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This 5-ingredient dairy-free chocolate milk tea (with boba) is creamy, sweet, chocolatey, and so easy to make in just 10 minutes! Plus, homemade milk tea is healthier, more adaptable & much more affordable!

two glasses of completed Chocolate Milk Tea
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Refreshing Chocolate Boba Tea

When enjoyed frequently, a bubble tea obsession can cost an arm and a leg. Especially if the business charges extra for dairy-free options (sigh!). But that’s why making it at home is a great way to save money (and skip any artificial ingredients, too!). This time, chocolate lovers rejoice for this vegan chocolate milk tea recipe!

Combining cocoa powder, black tea (optional), dairy-free milk, and a sweetener (refined, unrefined, or even sugar-free!), this chocolate bubble tea is light, creamy, delicious, and definitely satisfies chocolate cravings. It tastes like a delicious blend of milk tea and a chocolate milkshake. What’s not to love?!

Even better, it’s inexpensive and easy to make and customize to your taste and dietary requirements. Once prepared, enjoy the vegan bubble tea warm or chilled with or without the boba, alone or at picnics and other gatherings. It’s decadent but refreshing and utterly delicious!

The Ingredients

ingredients for chocolate milk tea measured out against a white surface
  • Black tea: Use robust flavored black tea, like Chinese black tea, Earl Grey, or English breakfast tea. However, you can use a weaker tea if preferred. While other teas (oolong, green, and jasmine) also work, you may not like them combined with the cocoa flavor.
  • Water: To make up the black tea.  
  • Cocoa powder: Use high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder for the best flavor. Hot cocoa mix will also work (if vegan) but already contains sugar, so adjust accordingly.
  • Plant-based milk: Use your preferred vegan milk. i.e., soy milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, etc. Canned coconut milk is richer and creamier, and if you want it even more decadent, a vegan creamer will also work.
  • Coffee: (optional) Though we already have tea in this vegan chocolate boba tea, a small amount of coffee pairs perfectly and enhances the chocolate flavor.
  • Sweetener: Use granulated sugar if preferred (like white, brown, or coconut sugar), though liquid sweeteners also work (and will dissolve into hot or cold milk tea). I.e., maple syrup, agave, brown rice syrup, etc. Sugar alternatives (granulated or liquid) will also work, but the amount will need adjusting to taste.
  • Tapioca pearls: Use regular or quick-cooking tapioca balls (brown or white), ensuring they don’t contain caramel (which isn’t vegan). Crystal boba will also work.

You can also add ice for a super refreshing dairy-free chocolate tea recipe. Don’t want to risk watering down the drink? Make some black tea Ice cubes!

Fun Vegan Chocolate Milk Tea Variations

  • Dairy-free whipped cream: For when you serve the vegan bubble tea.
  • Flavored syrups: An easy way to add more flavor to this vegan milk tea is with flavored syrups (regular or sugar-free). For chocolate milk tea, you could make dairy-free hazelnut chocolate milk tea, use chai syrup for extra warm spices, coffee syrup, vegan caramel, etc.
  • Flavorings/extracts: Instead of syrup, you can add flavor with natural flavorings/extracts. I.e., hazelnut, almond, peppermint, vanilla, etc.
  • Cinnamon: A little adds warmth and enhances the flavor of the vegan chocolate milk tea.
  • Vegan jelly: To add alongside or instead of boba pearls. I.e., coffee jelly, coconut jelly, etc.

How to Make Chocolate Milk Tea?

There are just a few simple steps to preparing homemade vegan chocolate bubble tea.

  • 1) First, if you haven’t already, cook the tapioca pearls according to their package instructions. Once they’re cooked, leave them to sit in the liquid so they don’t all stick together or dry out.
  • 2) Then, steep the black tea in the boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove it from the liquid.
process shot showing steeping in a glass

Over-steeping tea can lead to bitterness from tannins released into the water. Alternatively, you can use a cold-brew method and leave it to steep in cold water in the fridge for 10-12 hours.  

