December 30, 2020

Back in May, when we were all trying to figure out how to stay sane while staying home all the time, I decided to make DIY milk tea kits for some friends. A lot of our favorite milk tea places, like Boba Guys, were temporarily closed and I thought this would be a nice way to add some delight to a very difficult time. I make milk tea at home all the time, so it’s not unusual for me to have a jar of simple syrup ready to go in the fridge and my favorite tea leaves (specifically for milk tea) in the cupboard. I’ve learned over time that you can’t just substitute milk or condensed milk in willy nilly; you have to have a really rich and creamy milk component or the whole thing will come out unsatisfyingly watery.

But if it’s your first time trying it, all these components can be mini hurdles that make the whole endeavor kind of frustrating: figuring out which tea leaves actually work well in a milk tea, the annoyance of boiling up and cooling down some simple syrup, and learning the hard way that even your whole milk is not creamy enough to give your milk tea the body you were hoping for.

So I tried to make a kit that would be as user-friendly as possible! Inspiration came easily, as Boba Guys had just published The Boba Book (aff. link)! It could not have been more well timed: Their shops weren’t open, but now we had the secrets to their magical concoctions at our fingertips!

This book is fantastic. I have especially enjoyed their recipes for Classic Milk Tea and Roasted Banana Milk!

After ordering their recommended tea leaves, I tried out their recipe and it really hit the spot! I knew I wanted to share it with more people, so I ordered more packs of tea and made kits including bottles of premade house syrup and half and half. Finally, I made little instruction cards to print out and include with the kit.

Print these simple instructions out on cardstock, cut in half, and tuck into your kit!

All of the required ingredients for the Classic Milk Tea are included in the kit (except the optional toppings… apologies to the boba lovers!). If your friend runs out of syrup, instructions are included to make more. But at least for their first few go arounds, the pre-made bottle of syrup should make things a bit easier!

To make the kits, I ordered a set of these cute bottles on Amazon (affiliate link). They’re kinda pricey, but pretty packaging makes my heart sing, and I needed all the uplifting I could get back in May! Plus, I have used the extra bottles a ton since then to store my own syrups, condensed milk, lemon juice, salad dressing, etc. at home. They’re great!

Next, I boiled a large batch of house syrup, let it cool, and divvied them out into the jars. I bought a half gallon of half and half and filled up more jars, and then put together the kits with the tea leaves and instructions. Voila! Happiness in a little box! I made sure my friends were home when dropping them off so they could refrigerate the liquids immediately. This part was not hard, since everybody was home. All. The. Time. (And we’ve all been back at home again for the last month! What’s the situation where you live? I’m *SUUUUPER* curious to hear how it is in other states and countries!!).

And that was it! Spreading sunshine, one milk tea kit at a time! Happily, the Boba Guys shops have re-opened, but if you don’t have one near you, you can recreate their delicious drink in your own home! Whether you decide to make your own sets of kits to share with friends or attempt to make some milk tea for yourself, I really hope this can bring some cheer and delight to YOU in what has been a very difficult year!

I hope you are all well, and I would love to hear from you and and how you are doing and managing during this unprecedented year. Hope you had a happy holiday, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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