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Floral and perfumed rose milk tea made from scratch at home. This bubble tea is sweet, delicate, and fragrant, made with homemade rose syrup. Easy to make and perfect for hot summer days.
Rose Milk Tea is one of the lesser-known milk teas, despite its distinct and amazing flavour. Most people feel weirdly about drinking milk tea made from flowers but trust me – it’s unbelievably good!
Rose infused tea has been used in China for over 2000 years, and it’s a practice that continues today. Rose Bubble Tea is less common in mainstream boba tea shops, but it can be found in Chinese bubble tea shops.
The base for this amazingly flavourful drink is homemade rose simple syrup. The syrup is entirely natural and 100% delicious. Other ingredients for this drink are milk, tea and boba pearls.
What is Rose Milk Tea?
Rose Milk Tea is a sweet beverage that gets its flavour from real roses. The taste can be given by either rose syrup, rose powder, or rose tea. This recipe uses natural rose syrup for the most authentic and floral flavour.
This boba drink can be made decaf or caffeinated. For the caffeinated version, green or black tea is also added. For decaf, no tea is needed.
Most bubble tea shops use commercial rose syrup or flavoured powder, which can have a synthetic flavour. For the most authentic tasting drink, homemade rose syrup is needed. This syrup not only tastes many times better, but it’s also 100% natural.
Rose tea originates from Asia, but it can also be traced back to the Middle East. Bubble tea is a Taiwanese invention, which has become popular across the globe. Rose Boba Tea is one of many bubble tea flavours.
What is it made of?
Plain Rose Milk Tea is made from rose syrup, milk, and tea. Tapioca pearls can also be added to turn the drink into bubble tea.
The main ingredient in this recipe is the rose syrup, which is made from real roses. You can make your own by following my Homemade Rose Syrup recipe.
Tea is usually added into the drink to give it extra flavour. The most popular choices of tea are either green tea or black tea. Green tea works great with this recipe because it tastes very fresh and grassy, which perfectly complements the floral flavour of roses. Black tea can also be used for a deeper and richer flavour with malty tones.
What does it taste like?
Rose Bubble Tea tastes sweet, delicate, and floral. It is a very light and refreshing drink, with a delicious, perfumed smell. Unlike other bubble teas, this milk tea is not overpowering in flavour. It’s subtle and aromatic, perfect for hot summer days.
This drink also tastes milky, as it contains milk. Plant-based milk can also be used, which will slightly change the flavour of the boba tea.
Another flavour dimension also comes from the tea. If green tea is used, it will give the milk tea a fresh and slightly grassy flavour. If black tea is used, the boba will taste more roasted and malty.
Why this recipe is great
- Unusual and fun: Rose flavour is unusual for bubble tea, but it tastes amazing. I dare you to experiment and fall in love with it!
- Incredibly floral flavour: Homemade rose syrup makes the milk tea naturally sweet, floral, and very fresh. Although a delicate flavour, it does pack a lot of aroma and fragrance. This drink will not only enchant your taste buds, but also your nose!
- Perfect for summer: Light and floral, this drink is the best choice for hot summer days.
- Easy to make at home: This recipe is very easy to follow and can be made by anyone in the comfort of their home. Ingredients are also easy to find and affordable.
- Just the right level of sweetness: The delicate flavour requires the right amount of sweetness. This drink is not overly sweet so the wonderful flavour can shine through.
- Edible rose petals or buds – you can use fresh edible roses, dried rose buds, or dried rose petals. Make sure they are labelled as ‘edible’ or ‘food grade’. I have covered in detail how to choose the right roses in my post about Rose Simple Syrup.
- Sugar – all you need is plain, granulated sugar. Because the rose flavour is so delicate, I do not recommend using brown sugar for this recipe.
- Milk – Any milk of your choice works. For a creamy texture I recommend using full fat milk. Oat or almond milk can also be used for a dairy-free version.
- Tea – choose a light and refreshing flavoured tea, like green tea or Jasmine green tea. For a stronger rose flavour, you can also find rose green tea, which has dried roses. The flavour of the tea needs to match the freshness of the rose syrup. Black tea can also be used if you enjoy a deeper, roasted flavour, but be careful with it as it can overpower the rose flavour.
- Tapioca pearls – I always use quick cooking tapioca pearls, because they’re easy and quick to cook.
- Optional: cream – mix a few tablespoons of cream with some rose syrup, get it nice and frothy, then pour it on top for extra creaminess.
- Optional: dried rose petals – I like to decorate my milk teas, and dried rose petals work best. They’re very beautiful, but also edible so you don’t need to worry about removing them.
How to make Rose Milk Tea at home
Rose syrup – making good syrup is essential for a delicious milk tea. I have covered the process in detail in my post about how to make Rose Simple Syrup, but here’s a quick summary:
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan.
- Cook over high heat until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer.
- Remove the rose petals.
- Cook the remaining liquid until thickened.
