raw sugar, while brown is a refined sugar. Panela, palm sugar, black sugar, or sucanat are acceptable alternatives to muscovite.
  • Milk. Using only fresh milk is a basic condition. Cow or vegetable, whichever you prefer. This is what gives tiger milk tea the velvety smoothness that makes it so popular. Adding almond or oat milk for a creamy texture makes tiger milk tea even more delicious.
  • Black tea of your choice, in bags or loose.
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As you can see, the list is small. If you have everything at hand, we can start creating this amazing tiger milk tea.

IMPORTANT: If you are using freshly made brown sugar syrup, your glass must be heat resistant! If not, wait for the caramel to cool before applying it to the cup.

Version 1: making tiger milk tea without adding tea

This tiger milk tea is something incredibly creamy, alluring, and fragrant, with chewy pearls and an incredibly silky texture. And its most important advantage is that it is very easy to prepare. And this is 100% true!

It has few ingredients for brown sugar milk tea. Simplicity and accessibility – what could be better?

Ingredients for one large serving of tiger bubble tea:

  • A quarter cup of dried tapioca pearls.
  • Brown sugar syrup, to the quantity of a quarter cup. Brown sugar syrup is another option that can be made at home. It’s really not that hard. I think muscovado sugar (approximately 50 grams) and water would be best for him (about 15-20 ml). I used the pre-made variety, which is already thickened and can be eaten or used in cooking.
  • To make one serving of milk tea, add 1 glass of milk.
  • Cubes of ice. You can use not only cubes but also other forms of ice. Just the most common and traditional option is ice cubes.
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Tiger milk tea recipe: simple steps for incredible results in 10 minutes

Step 1: cooked tapioca pearls for brown sugar milk tea

cooking black boba

First of all, you need to take care of your pearls. Therefore, we take ¼ cup of pearls (we have them in dried form) and put them in a small container (pot) with water. The water should be boiling by now. Cover the pot with a lid and wait 2-3 minutes.
After 2-3 minutes, we take out the finished pearls. It is necessary to dip them in cold water, get them out, and leave them until the next step.
Tip: since ready-made tapioca pearls have a very short shelf life, you should take only as much as you need per serving. They cook very quickly, so there is no need to cook a lot at once.

Step 2: Sugar + tapioca pearls for tiger milk tea = sugar syrup

brown suagr syrup with boba

Put some brown sugar syrup in the bowl with our pearls. Harmonize everything together. The finished product should have a thick consistency.
They can wait till tiger milk tea is ready to be served.
Helpful hint: whip up some homemade brown sugar syrup. It’s really not that hard.

Step 3. Formation of the tiger milk tea

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We take a suitable container (I recommend taking a capacious glass with transparent walls).
We take tapioca pearls in brown sugar syrup. We put them in a glass so that they move to the bottom along the glass walls. Thus, on the walls of the glass will be these incredible golden brown streaks that are the hallmark of Tiger Milk Tea. These are the so-called tiger stripes of the drink.
Then add ice cubes.
The last step in the formation is the addition of milk. I recommend doing this very carefully. It is best to pour milk into a small stream so as not to shake the contents too much.

It’s time to enjoy this milk tea and understand all its charms and incredible taste. I also want to note that Tiger Milk Tea is best consumed immediately, because it, like tapioca pearls, does not keep for a long time. So, go ahead for a straw and enjoy the taste of tiger drink!

Version 2: making tiger milk tea with black tea

Let’s try a more advanced version of this milk tea, which differs in that tea is added to it.

Required ingredients (proportions are shown for two servings of tiger milk tea):

  • Either 2 teaspoons of loose black tea leaves, or 2 black tea bags (we take 2 bags of standard size).
  • It is recommended to use two cups of milk. Whole milk works great in this recipe. I used it to make tiger milk tea.
  • About half a cup of tapioca pearls.
  • Half a cup of brown sugar (or muscovado) made just the right amount of syrup for my needs.
  • Ice – six to eight cubes. However, the size of the ice cube matters.
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Detailed recommendations for preparing tiger milk Tea with black tea

Step 1: Make black tea for bubble tea

We must brew black tea. The most important thing in this process is the use of water at the correct temperature. We heat the kettle. The water should reach 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take a glass and pour boiling water into it. Add black tea bags or loose leaves. We cover it with a lid.

Infusion of tea should occur within 3 minutes.

After that, you need to remove the bags. If you used leaf black tea, then the liquid must be filtered and all tea leaves removed.

The brewed tea must be chilled before being used in Tiger Milk Tea.

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Step 2: cooked tapioca pearls for bubble tea

Here I used another option for preparing tapioca pearls in brown sugar syrup. You can choose the right one for you.

Add about 300 ml of water to the pan. Let her boil. Then add tapioca pearls. They need to be boiled until they float to the surface.

If you are using instant bean/tapioca pearls, then this process takes about 5 minutes. After that, you need to reduce the heat and let the pearls cook for another 5-10 minutes. This time can be a little more or less – you need to focus on the softness of the tapioca pearls. It took me about 7-8 minutes to complete this step.

After that, the fire must be turned off. Let the tapioca pearls float for about 5 minutes in the water, after which they should be drained.

Step 3: Prepare tiger milk syrup

Take a small saucepan and add brown sugar or muscovite to it. Next, add about 3-4 tablespoons of water. We put the pan on medium heat and stir constantly so that the sugar dissolves evenly and does not burn.

As soon as the syrup begins to bubble, this is a signal to add pearls. Their cooking in syrup should not last more than 3-5 minutes.

Tip: Resist the temptation to save time—liquid syrup won’t do the same!

