Ube milk tea is a creamy, refreshing and indulgent drink, that is perfect for summer! Made even more impressive by the vibrant purple color. You can easily adapt this recipe to make fresh taro milk tea as well!
Ube milk tea is a creamy and refreshing summer drink!
As a follow up to my ube halaya and ube ice cream, I’ve got another delicious ube recipe for you guys today! I can honestly say we can’t have enough of ube desserts these days. That uniquely creamy texture and flavor make for a one of a kind dessert.
Last few days (weeks, really) have been surprisingly hot and humid here in Ottawa. Luckily we have had the perfect antidote; a big, cold glass of this Ube Milk Tea (and Ube Bubble Tea)!
Bubble tea is what hot summers are for, and I guarantee this gorgeous ube milk tea will be nothing short of a revelation! 🙂
Since this has become our drink of choice this summer, it was only fair that I shared the recipe with you guys.
Ways to make ube milk tea
There are a few different ways to make ube milk tea.
- Blending milk with mashed, fresh ube and sugar.
- Mixing milk with ube powder and sugar – I personally don’t like this option because ube powder doesn’t have the same flavor as fresh ube.
- Blending milk with ube halaya.
- Adding ube extract to milk. This is the easiest option, and the most colorful!
- Substituting some of the milk for green tea.
- A combination of some of these options.
I personally prefer to make a “cheat’s ube halaya” that is not as thick as regular ube halaya, and then add some ube extract to this mixture as well. The benefits of my method of making ube milk tea this way are that;
- I can make a big batch of it, and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 – 7 days.
- I can take a portion of it and make ube bubble milk tea whenever I want.
- Adds the creaminess you get from fresh ube, but also adds more color and flavor from the ube extract for a truly impressive drink!
- Since I make this base with coconut milk, it combines the traditional ube halaya flavor with a delicious coconut milk flavor.
How to make the ube base for ube milk tea
This base is super easy to make. I make it with frozen and grated ube, but you can also make it fresh ube that has been steamed.
Ube is cooked in coconut milk and sugar until you get a really thick base.
Then you add more milk or coconut milk to turn the mixture into a runny paste. The base is now ready.
The ube base is made sweeter than ube halaya, so that when it’s mixed with milk to make ube milk tea, the sweetness is well balanced.
However, you can adjust the sweetness to your liking too. This can be done by reducing the sugar added to the base, and then add as much sweetener as you want when you make the milk tea.
How to make ube milk tea
Making ube milk tea is as easy as adding the paste to milk and blending it. I like to use my stick blender because I make 1 – 2 servings at a time.
If you wanted to add more sugar, I recommend adding honey since it will dissolve more easily in the milk.
I also like to streak the glass with a bit of the paste to create gorgeous purple swirls when I prepare my ube boba milk tea drinks (see pictures in the post).
Can I add boba pearls?
Of course! In fact, I insist that you add boba pearls to make ube bubble tea! 🙂 If you have homemade boba pearls, you can make them fresh ahead of time (or make enough for two days, and reheat them on the second day).
You can also buy quick cook boba pearls that take at most 5 minutes to cook in boiling water. This is the faster and more convenient option, but I do prefer the taste and texture of fresh boba pearls.
And if you’re feeling indulgent, you can even top it with a scoop of ube ice cream!
Can I substitute the ube?
You can make purple sweet potato milk tea (or purple sweet potato bubble tea) by using steamed purple sweet potatoes instead of ube.
You can also make taro milk tea (or taro bubble tea), by substituting the ube with steamed taro.
If you like this recipe, you may also like,
Ube milk tea (Ube bubble tea)
Ube base (makes enough for 8 – 10 drinks)
- 226 g frozen ube, thawed 1/2 packet, frozen ube
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp ube extract
- ½ - 1 cup milk or evaporated milk
Ube milk tea (for two drinks)
- ½ cup quick cook tapioca pearls or homemade tapioca pearls
- ½ cup of the ube base
- 2 cups of chilled milk you can also use a plant-based milk
- A few ice cubes
- Honey optional
- Place all the ingredients (except for the ube extract and evaporated milk) in a saucepan.
- Cook the mixture while stirring frequently, and bring it to a boil.
- Continue to stir more frequently while cooking, until the mixture becomes thick. The consistency at this stage should be such that when you stir it with a spatula, it should leave a trail in the mixture. Stir in the ube extract at this point.
- Add about ½ cup of evaporated milk to get the mixture to a thick but pourable consistency. Add more if needed. Heat through for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Place the ube base in a jar and store in the fridge for up to 4 – 5 days.
To make ube milk tea
- First, cook the tapioca pearls according to package instructions. If you'd like to make my homemade boba pearls instead, cook them according to the recipe here.
- Let the cooked boba pearls soak in cold water (just for a few minutes) until you get the drink ready. Alternatively, mix the drained tapioca pearls with some honey to keep them from sticking to each other.
- Place the ube base in a blender, along with the ice and milk. Blend until the mixture is smooth and the base has mixed in well.
- Add honey if you like your drink to be sweeter.
- Divide the tapioca pearls into two glasses (at least 10 oz capacity).
- Optional - Create some purple streaks with the ube base along the wall of the glass (see pictures in the post). If the ube base is too thick the following day, take a small portion of it and heat it gently in the microwave to make it more spreadable.
- Pour the ube milk into the two glasses and serve with boba straws.