This lychee bubble tea is a delicate and exotic spin on the famous Taiwanese iced drink. If you like fruity bubble teas, we bet you'll love this lychee boba recipe — so let us show you how to make it with 5 simple ingredients!
While classic Taiwanese bubble tea consists of black tea mixed with milk (or half-half), we opted for green tea and coconut lychee milk instead.
Green tea has a mellower tone than traditional Chinese black tea, which won't overpower the delicate flavour of fresh lychees.
Coconut milk is a tasty dairy-free alternative to whole milk, and its fresh and nutty flavour pairs wonderfully with lychees.
To make lychee boba tea, simply whiz fresh lychees with tinned coconut milk and stir this blend into cold green tea. Then, serve the lychee milk tea on a base of cooked tapioca pearls, and your lychee bubble tea is ready!
The result? A delightfully sweet, refreshing, and energising drink: the perfect thirst-quencher on a hot summer day. And when you're done sipping, you can slurp up those chewy pearls too!
While commercial or store-bought lychee bubble tea is usually prepared with premade lychee syrup, we decided to use the whole fruit instead. Simply blend it with coconut milk to make lychee-flavoured milk.
You can use fresh lychee if you can find them at your local Asian food market or opt for canned lychees, available online or at well-stocked supermarkets.
Lychees taste sweet and floral and have a grape-like pulp. Compared to other fruits of the same family, like rambutans or longans, they have a stronger, sweeter flavour.
Still, if you can't get hold of lychees, you can make this boba milk with rambutans or longans instead. Just taste the bubble tea and add a splash of syrup if it's not sweet enough for your taste.
Another way of preparing lychee bubble tea is by using lychee-flavoured tea, a traditional Chinese tea flavour. But, it's not that easy to find.
Alternatively, you can infuse the tea with fresh lychees yourself. It's quick and simple, and you can read how to do it in this lychee iced tea recipe.
- Green Tea Bags
- Lychees (fresh or canned)
- Coconut Milk
- Tapioca Pearls
- Maple Syrup (or golden syrup or sugar syrup)
- Ice Cubes (to serve)
Boil the given water, pour it into a bowl, pot, or jug and add the green tea bags.
You can swap green tea bags with loose leaf tea, using two teaspoons of leaves for every bag.
Let the tea steep for 3-4 minutes, then remove the bags or loose leaves.
Allow the green tea to cool down completely in the fridge.
Meanwhile, let's clean and prep the lychees.
Use a knife to score the lychee shell and squeeze it between your fingers until the shell cracks.
Peel the shell off, and you'll be left with a white, grape-like fruit.
Cut the fruit in half along the seed, open it, and remove the brown, hard seed.
Next, let's make the lychee milk for the bubble tea.
Chop the lychees and add them to a food processor, followed by canned coconut milk.
Blitz all until smooth and creamy and keep it in the fridge.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the tapioca pearls.
Cover the pot and cook the pearls according to package instructions (some brands require as little as 3 minutes while others up to 20 minutes).
Then, turn off the heat and keep the pearls inside the pot for 5 more minutes.
Now, drain the cooking water and add the pearls to a bowl filled with cold water.
Let them cool down for 20 seconds and drain the water again.
Then, mix the tapioca balls with maple syrup or golden syrup.
Alternatively, you can prepare the classic sugar syrup by boiling 40g (1.4 oz) of brown sugar in 120ml (4.2 fl oz) of water until syrupy.
To assemble the lychee bubble tea, divide the tapioca balls among tall glasses and pour in lychee milk.
Finally, tip in the cold green tea, stir well and serve with ice cubes.
Sip your delicious lychee green tea boba with a straw and scoop up the tapioca pearls with a spoon. Enjoy!
Instead of making the lychee bubble tea with lychee milk and green tea, you can make it with plain coconut milk and lychee-flavoured green tea, following our iced lychee tea recipe.
Once prepared, consume the bubble tea within a few hours as the tapioca pearls will get overly soft after a while.