Brew Authentic Okinawa Milk Tea Recipe At Your Home

okinawa milk tea

Okinawa milk tea is one of the most popular milk tea recipes all over the world because of its sweet, rich, creamy and velvety smooth flavour. This tea originates from Okinawa Island, located on the southern coast of Japan. This recipe that I have shared here tastes exactly like the original Okinawa milk tea prepared in Japan!

It’s made of black tea, milk, tapioca, boba pearls, and the hero ingredient here is “kokuto sugar”! Kokuto sugar, also known as Okinawa brown sugar, gives it a malty & roasted caramelized flavour that completely enhances the taste of Okinawa milk tea.

This kind of sugar is utilized all over Japan because of its unique deep & decadent flavour, and it provides essential nutrients to the body. Kokuto sugar is used to make milk teas, sweet soups, cakes, mochi, etc.

Are you looking for more rich, creamy & decadent tea recipes? You must check out Thai Milk Tea, Noon Chai, and Jaggery Tea. However, you will learn how to make this authentic Okinawa milk tea and drench yourselves in its rich & flavourful taste.

How To Make Okinawa Milk Tea?

okinawa milk tea

Okinawa Milk Tea Recipe

Simantini Singh Deo
Okinawa milk tea has a rich caramelized, creamy & velvety smooth taste that is made using black tea, milk, kokuto sugar, & tapioca pearls.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Asian
Servings 6 people


  • 2 Small Saucepan
  • Bowl
  • Medium-Sized Saucepan
  • Tea Strainer
  • Large Bubble Tea Glasses
  • Milk Frother
  • Bubble Tea Straw


For Sugar Syrup

  • 0.75 Cups Of Water
  • 1.5 Cups Of Kokuto Sugar Okinawa Brown Sugar
  • For Tapioca Pearls Boba Pearls
  • 9 Cups Of Water
  • 2.25 Cups Of Water

For Milk Tea Base

  • 6 Cups Of Water
  • 1.5 Cups Of Cold Milk Of Your Choice
  • 9 tsp Of Assam Black Tea
  • Whipping Cream Optional


For Making Sugar Syrup

  • Take a saucepan and add water along with the kokuto sugar over medium to high heat.
  • Keep stirring at regular intervals to enable the sugar to dissolve easily. Cook it until it starts to boil.
  • Next, reduce the heat to low to medium and let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes to get a sticky & thick consistency.

For Preparing The Tapioca Boba Pearls

  • In a separate small saucepan, add water and bring it to a boil. When the water starts to build, add the tapioca pearls and cook for a few minutes, as mentioned in the packet. Boba pearls are usually cooked when they rise to the top in nearly 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Drain the remaining water in the saucepan and pour the sugar syrup over the tapioca pearls.
  • Cook them for 2 to 3 minutes over low heat. This will help them to soak up the sugar syrup properly. Turn off the heat and keep it aside.

For Making The Milk Tea Base

  • In a medium-sized saucepan, add water and bring it to a boil. Infuse the water with Assam black tea and cover the lid. Let it brew for at least 5 minutes, and using a tea strainer, strain it & discard the tea leaves.
  • Now, in the large bubble tea glasses, pour in the brewed tea up to 3/4th of the glasses.
  • Next, pour nearly 1/4th cup of chilled milk on top of the tea and give it a nice stir.
  • Add the tapioca pearls and sugar syrup into the glasses.
  • Using a milk frother, froth some whipping cream or even milk and add it on top of the tea. You can sprinkle some kokuto on top as well.
  • Insert bubble tea straws in each glass and serve it immediately!


  • I have chosen Assam black tea to make this recipe, but you can choose any black tea that you like. 
  • You can adjust the quantity of sugar syrup & tapioca pearls according to your preference. But be careful about not making your Okinawa milk tea too sweet. I would suggest that you add 2 to 3 tablespoons of tapioca pearls and one tablespoon of sugar syrup. 
  • Remember to mix everything properly with the give bubble tea straw before you consume the Okinawa milk tea. 
  • You can use any type of milk, like almond milk, soy milk or even plant-based milk. 
  • Additionally, I would recommend you to use full fat milk. This will give the tea a more creamier and rich flavour.
  • If kokuto sugar is not available, you can use brown sugar or palm sugar. But remember that the taste will not be the same. 
  • Don’t over brew the tea, not more than 5 minutes, because it will make the tea taste bitter. If you prefer to have a stronger tea flavour, just add an extra teaspoon of Assam black tea.
Keyword Okinawa Milk Tea’

Shelf Life

It’s best to consume Okinawa milk tea after it is freshly made and served or within 1 to 2 hours. If it is left for a long time, then the boba pearls will become soggy, and their chewy texture will be lost & unpleasant to consume. However, the sugar syrup can be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


I enjoy making Okinawa milk tea. The steps are simple, and the ingredients are easily available! It’s a refreshing summer tea drink when it is served cold. Also, I like to try out different types of beverages from different parts of the world, and I am sure that you would also enjoy this idea of mine. Explore “Bite N Sip” now to find more delicious yet exciting recipes!


Does Okinawa Milk Tea Contain Caffeine?

Yes, Okinawa milk tea contains caffeine as it is made using Assam black tea. But, if you prefer a zero-caffeine tea drink, then you can choose a decaffeinated black tea.

Is It Healthy To Drink Okinawa Milk Tea?

Okinawa milk tea is known to be a healthier version when compared to other bubble teas because Assam black tea has its own health benefits, and kokuto sugar contains nutrients like iron, potassium and calcium, which makes it healthier than other regular sweeteners. Moreover, this recipe is made using natural ingredients, which makes it healthy.

Is Okinawa Milk Tea Sweet?

Yes, Okinawa milk tea has a sweet taste because of the added kokuto sugar. Okinawan brown sugar not only sweetens the tea but also gives it a rich caramelized flavour.

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