What is Hokkaido milk tea, where does it come from, and how do you make one? We’ll answer all these questions in this post! Not only that, but you will also learn how to make the different variations of this drink, with or without boba, and twist it to your unique taste! 

What is Hokkaido Milk Tea? 

Hokkaido milk tea is almost like a regular milk tea based on black tea. It has simple ingredients such as milk, sugar, and black tea! 

So, what’s the difference? – you might ask. 

Hokkaido milk tea is traditionally made of milk from the local region in Japan called Hokkaido. Hokkaido is the northernmost of Japan’s main islands and is famous for its high-quality dairy products. 

Also, milk tea drinks from Japan are usually based on either matcha or green tea, as opposed to black tea. 

Hokkaido Milk Tea Recipe


Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 8 minutes

Yield: 2 Servings


  • Milk – whole or non-dairy such as almond milk
  • Tea – 2 tablespoons of black tea leaves or tea bags
  • Brown sugar, honey, or caramel syrup (optional)
  • Boba, or tapioca pearls (optional)


Boil 2 cups (500ml) of water

Pour the boiled water over the tea leaves or bags

Let it simmer for 2 – 5 minutes. If you want the highest caffeine out of your Hokkaido milk tea, let simmering hit the 5-minute mark.

Warm up the milk, pour it into the tea, and let it simmer for another 1 – 3 minutes.

Add some boba into your cup (optional, see How To Prepare Boba below)

Pour the tea into cups through a fine-mesh strainer to filter the tea leaves.

Optionally, add some honey or brown sugar to sweeten it up.

Does Hokkaido Milk Tea Have Boba (bubbles or tapioca pearls)?

Traditionally, no. Hokkaido milk tea comes from Japan, while boba originated from Taiwan. However, these two things are often mixed, and you can have boba in your Japanese drink! After all, why not?!

How To Prepare Boba for My Hokkaido Milk Tea?


Tapioca pearls (boba)


Boil some water

Pour the pearls into the boiling water

Wait until pearls start floating on top of the water

Cook for another 10-15 minutes at full heat with a cover on

Steep the pearls for another 10-15 minutes

Drain the water, and you’re ready! 

Add the pearls to your cup just before pouring the tea. (see the recipe above)

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