This Caramel Milk Tea is rich, slightly sweet, and easy to make at home! It can be made hot or cold and with or without chewy boba! Best part, it’s only 4 ingredients- black tea, caramel simple syrup, half and and half, and water… 5 ingredients if you want it with boba.
For more caramel drinks, try my Caramel Affogato!
Why This Is The BEST Caramel Milk Tea Recipe:
- We use Caramel Simple Syrup for the caramel flavor. Most recipes call for raw sugar but that just doesn’t cut it and doesn’t taste remotely close to caramel. If you want REAL caramel flavor, you want this recipe.
- Instructions for making it hot or cold and with or without boba. I love drinking milk tea year around, don’t you?! But sometimes I want it cold, other times I want it piping hot, and some days I want boba in it. This recipe covers all of those milk tea cravings!
- It is made in the comfort of your own home which not only saves you money, but it means you can have bubble tea or milk tea any time!
What is Caramel Milk Tea?
Milk Tea is a super delicious drink that is served hot or cold (depending on the preparation). It is made with tea, half and half, and a little sweetener. For this recipe caramel simple syrup is added to make it a rich Caramel Milk Tea. It can also have boba (tapioca pearls) in them, making it Boba Tea or Bubble Tea. They have no flavor on their own but when boiled and soaked in a simple syrup or tea they take on those flavors.
A Quick Video Tutorial:
Caramel Milk Tea Ingredients
This recipe is only 3 ingredients, 4 if you choose to make boba with it, and 5 if you want to include the water as an ingredient. Either way, the ingredients are simple. Keep in mind, because there are few ingredients, that you must use high quality ingredients that taste good to you.
- Black Tea (brewed in water): Use high quality tea for the best black tea flavor, it can be tea bags or loose leaf. This recipe uses 1 Twinings Irish Breakfast tea bag but if you want even more black tea flavor you can use two.
- Half and Half: It is traditional to milk tea and I prefer it for the creaminess it gives to the milk tea. Feel free to substitute it for whole milk, oat milk, or any neutral flavored milk to fit your needs.
- Caramel Simple Syrup: This adds sweetness to the tea and the boba. Feel free to use store-bought or my homemade caramel syrup recipe. Do not mistake it for caramel sauce (it will not incorporate well in the tea because of the density differences).
- Boba (or tapioca pearls): The is optional, but I cannot live without them in my milk tea. Be sure to buy the quick cook variety.
How to Make Boba at Home
There are two main types of boba, I recommend always using the quick cook variety. They require a lot less time and effort to make.
- Cook the boba as specified on the package.
- Soak them in the caramel simple syrup and tea mixture for at least 30 minutes. This is how they absorb flavor so they don’t taste like gooey starch balls.
3 Things to Know About Boba
- Boba pearls will not go through regular straws, so I recommend having some reusable boba tea straws.
- Boba should always be made right before you are going to make your bubble tea for the best flavor and texture.
- Never store boba in the refrigerator because they will get tough and hard. You need to use them immediately or throw any leftovers out.
How To Make Caramel Milk Tea
This Caramel Milk Tea can be made a few different ways: with or without boba and hot or cold. I prefer mine cold and with boba but feel free to make it how you prefer.
- Steep the Earl Grey tea for 5 minutes. Try not to steep it longer or because it will get bitter. If you want a stronger black tea flavor, add another tea bag or more loose leaf tea.
- Cool the tea to room temperature. If it is too warm, it will curdle the half and half. Yuck!
- To a glass add the cooked boba (optional), caramel simple syrup, ice, black tea, and half and half.
- Stir and sip!
- Steep the Earl Grey tea for 5 minutes.
- Heat the half and half and simple syrup in a saucepan.
- To a tea cup add black tea, warmed half and half and caramel simple syrup, and boba (optional).
- Stir and sip!
PRO TIP: Adjust the amount of caramel simple syrup to your liking. This recipe is sweet enough to taste the caramel flavor without being overly sugary.
Caramel Milk Tea Variations To Try:
- Top it off with whipped cream or sweet cream! If you are making your own whipped cream, try adding a splash of the caramel simple syrup to it (trust me, it is life changing).
- Use another type of tea: green tea, caramel flavored tea, etc.
- Drizzle caramel sauce on the inside of your glass and overtop of the bubble milk tea. You can also use chocolate syrup too!
- Make this Salted Caramel Milk Tea by adding a pinch of salt to the caramel syrup.
- Add a dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg for an added depth of spice, or even shredded coconut for texture.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Not always, it depends on if you use caffeinated or decaffeinated black tea. I use caffeinated black tea because I like the energy boost in the afternoon but you can easily use caffeine free if you would like.
I purchase mine on Amazon because it is just easier than searching for them at local grocery stores. If you live in a larger city or metropolitan area, check your ethnic food aisle. There are many varieties out there, I recommend quick cook black boba. You will also want to make sure you have reusable boba straws!
YES! It is even better when it is made with my homemade Caramel Simple Syrup. It has lovely notes of rich caramel, with bold black tea, and balanced out with half and half. Definitely a favorite recipe and flavor combination.
More Milk Tea Recipes You Might Enjoy:
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Caramel Milk Tea
Steep Black Tea
- Pour boiling water over tea bags in a heat-proof glass. Allow it to steep for 5 minutes, then remove the bags.
How to Make Boba
- Boil the water and add boba. Cook according to package instructions.
- In a small bowl combine the caramel simple syrup and 1 tablespoon of the prepared black tea with the boiled boba. Allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes.
COLD Caramel Milk Tea
- To a glass add the prepared boba (optional), caramel simple syrup, ice, cooled to room temperature black tea, and half and half.
- Stir well and sip!
HOT Caramel Milk Tea
- In a saucepan add the half and half and simple syrup. Heat over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Remove from heat.
- To a tea cup or mug, add the prepared boba (optional), hot black tea, and warmed half and half and caramel simple syrup.
- Stir and sip!
Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.