Step 4: Collecting the tiger milk drink

We take a transparent glass. To stack tea, hold it almost horizontally and add tapioca pearls with syrup. You must make tiger stripes.

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Next, add ice cubes and carefully pour in the tea.

Cold milk is the last in this step.

Grab a straw and enjoy tiger milk!

Recommendations and advice

1. While tiger boba tea is easy to make, you can make the process even faster. After all, tapioca pearls take the most time. And you can buy them cooked, which have already been dipped in brown syrup. This product can be found in specialized Asian stores. Thus, you just need to put the finished brown sugar bean in a glass and add other components. And voila, you have an incredible bubble tea in your hands. Enjoy!

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2. Pay attention to the fact that when preparing bubble tea recipes, special attention should be paid to the instructions for preparing the boba pearls you bought. They can be drastically different. You can replace this according to the instructions for the first and second versions of the tea. I used different types of boba pearls. And their cooking times vary greatly.

3. Among the many bubble tea recipes, it is this variety that attracts a lot of attention from fans of Asian culture. What is it that attracts? Of course, these are these incredible tiger stripes that we can observe on the walls of the cup while drinking tea. This milk tea is simply incredible! This decorative element is created using brown sugar syrup. To keep them longer (and they will dissolve gradually in milk and tea), after you put the bean pearls in sugar syrup, leave the cup to stand for about 120-180 seconds. This will allow the sugar syrup to thicken a little on the sides of the clear cup and the strips won’t dissolve immediately after the milk and tea are added.

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4. When working with sugar syrup, please note that if you overdo it and keep it on the stove for too long, it can start the crystallization process. To protect yourself from this phenomenon, you can use half a spoonful of citrus juice, such as lemon or lime.

5. When brewing tea, be sure to monitor the temperature since the taste of the resulting drink depends on this factor.

6. Homemade tapioca pearls are recommended to be cooked only in the amount necessary to assemble servings of milk tea. The excess will spoil very quickly, so it is not recommended to cook them for future use.

7. Vegan Tiger Milk Tea? No problem! Just take plant-based milk, which is more to your taste (oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc).

8. As you already understood, if you do everything yourself, then you will need to prepare the legendary brown sugar syrup. When working with it, you need to be very careful, because when it comes into contact with the skin, it can easily leave a burn due to the very high temperature.

9. In specialized stores, you can find ready-made kits for making actual tea with tiger milk, which contains all the necessary ingredients and instructions. However, it seems to me that homemade tiger bubble tea will be much tastier.

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10. If you do not have brown sugar or muscovite on hand, you can use both traditional white sugar and molasses. Syrup can also be made from these ingredients with the addition of a small amount of water.

You may also be interested in other articles and recipes for bubble tea:

Storage features tiger bubble tea

As I wrote above, this delicious drink is best consumed immediately after preparation. However, if necessary, it can be stored in the refrigerator for 12-14 hours. It will not lose its properties, but you will no longer see tiger stripes. Yes, and the taste will be different from a freshly prepared drink.


I hope this article, in which I described the features of tiger milk tea, its history, and features of changes over time, will be useful to you. I also suggest you try two options for making brown sugar bubble tea with tiger milk. Be sure to write which option you liked more – with or without tea.


What does Black Tiger milk taste like?

Many people wonder what does tiger milk tea taste like? Well, it’s incredibly sweet and creamy! And this is the structure! You will 100% fall in love with her for life. And these tapioca pearls are so fun and very chewy. This is a very popular bubble tea flavor.
Of course, a lot still depends on which option you are preparing – with or without tea. After all, there are many different variations. In my article, I tried to reveal in detail the issue of both options.
When you make brown sugar bubble tea without adding tea, you can enjoy the sweetness of caramel notes, and milky notes. Has a silky texture. Now you know and don’t worry that you don’t know the answer to the question “What does a black milk bean taste like?”. Even better if you try to cook it yourself and share your impressions.

Does black tiger milk have caffeine?

Well, let’s delve into the topic of caffeine content. First of all, you should understand that it is impossible to say for sure if there is caffeine in this or that prepared brown sugar milk tea.
But, if you know the ingredients that were used to make milk tiger tea, then the matter is small. Everything is very simple.
If you drink the classic version without the addition of tea, then you can be calm – this tiger milk tea does not contain caffeine.
If you’re a fan of the more modern version with added tea, then here you have a caffeinated drink. Its exact amount will depend on several factors, such as:
type of tea (for example, green tea contains less caffeine, so green tiger milk tea is often ordered)
brewing features.

Brown sugar boba became very hard: why does this happen?

The thing is that brown sugar boba is made from tapioca starch. Its properties are such that when cooled, the pearls become hard and less chewy. Accordingly, when we form a brown sugar milk tea, we start the hardening process. That is why I recommend drinking brown sugar milk tea immediately after collection.

Is Tiger milk tea good?

Despite the incredible taste and uniqueness of tiger milk tea, I want to say that milk tea with brown sugar is not ideal for drinking if you have been diagnosed with various health problems (especially diabetes). The reason is that the tiger milk tea recipe contains quite a lot of sugar.
But this can be changed a little. After all, there are many more useful sweeteners. For example, you can use maple syrup. To make it thicker and create those incredible tiger stripes, just boil it a little. You can also resort to corn starch. These are more useful alternatives.
Brown sugar milk tea gets its nickname “tiger stripes” from the way the syrup coats the inside of the glass, so make sure it’s thick and nice. If you add milk first, they just drip off and disappear. (That’s why brown sugar syrup can’t be substituted for manuka honey—this ingredient shouldn’t be heated too much, as it loses its health benefits.)

Helena Tasty

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