Not all boba teas are the same. If you love milky boba tea, you are going to love this drink, and if you are still reluctant to try it, this white bubble tea with chai jelly may be the one that will turn you into a bubble tea lover. It's flavourful, made with natural ingredients with no artificial flavourings and low in calories. Sounds good, doesn't it? And it tastes just as great.
What is bubble tea with jelly?
These days bubble tea is literally everywhere. It's available in hundreds of different flavours, textures and colours, and some are truly unique. The most classic type of bubble tea is boba milk tea, a black milk tea with chewy tapioca pearls. More unique but still classic flavours include taro milk tea and wintermelon boba, and if you are looking for something that really stands out, there are cheese and crème brulee boba teas too.
Not all boba teas are made the same. Some may contain real tea leaves, other may be made with fruit juices and powders and some may not contain milk at all. And then, there's the choice of a topping, the ingredient that makes boba tea a boba tea. The most common boba tea toppings are boba pearls, popping boba, puddings and jellies.
What makes this bubble tea with chai jelly so delicious and suitable for even the most classic tea drinkers is that it's actually made with two types of tea – pure white tea and a chai blend that complement each other amazingly well. A chewy ingredient is a homemade jelly rather than tapioca pearls, but as flavourful and delicious, and super easy to make from a scratch. This tea is suitable for vegetarians, and if you want to make it vegan friendly, simply replace a coffee creamer with a dairy free creamer.
Ingredients for making white bubble tea with chai jelly
1. The best tea for making white bubble tea
Choosing the right tea is the most important step in making a proper white bubble tea with milk. White tea is usually delicate and not all types will go well with milk. Add only a splash of milk to a Chinese Silver Needle tea, and the tea flavour will be lost completely. This recipe is made with an unusual and unique white tea – Kenya Rhino white tea. It's delicate but bold, without the black tea astringency, but with a much deeper colour and stronger flavour than what you'd typically expect from a white tea. A great alternative would be a Shou Mei white tea and Indian teas with a stronger flavour profile.
Choose teas that have a deeper yellow-brown colour, but delicate and bold flavour.
For making a jelly, you will need a pre-made or homemade chai tea blend. Choose flavourful blends that are not murky or too bitter, with vibrant flavour and colour, especially if you want to avoid using too much sugar or other sweeteners.
Use more tea leaves to get a more intense flavour, instead of brewing it longer.
2. Agar agar for making a chai jelly
Agar agar is a jellifying agent made from algae. It's suitable for vegetarians and vegans and great for making jellies, as it will settle super fast. You can literally have your tea ready in 30 minutes. Although the jelly will set fast, you can make it beforehand and store in the fridge for a couple of days. Making boba tea at home will almost always require more time to prep than making a cup of regular tea, regardless of which topping you use. Even a pre-made chewy tapioca pearls need to be cooked before adding them to tea.
3. The best water for white boba tea
When making white tea, water quality plays a more important role than when making a cup of black tea. White tea is gentler than other tea types, so if your water has a distinctive taste, your tea will have that same taste too. If your tap water is not suitable for drinking or has a strong flavour, use bottled natural spring water instead.
4. Coffee creamer
Coffee creamer has a much higher fat percentage than regular whole milk. With around 10% of fat, it's actually very similar to condensed milk, minus the sugar. It's also very neutral, compared to condensed milk that may have a slightly acidic flavour, especially if it's not sweetened. 5-10 grams of coffee creamer will be enough for one serving of boba tea, which equals 1-2 teaspoons.
Not all boba teas are served cold, although most of them are. When using a jelly as a boba tea topping, adding ice is important as the jelly will melt in hot water. Sweeten your tea while it's still hot. Then, pour it into a glass filled with ice, and wait a couple of minutes before adding jelly and creamer.
How many calories are in this boba tea?
Boba tea may be super high in calories, mostly from sweeteners and toppings. When you are making it at home, you can control not only the flavour, but the calorie content as well. A batch of jelly will contain approximately 50 calories (depending on how much sugar you use) and will be enough to make 2 servings of boba tea. Additional honey and creamer will add about 40-60 calories more. You can make this white boba tea to taste delicious and indulgent and very low in calories. You can even replace all sugars and honey with sugar alternatives.
White Bubble Tea with Chai Jelly Recipe
- Mould for making a jelly
- Serving glass
- Precise kitchen scale
For Chai Jelly
- 3 heaped teaspoons of chai blend
- 280 ml of freshly boiled water
- 1.3 grams of agar agar powder
- 2-3 teaspoons of brown sugar
For White Boba Tea
- 250 ml of freshly boiled water
- 2 teaspoons of loose leaf white tea
- 1-2 teaspoons of coffee creamer
- 1-2 teaspoons of honey
For Chai Jelly
- Steep chai tea leaves in freshly boiled water for 5-6 minutes.
- Strain into a saucepan and turn on the heat.
- Add sugar and stir until fully dissolved.
- Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and add agar agar. Stir and simmer until it thickens.
- Pour the chai jelly into a mould and let it set at the room temperature or in the fridge. If you are not using it immediately, store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To Assemble the Drink
- Fill a large 300 ml glass with ice.
- Bring water to a boil and let it cool down to 85-90 degrees Celsius (185–194°F).
- Steep white tea in water for 5 minutes. Strain, add honey and stir until honey dissolves.
- Pour the tea into a glass filled with ice and stir.
- When the tea is cold enough, add jelly (cut or whole, depending on which mould you used).
- Add creamer and stir.