Best Milk Tea Boba in the Instant Pot

I’m obsessed with milk tea boba. I’ve found some local places from which I’ve been getting it, but boba tea can get expensive.

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So, I thought I try making it at home. And an instant pot makes it so easy.

In fact, if you ever make bubble tea in an instant pot, it will be the only way you’ll ever make milk tea boba again.

What is Milk Tea Boba?

Boba is a milk tea with tapioca pearls (or fruit-flavored pearls) or tapioca balls. Boba tea may also be referred to as Bubble Tea.

Boba (or Bubble) tea is a Taiwanese iced tea with chewy tapioca pearls sitting at the bottom… it consists of a tea base mixed with milk.

If you don’t like iced tea, I still highly recommend trying Boba tea. I do not like iced tea… yeah, yeah, I’m from the south and supposed to like it, but I don’t. This kept me from trying bubble tea for a long time.

But, I finally gave milk tea boba a try.


I love Boba tea.

As much as I dislike iced tea, that’s how much I love milk tea boba.

In fact, I’m a little bit obsessed with tapioca pearls. They do make the boba tea for me.

What are Tapioca Pearls?

Tapioca pearls (or balls) are edible translucent spheres produced from tapioca, a starch extracted from the cassava root. When used as an ingredient in bubble tea, they are most commonly referred to as boba or pearls.

They are generally soaked in a sugar syrup to make them sweet and chewy.

What is Milk Tea?

Milk tea is exactly as the name implies – tea with milk, as I mentioned above. It seems that in Taiwan, milk tea is/was consumed regularly. So, what a genius move to pair the Boba and milk tea together.

A perfect marriage!

What Kind of Tea?

Generally, the base for milk tea or Boba tea is tea, either black tea or green tea and milk, of course. The milk is usually sweetened with either honey or brown sugar syrups. Whether you use black or green tea is just your own personal preference because either one is fine.

You can make milk tea boba in a crock pot or on the stove, but the instant pot is the quickest, easiest way to make milk tea boba.

Instant Pot Milk Tea Boba (Yields 32 oz of milk tea) Recipe

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes


Milk Tea:

  • 8 earl grey tea bags
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup of milk


  1. Place the boba pearls in the instant pot with 2 cups of water. Close lid and pressure valve. Pressure Cook on high for 5 minutes. Release pressure manually when finished.
  2. Drain and rinse pearls and add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Stir.
  3. Set instant pot to sauté and add 4 cups water and tea bags. Bring tea to a boil and remove tea bags. Add the remaining brown sugar to the tea and mix in milk.
  4. Add 1/4-1/2 cups of pearls to a glass and mix the tea over ice.


  • Add more brown sugar for a sweeter boba tea.
  • Add only 6 or 7 tea bags for a little less tea taste or 9 or 10 tea bags for a stronger tea taste.
  • Experiment with different kinds of pearls, like these assorted flavored tapioca pearls.
  • You can refrigerate this boba tea for up to 3 days. Making it a perfect make-ahead drink.

This recipe utilizes brown sugar because I love the richer taste of brown sugar milk tea.

I know you’ll love this recipe if you like milk tea boba. And be sure to check some more of my favorite instant pot recipes.


Boba Tea Accessories

  • Glasses – this is a personal preference, but I like clear glasses… I want to see the pearls.
  • Straws – it’s important that you get wide enough straws so the pearls can be sucked up through them. And reusable straws are a must.
  • Instant Pot – there are many IPs out there, but this instant pot is my all-time favorite.

So, whether you call it milk tea, milk tea boba, boba tea, or bubble tea, give this easy recipe a try. I think of all the boba milk tea recipes out there; you’ll keep coming back to this one. But I think I’m going to give boba strawberry milk tea a try next.

Save your money on expensive milk tea boba and make it yourself.

Have you ever tried boba or bubble tea before?

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