10 Best

Bubble Tea Kits

of September 2023

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A Guide to Selecting a Bubble Tea Kit

Yehudah Posnick

Drinking tea or coffee with milk may not sound very interesting or exotic. But that will largely depend on how you prepare it. (After all, you can make instant coffee and pour milk into it, or you can prepare a cappuccino or a latte!) If you’re looking for an out-of-the-ordinary tea-based beverage, bubble tea can be a good candidate.

Bubble tea is a milk tea drink with tapioca balls (which are also called “bubbles”, “boba”, or “pearls”) served at the bottom of the drink. Liu Hanchie of the Chun Shui Tang Teahouse in Taiwan is said to have been the originator of the drink in the 1980s. The drink became popular throughout the surrounding countries in Southeast Asia and was introduced in the United States as well in the subsequent decades. Some countries even have a “National Bubble Tea Day”!

There are bubble tea kits available on the market now, that allow you to prepare the tapioca balls and the milk-based tea by just adding boiling water, or heating them up in a microwave for a few seconds! You’ll be amazed at the variety of flavors that are available, including tweaks in the preparation of the milk tea base, or in the flavor or consistency of the tapioca pearls. Instead of having to find a specialty drink store, you’ll be able to prepare bubble tea in your home or even at your place of work!


Can bubble tea be served hot as well as cold?

Bubble tea is usually served cold, with ice. With the DeDe Boba bubble tea kit, you prepare cold bubble tea as follows:

  1. Add a small amount of hot water to the packet of instant tea powder, just enough to dissolve the powder.

  2. Add cold water to the concentrated tea essence, and pour it over ice.

  3. Pour hot water onto the desired amount of WuFuYuan Tapioca Pearls, and let them soak for 2 minutes.

  4. Scoop the pearls out, and add them to your iced tea.

But there is also an option to serve it hot. One method is as follows:

  1. Boil two cups of water with 2 tablespoons of tea leaves, and letting it steep for 15 minutes. If you like, you can reheat the tea before adding it to the tapioca pearls.

  2. Heat or cook tapioca pearls, and stir them with dark brown sugar. (The cooking time will differ, whether you’re making them from scratch, or using instant tapioca pearls, such as the WuFuYuan Black Tapioca Pearls. They need to be soaked for 5-7 minutes to be ready.)

  3. When the pearls mix properly with the brown sugar, add it to your tea! It’s recommended to eat the tapioca pearls first, before they dissolve into your tea.

Types of Bubble Tea Kits

Looking at the Best Reviews Guide list of the most popular bubble teas, we see a few varieties that stick out:

  • Matcha green tea-based–DeDe makes a bubble tea kit that includes instant powdered matcha green tea and a package of tapioca pearls. The matcha green tea already has cream and sweetener, so you just have to add water. You then prepare the tapioca pearls separately, and add them to your tea, according to your liking. You can choose to add hot or cold water. For cold bubble tea, they suggest using just enough hot water to dissolve the powder. You then add cold water and pour the tea over ice. Then pour hot water over tapioca pearls and stir. Leave the pearls for 2 minutes, and then add them to the iced matcha tea.


DeDe Matcha Bubble Tea Kit

  • Black milk tea: Instead of matcha, which is dehydrated and powdered green tea, you’ll also see bubble tea kits that use instant tea powder from familiar black tea leaves. An example is the J Way Instant Boba Bubble Pearl Milk Tea Kit. They recommend microwaving the packet of boba for 20 seconds (after making a small tear, for any air to escape). You then pour 3-4 ounces of boiling water into a cup and dissolve the black tea powder in it. Add ice and the microwaved boba, and it’s ready!

J Way Instant Boba Bubble Pearl Milk Tea Kit

  • Thai tea: DeDe also makes a Thai Tea bubble tea kit. Thai tea is usually black tea seasoned with cardamom and anise. It comes with WuFuYuan Instant Black Sugar Tapioca Pearls, which you prepare by just pouring boiling water over them and waiting two minutes until they soften. You then add the tea onto the tapioca pearls.

DeDe Thai Tea bubble tea kit 

  • Variety kits: There are also variety kits which expand on the possible bubble tea combinations. For example, J Way Instant Boba Bubble Pearl Variety Kit gives you 12 different flavors: traditional milk tea powder, as well as creme brulee milk tea powder, taro milk tea powder, passionfruit, pineapple, green tea powder, and different flavors of the tapioca pearls, coming in flavors such as brown sugar, caramel, and fruit!

J Way Instant Boba Bubble Pearl Variety Kit

  • With mocha powder: Even though we’re speaking about bubble tea, there are also kits where you use instant coffee instead. OMP Boba Company makes a Mocha Boba Bubble Coffee Kit that includes enough for 10 servings: 10 ounces of mocha powder, 10 ounces of tapioca pearls, straws, cups, and lids.

OMP Boba Company's Mocha Boba Bubble Coffee Kit

What reviewers say

Here are some customers’ impressions about the bubble tea kit that they bought:

  • Cheaper than going to a shop: The bubble tea that you get at a specialty drinks shop can cost from $4-$6. The number of choices are also a bit overwhelming. When you purchase your own bubble tea, it can come out to $2.90-$3.40 per serving, depending on the brand. And you can prepare the bubble tea exactly how you like it!

  • Add boiling water to the tapioca pearls: Make sure that the water is boiling before you pour it onto the tapioca pearls. If you add the pearls to water that is only hot, and then bring it to a boil, the pearls will tend to dissolve into a mush!

  • May not get enough tapioca pearls: Some customers complained that the amount of tapioca pearls wasn’t proportional to the number of servings of tea in the kit that they ordered. But there are also options to order tapioca pearls separately.

Important Features

Here are some tips about choosing a bubble tea kit, and how to enjoy bubble tea to the maximum:

  • Straws: You’ll notice that these bubble tea kits come with special straws. The straws are extra-wide, so that you’ll be able to suck the tapioca pearls through the straw. Typically, with cold bubble tea, you finish the tea and the tapioca pearls, and just leave the ice behind.

  • Other types of tapioca pearls: We noticed that the J Way Bubble Tea Kit has three flavors of tapioca pearls: brown sugar, caramel, and fruit. There are also tapioca pearls, such as the Tea Zone Mango Popping Pearls, that are filled with a fruit-flavored syrup that you pop open when you bite into them. The combinations are endless!

Tea Zone Mango Popping Pearls

  • Vegan bubble tea kits: Many of these bubble tea kits have dehydrated milk or milk-derived ingredients in the formula. But you can also find options where you only get tea powder, and you can add oat milk or soy milk, which gives the bubble tea a similar creamy consistency. An example is the Bar Pa Tea Premium Matcha Bubble Tea Kit. It includes beet powder, matcha green tea powder, and tapioca bubbles.

Bar Pa Tea Premium Matcha Bubble Tea Kit

Final Verdict

We looked at some of the bubble tea kit options, noting the wide array of tea options, as well as the flavors of tapioca bubbles that you can add. Whether you choose to enjoy it yourself, or to serve it to your guests, bubble tea certainly can expand your horizons of specialty drinks, whether you like it hot or cold!

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