Note: if you’re in a rush, you can also use store-bought rose syrup. Although it doesn’t taste as delicious as the homemade version, it does the job
Tea - Prepare tea as indicated on the packaging. Make sure you use the right water temperature and steep as instructed. Do not over-steep as this can make the tea taste bitter. Cool down tea to room temperature, then chill in fridge.
Boba pearls – Cook as instructed on the package. The boba is ready once it rises to the surface of the water. Let them sit in the hot rose syrup for a few minutes to absorb sweetness.
Assembling the milk tea – the fun part begins. See below how to assemble it:
- Add a little rose syrup to milk to colour it. Mix well.
- In a glass, place the cooked tapioca pearls and a little of the syrup.
- Pour cold tea over the boba pearls.
- Top with rose milk. Optional: add some cream and dried rose petals on top.
Success Tips & Tricks
- Edible roses: Make sure you use food grade roses for the syrup. Roses from flower shops usually contain pesticides and fertilisers which are unsafe for consumption.
- Hibiscus leaves: Turn the rose simple syrup into a vibrant red with only a few leaves of hibiscus tea. This will give the entire bubble tea a lovely pink colour. Without hibiscus, the tea will look light beige in colour.
- Perfect tea: Prepare the tea of choice as instructed on the packaging. Brewing temperatures and time can vary, so it’s important you follow the label instructions. Steeping tea for too long can make it taste bitter and ruin the lovely subtle flavour of the rose boba tea.
- Add boba pearls to syrup: Toss the cooked tapioca pearls in hot rose syrup and let them sit for a few minutes. This will help them absorb sweetness and flavour.
- Adjust sweetness: Don’t use too much of the syrup, as it’s very concentrated. All you need is 1-2 tablespoons for a large glass. Make sure you count the syrup in the boba pearls too.
- Serve fresh: Once assembled, this drink needs to be served immediately for the best flavour and texture. Consume within maximum 2 hours of cooking the boba pearls.
- Bubble tea straws: Boba pearls are quite big once cooked, so the drink needs special straws. I like to use glass boba straws because they look adorable and can be reused.
- Stir, stir, stir: Use the boba straw to mix the milk tea before drinking it. The syrup is denser, so it falls to the bottom. Stirring it ensures it gets mixed in the entire drink, for even sweetness.
How to store
Rose bubble tea tastes the best as soon as it’s prepared. Serve it immediately and enjoy within 2 hours for the best flavour and texture.
Rose Syrup – can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or frozen for up to 4 months.
Tea – can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Boba pearls – once cooked, they need to be consumed immediately or within 2 hours. If left for longer, they can become hard and unpleasant.
Frequently asked questions
This drink contains homemade rose syrup, milk, and tea. Boba pearls can also be added for extra chewiness.
Homemade rose boba tea contains approximately 300 calories, including 2 tablespoons of syrup and tapioca pearls. Store-bought boba is usually more than that, ranging between 300-600 calories.
Yes, this recipe contains caffeine because it’s made with green tea. You can leave out the tea for a decaf version.
This recipe is not vegan as it contains milk. However, it can be made vegan by swapping out the milk with a plant-based alternative like oat or almond milk.
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Rose Milk Tea Recipe
Homemade Rose Syrup
- 1 cup edible dried rose buds or petals (40 grams)
- 1 cup water, filtered (250 grams)
- 1 cup plain sugar (200 grams)
- 2 teaspoons green tea (or 2 teabags)
- 1 cup water, filtered (250 grams)
- 2 cups milk, cold (480 grams)
- ¾ cup tapioca pearls, quick cooking (100 grams)
- 3 cups water (700 grams)
- 2-4 tablespoons cream
- edible rose petals
- In a saucepan, place the roses, water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Afterwards, remove the roses with the help of a sieve.
- Simmer the remaining liquid for 10 minutes over low heat or until it has the consistency of maple syrup.
- Boil water to 175°F (80°C), then pour it over the tea leaves in a teapot.
- Cover and steep for 3 minutes, then discard the leaves.
- Let it cool down completely, then refrigerate.
- Cook tapioca pearls as instructed on the package. Once cooked, place them in ice water.
- Add the cooked pearls into hot rose syrup and let them sit for a few minutes to infuse.
Assembling the drink
- Add 1-3 tablespoons of sugar syrup into the milk and stir well to combine. Adjust sweetness to preference.
- Prepare two large glasses. Place the tapioca pearls at the bottom, along with a little rose syrup. Don't add too much syrup as the milk has already been sweetened.
- Pour cold tea over the boba pearls. Add the rose milk and fill to the top. Serve immediately with a bubble tea straw.
- Optional: top with cream and decorate with dried rose petals.
- Nutritional value is estimative and it's calculated per serving (this recipe makes 2 servings) with tapioca pearls and 2 tablespoons of rose syrup.
- Use boba pearls maximum 2 hours after cooking them.