Main image of Ube Bubble Tea

Ube Bubble Tea

19 min


Bubble tea, as the name suggests, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan. Bubble tea can come in many flavours and have toppings that range from chewy tapioca pearls, grass jelly, aloe vera, or red beans. For this recipe, we used ube, a purple yam, which is a unique flavouring for desserts, especially in the Philippines.



19 min


7 min


12 min

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  • 2 Tbsp (12 g)
    loose black tea leaves
  • 1 cup (240 mL)
    boiling water
  • ¼ cup (60 mL)
  • ¼ cup (50 g)
    sweetened ube spread, plus more to taste
  • 1½ cups (360 mL)
    unsweetened soy milk, divided
  • 1 cup (200 g)
    crushed ice


  1. Steep the tea in the boiling water for 5 minutes.
  2. Cook the tapioca pearls according to the package directions. For us, this took 5 minutes.
  3. When cooked, drain the pearls, and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a container and add the maple syrup.
  4. Mix the ube spread with a splash of the milk in a small bowl to thin it out a bit.
  5. To assemble, divide the pearls between the glasses. Add the ube mixture over the pearls.
  6. Then add ice, pour over the remaining milk, and top with the tea.
  7. Stir well and taste test. Different brands of ube spread vary in sweeteness, so add more thinned-out ube spread to taste if desired. Enjoy!


  • Nutrition tip: aim to use plant-based milk that is fortified with calcium.


  • This bubble tea is best enjoyed immediately.

Let us know what you think

Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

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Discussion & Rating

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Susan N - Nov. 4, 2022, 1:18 p.m.

Such a delicious drink, thanks for the unique idea!

PUL Team - Nov. 5, 2022, 12:08 a.m.

Thank you, Susan, so glad to hear!

Claire - Sept. 3, 2022, 6:54 p.m.

Hi! Love your blog.

Am I the only one with grainy ube? I got the Uber from the Amazon link and I can't really taste it/it is pretty rough with the graininess.

I put it on the stove and it is better. Idk can't taste it much /and the graininess is pretty rough.

PUL Team - Sept. 5, 2022, 3:07 a.m.

Hey there, Claire, thanks for taking the time to share. Was the ube used a powder or spread? Ube does indeed have a subtle taste, although ube spreads (which the link intends to direct to) aren't as grainy as ube powders. With that said, ube spreads are also inherently a bit grainy, considering it's made from a root vegetable (a purple yam). It may help to add a touch more plant milk in the case that the ube purchased was more grainy than ours though 🙂

Elli - Aug. 31, 2022, 8:28 p.m.

Dear PUL Team,
I was lucky enough to find ube spread in my local Asian store. As the container is quite large I was wondering if I could save the rest by freezing it into an ice cube tray? Do you think this might work (regarding texture/taste/etc) or have experience with freezing it? Thanks for the amazing recipes so far and keep them coming (please!)!

PUL Team - Sept. 1, 2022, 2:16 a.m.

Hey Elli, how lovely to hear you could find the ube spread! We imagine it's possible to freeze, but the texture will likely change when defrosted. Perhaps once the ice cube trays are solid, placing them into an air-tight container may help 🙂

Megan G - July 27, 2022, 6:09 a.m.

Can I use ube extract ?

PUL Team - July 28, 2022, 7:48 a.m.

Hi Megan! Yes, you can use ube extract if desired. We'd recommend starting with less (such as 1/2 tsp) and adding more to taste since ube extract tends to have a stronger flavour. You can always add more this way too. We hope you enjoy the bubble tea if you're able to give it a try 😃

Megan G. - July 27, 2022, 6:08 a.m.

I have ube extract .. could I use that instead ?

PUL Team - July 28, 2022, 7:46 a.m.

Hey there, Megan, yes you can use ube extract if desired! We'd recommend starting with less (such as 1/2 tsp) and adding more to taste since ube extract tends to have a stronger flavour 🙂

Amy-Lynn - July 26, 2022, 1:19 a.m.

This has been our favourite summer go to treat. Thanks so much for the great recipes and ideas.

PUL Team - July 26, 2022, 7:48 a.m.

We're smiling from ear to ear, Amy-Lynn! Thank you 😊

Lena - July 16, 2022, 4:24 p.m.

Hello! I don't think I can find ube spread in my part of the world. What would be a good substitute texture-wise and/or flavour-wise? Thanks!

PUL Team - July 17, 2022, 12:34 a.m.

Hey Lena! Depending on where home is for you, pureed ube in the freezer section or powdered ube may be accessible. If not though, you could try steamed sweet potato, kamote, or perhaps steamed taro for a less sweet taro milk tea. Just be sure to give the bubble tea and taste and adjust to taste, such as adding more syrup for sweetness.

We also have three other bubble tea recipes on the blog that don't use ube, such as our Thai Iced Bubble Tea (…) in case you're interested and haven't seen them already 🙂

Debbie - July 14, 2022, 11:11 p.m.

Just tried this Boba tea and loved it! I've never had Ube spread before and it was delicious. The drink had just the right amount of sweetness.

PUL Team - July 15, 2022, 1:08 a.m.

Aw we're thrilled to hear, Debbie, thanks for taking the time to share 😃

Tanika - July 11, 2022, 2:52 p.m.

Just tried this and loved it! Different from any other bubble tea flavor I've had. I added a bit more ube spread because I like mine sweeter - delicious! Can't wait to try the other flavors soon!

PUL Team - July 12, 2022, 7:33 a.m.

So glad it was enjoyed, Tanika, thank you!