Strawberry milk tea or strawberry bubble tea is a wonderful treat for people who enjoy fresh fruit, milk, and optionally, tea. While it is usually offered when strawberries are in season, the use of powder and fruit juice extracts makes it possible to have it off-season.
Around the world, boba shops are aplenty in Asia, but the United States and Europe have also been seeing an uptrend.
A popular store in the US even founded National Bubble Tea Day to share their passion for this delectable drink. There has been an increase in boba franchises in the UK, especially in London, with some early entrants such as Chatime and Mooboo seeing continuous growth over the years.
Not only have the classic and tapioca pearl drinks gained popularity but variations such as the taro pudding and brown sugar boba drinks are trending as well. People who prefer refreshing drinks can opt for drinks with fruits as the main ingredients.
What is Strawberry Milk Tea?
The main ingredients are as simple as they come – just fresh strawberries, milk, and tea. You can customize the sweetness by adding your preferred sweetener such as sugar or honey.
In many boba shops, the ‘strawberry milk’ drink offered there may not contain tea. This can sometimes lead to confusion especially when ordering in-store.
However, this also means that you can opt for the one without tea if you are looking to cut caffeine! The regular strawberry milk tea contains caffeine.
If you are looking for a version with tea, make sure you ask the shop staff if the drink contains it.
Are There Other Variations?
We are glad you asked (or didn’t)! Here are some of the other variations that you can choose from.
For a thicker consistency of strawberry milk tea, Chatime’s version is more of a strawberry smoothie. It has a denser and creamier texture thanks to the use of frozen strawberries or yoghurt.
Some of the ones that we have tried even have strawberry chunks – a delight if you like to munch on fruit!
If you prefer a drink that contains caffeine, more often than not it’s going to be listed under the “Tea Latte” category. Strawberry tea latte has the same ingredients as strawberry milk tea, with the added exception of having tea instead of the creamy dairy as its base.
Personally, we prefer the latte variants as our systems welcome the extra kick of caffeine!
Strawberry+ Taro? Best of Both Worlds!
Taiwan is the country recognised to have invented and introduced boba drink to the world. There, the strawberry-based drinks are often sold alongside another crowd favourite, the taro milk tea.
While taro is fancied for its sweet and creamy texture, strawberries offer a refreshing balance of sweet and tangy flavours.
Additionally, what grabs many people’s attention is the vibrant colours of both these drinks. The rich or cotton candy purple, and the deep red or bubble gum pink colours, which make them instantly photo-worthy.
For anyone who likes to try new innovative boba drink flavours, we trust that you will enjoy these fresh combinations that boba shops have come out with.
A personal favourite that we would recommend is the ‘taro + strawberry latte’. This beverage has all the delicious components – a base of green tea, strawberry, and taro – which balance well with one another.
Vegan and Non-Lactose Options
You might be thinking – “I am vegan (or lactose intolerant) so I won’t be able to try strawberry milk tea nor all its other variations!” Well, do we have good news for you!
One good thing about a lot of the newly-opened boba drink shops these days is that they want to be available and enticing for a larger group of people.
In recent years, there is an increasing demand for plant-based products as well as a growing global boba drink market. Due to these two phenomena, we observe many boba shops offering vegan and non-dairy milk options.
These non-dairy alternatives offered at the stores include soy, almond, and coconut milk. You can choose to use any of this type of milk for your strawberry milk tea.
Moreover, these plant-based options also offer patrons low-calorie boba tea options when ordering their customised drink. This is because generally, plant-based milk has a lower calorie count per cup compared to regular full dairy milk.
Toppings and Other Add-Ons
If you’re feeling ‘extra’, we would recommend you to order add-ons for the additional taste profile. The most common add-ons are chewy tapioca pearls made of brown sugar, jelly, and pudding.
There are also delicious toppings to choose from, such as cream cheese foam, rose petals, and strawberry mousse. All these toppings enhance the deliciousness of the strawberry milk tea in its own unique way!
However, if you are currently watching your weight, we remind you to look out for the additional calories that come from these toppings.
Powder Drink Mixes and Ready-To-Drink Bottles
Some boba lovers are lucky to live in areas that have easy access to many boba shops. But if that’s not the case for you, fret not as there are powder drink mixes and ready-to-drink bottles.
The powder drink mixes are very convenient because all you need to do is a scoop, mix, and voila – it’s ready to be enjoyed. There are also caffeine-free strawberry milk tea powders (and other flavours) that are available in the market.
You can buy the powder drink mixes online to be delivered home. Here is one that we recommend.
Strawberry Milk Powder for Boba
The ready-made bottled drinks are even easier – just pop open the cap and you’re good to go!
In terms of flavour, we would say that the biggest difference is that the ready-made bottled ones are really sweet and are not made with fresh fruit. Usually, it’s only made with either concentrated strawberry juice or just an artificial strawberry flavouring. They also have a ton of added sugars!
There are some brands that use a small amount of concentrated strawberry juice, but the majority of ingredients are water and cane sugar.
Is it Healthy?
Strawberry milk tea made using only simple ingredients is healthier than the ready-made powder packs because it doesn’t have added sugars or flavouring.
Additionally, fresh strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which is helpful for immune and skin health. They are also a good source of anthocyanin, which has benefits related to heart health.
You might be wondering, “Sure, it sounds healthy but what about the calories?”
Well, a glass of about 470-500ml has as much as 290-330 calories. A ready-to-drink bottle of 375ml contains about 234 calories, and a powder pack of 100g will set you back about 400 calories!
There are days we can indulge but it might not be advisable to have it every day – everything in moderation.
How To Prepare At Home Using Fresh Strawberries
As you can adjust the balance of ingredients based on your preference, the best ones are actually made at home! Here, we share an easy recipe using fresh-cut strawberries for you to try at home.
Strawberry Milk Tea Recipe with Fresh Strawberries
- 10-15 pcs strawberries fresh cut
- 2-3 bags tea of your choice
- milk or yoghurt amount depends on desired consistency
- sweetener of choice sugar or honey
- Steep the tea bags according to the type of leaves and strength desired. Generally, if you steep them longer, you will have a stronger flavour.
- Combine the strawberries with milk or yoghurt in a blender and blend well.
- Add your sweetener of choice and adjust the taste based on your preference.
- Serve the strawberry milk tea in a glass and enjoy!
If you would like, you can refer to Cooking Survival Guide’s step-by-step video on how they made the strawberry milk tea drink using fresh strawberries. In the video, she added tapioca pearls as an add-on to the homemade beverage.
Additional Notes on Ingredients
- Regarding the choice of leaves for your strawberry milk tea, we recommend using either Assam or Green tea. Assam works well if you want a full-bodied and stronger-flavoured taste, and one with stronger caffeine content. If you are looking for a drink with a lighter flavour and lower caffeine content, then we would recommend you to use green tea.
- You may also use frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones if you prefer a creamier and denser texture. This logic is the same as how you would add more ice in preparing a milkshake to make it creamier.
- If you are looking for vegan or non-lactose options, you can replace dairy milk with lactose-free or plant-based products such as soy or oat milk.
- If you would like to make iced strawberry milk tea, you can mash the strawberries into a puree and add it to the steeped tea. Then add milk and ice into the mixture before blending.
Have you tried making strawberry milk tea on your own at home? Share with us your photos on our Instagram!
Looking for new boba recipes to try at home? Check out our easy Oolong milk tea recipe!