  • 3) Next, stir in the cocoa powder and sugar (and coffee, if using it), and whisk until fully combined and the sugar has melted.
  • 4) To assemble the dairy-free chocolate milk tea, first, divide the cooked tapioca pearls between two tall glasses. Then add plenty of ice (if preferred), followed by the vegan chocolate milk tea mixture and the dairy-free milk, then stir. Finally, taste it and add a little more sugar if preferred. Serve the vegan chocolate boba with a long spoon or wide bubble tea straw, and enjoy!

If you’d prefer to enjoy the dairy-free chocolate milk tea warm, omit the ice and heat the plant-based milk before adding it to the glass.  

FAQs

Can I omit the black tea?

Technically, yes, you could make more of a vegan chocolate milkshake-style bubble drink, minus the tea and increasing the plant-based milk.

How much boba should you use?

You can really adjust this amount to your preference. However, we recommend using ½-1 cup of cooked tapioca pearls per serving.

Can I prepare the tapioca pearls in advance?

Unfortunately, you only have a 3-4 hour window to enjoy freshly cooked tapioca pearls before they become tough and chewy, so we don’t recommend preparing them in advance.

How do you eat boba?

Use a long spoon or a special reusable bubble tea straw (that’s wide enough to suck up the bubbles).

Does this vegan chocolate milk tea contain caffeine?

If you include tea and/or coffee, then yes, it will.

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • To chill the tea quickly: Shake it in a shaker with ice.
  • Adjust the creaminess: Use light or creamy dairy-free milk, a combination of plant-based milk and dairy-free creamer, or all vegan creamer. You can also adjust the ratio of dairy-free milk to tea.
  • Tweak to taste: Increase or reduce the sweetener, cocoa powder, tea strength, etc., to your liking.
  • Consume boba fresh: It will harden as it cools/sits. You have 3-4 hours maximum to enjoy them.
  • Use a jumbo/boba straw: It makes it super easy to suck up all the boba.
two glasses of completed Chocolate Milk Tea

How to Make Ahead and Store?

You can prepare the vegan chocolate tea mixture (with or without mixing in the dairy-free milk) 2-3 days in advance and store it covered in the refrigerator.

However, tapioca pearls need to be freshly prepared. Once fully assembled, you have about 3-4 hours to consume the fresh boba before they become tough.

More Fun Vegan Drinks

You may also enjoy browsing our entire collection of budget-friendly vegan drink recipes!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

two glasses of completed Chocolate Milk Tea

Chocolate Milk Tea

5 from 46 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
This 5-ingredient dairy-free chocolate milk tea (with boba) is creamy, sweet, chocolatey, and so easy to make in just 10 minutes! Plus, homemade milk tea is healthier, more adaptable & much more affordable!

Ingredients 

  • cup of cooked tapioca pearls
  • ¾ cup of boiling water
  • 2 bags of black tea
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon of coffee (optional)
  • 1 cup 1 cup of plant-based milk
  • Ice (optional)

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, add the ½ cup of boiling water and tea bag. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bags, add the sugar, cocoa powder, coffee (if using). Whisk until fully combined.
  • Add the tapioca pearls to a glass, then add plenty of ice if using, the tea cocoa mixture, plant-based milk, and stir. Taste and add more sugar if needed.

Notes

  • To chill the tea quickly: Shake it in a shaker with ice.
  • Adjust the creaminess: Use light or creamy dairy-free milk, a combination of plant-based milk and dairy-free creamer, or all vegan creamer. You can also adjust the ratio of dairy-free milk to tea.
  • Tweak to taste: Increase or reduce the sweetener, cocoa powder, tea strength, etc., to your liking.
  • Consume boba fresh: It will harden as it cools/sits. You have 3-4 hours maximum to enjoy them.

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 198mgPotassium: 250mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 6IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 186mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Asian
Method: Stove
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This chocolate milk tea is such a refreshing drink! We enjoy Boba tea and it is great I can make it at home with this recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I have never had bubble tea. It looks amazing and I love the idea of combining tea and chocolate in refreshing iced drink. And the tapioca is most intriguing. I just need to find some,