Iced Oolong Milk Tea with Chia Seed “Boba”

This refreshing iced oolong tea is lightly sweetened, perfectly rounded out with a splash of milk, and given the perfect textural element with chia seeds, reminiscent of bubble tea or boba.

Iced teas are a staple during the hotter months. I pretty much will make any kind of tea and try putting it over ice to see what it’s like; sometimes I add sweetener, sometimes milk, sometimes nothing. My favorites so far are earl grey with honey and milk, green tea plain, and this oolong tea. 

Have you ever had boba or bubble tea? I grew up in LA, and have always known it as boba, but feel like it’s more known as bubble tea. If you haven’t I’ll give you a quick description, but just be warned, it sounds really really weird but you should still give it a try if you ever have a chance. Boba or bubble tea is a drink with tapioca balls – they’re lightly sweetened and the texture somewhere between chewy and sticky. The drink is usually some kind of sweet drink (sometimes iced, sometimes blended), and is usually some kind of tea or something fruity. Now, there are tons of varieties of the drink itself and things they put in the drink. I’m going to tell you something about my boba preferences, but you can’t judge me. I like boba in my drinks, but only like 4 or 5 of them. When I go for boba, I usually ask for no boba because I’m too embarrassed to ask for only 4 or 5. Anyways, for today’s recipe I used chia seeds to create something that’s reminiscent of boba. The chia seeds are not chewy/sticky like boba, but do add a textural element to the iced tea that is very pleasant.

So curious these chia seeds are

“Boba” (bloomed chia seeds)

For the ice tea, the first thing is to make a strong tea. Since you’ll be putting it over ice, it’ll dilute a little. The other thing is that I’ve put some suggestions about the sweetener and milk, but play around with it and put whatever you want. If you like sweet tea, you’ll need to put more sweetener than the recipe calls for; use honey or regular sugar if you want; leave out the sugar all together if you prefer unsweetened tea. Same thing goes for the milk- add cream or milk depending on how creamy you want it, or don’t put any at all.

The same recipe could be used with basically any other black tea, but I really enjoy the oolong tea because it’s a little fruity and bitter and has a roasted quality that I really like. I love hot oolong tea on a cold day or with dimsum, but over ice, it’s exceptionally crisp and refreshing. With a touch of sweetener and splash of cream, it is perfection. Adding the bloomed chia seeds gives this yummy drink that extra special thing. I hope you give it a try! (Extra bonus: oolong tea is rumored to be helpful for weight loss!) Hugs & kisses and all my best wishes!

Iced Oolong Milk "Bubble Tea"
Serves 2
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  1. 3 oolong tea bags
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1 tbsp agave nectar (or other sweetener)
  4. 2 tbsp chia seeds
  5. 1/2 cup whole milk or 1/4 cup cream
  1. Boil 2 cups of water and steep 3 tea bags for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, stir in agave nectar, and taste and add more sweetener if desired. Allow tea to cool to room temperature.
  2. Once cool, place 1 tbsp of chia seeds in each cup and pour about 1/4 cup of cooled tea to each cup of chia seeds (doesn't need to be exact). Stir and let it sit for about a minute while the chia seeds "bloom." You may need to add a little extra liquid if there doesn't seem to be enough liquid for all the chia seeds to bloom.
  3. Once the chia seeds are bloomed, fill the cups with ice and divide the remainder of the cooled tea between the two cups. Top off each cup with either 1/4 cup milk or 2 tbsp cream. Stir and enjoy!
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