What Is Coconut Milk Tea And How To Make It?

coconut milk tea

If you close your eyes while drinking this tea, you just might hear the ocean waves crashing to the shore of a tropical paradise. Relax, put your feet up, and be transported with utter indulgence in a glass.

What Is Coconut Milk Tea?

Coconut milk tea is typically a bubble tea made with black tapioca pearls, coconut milk, and other additions such as tea, fruit, spices, or flavorings. Coconut milk tea is highly versatile, making it a foundation beverage that pairs easily with added ingredients.

On the flip side, this tea may be interpreted as a tea with coconut milk tea and isn’t remotely related to bubble tea. 

Variations Of Coconut Milk Tea

The beauty of coconut milk tea is its tropical flavor and sweetness. Even the earthiest tasting tea, such as Matcha, can be combined with coconut milk to make a lovely tasting coconut milk tea. Likewise, if you are more of a bubble tea drinker, there are ingredients to mix with coconut milk for a cup of uberlicious bubble tea.

Bubble Tea

Bubble tea got its humble beginnings in Taiwan and quickly swept across the world. Someone decided to create a funky beverage that most always has tapioca pearls. 

Traditional true teas such as black, green, and oolong have always been a big hit in coconut milk tea. What would you think if you were to see something like Butterfly Pea Flower Coconut Milk Tea on the menu of your local tea shop? This tea is a beauty with hues of blue, lilac, and purple marbling throughout the lighter coconut milk. 

Another popular tea captivating bubble tea drinkers is the Vegan Thai Iced Coconut Milk Tea. A typical Thai Iced Tea is the base with coconut milk and tapioca pearls added to make a yummy vegan option. Other combinations of ingredients to make coconut milk tea include mango, hibiscus, lavender, Matcha, and many others. 

Hot Tea

For a non-bubble tea coconut milk tea, chai tea with added coconut milk creates a silky, spicy tea for those cold winter days. Coconut milk added to a robust black tea to tame it down a bit or to a green tea to smooth out the earthiness qualifies as a “coconut milk” tea, but isn’t a bubble tea (or as some call them, “milk tea.”)

Iced Tea

Black, green, oolong, yellow, and white tea are favorites on ice. Some tea cultures add coconut milk to smooth them out, such as a Vegan Thai Coconut Milk Iced Tea. Although this drink isn’t bubble tea, it too qualifies as a “coconut milk” tea.

Taro Coconut Milk Tea

Now this tea is bubble tea and is made with taro root, black tapioca pearls, coconut milk, and is poured over ice. A topping such as whipped cream or jellies might be added. Taro is made from a root which is typically processed into powder form to make bubble teas. Almost all taro milk teas are made from a pre-made powder mix.

Turmeric Coconut Milk Tea

Turmeric coconut milk tea may come in three forms; bubble tea, hot/iced tea, or latte. Each of these teas contains coconut milk. What sets them apart is bubble tea contains tapioca pearls and ice, the hot/iced tea may have a dash of coconut milk, and the latte is a hot tea with steamed/frothy coconut milk. 

What Does Coconut Milk Tea Taste Like?

Is coconut milk good in tea? Coconut milk isn’t as strong as you may think. Some claim it has a strong, tropical coconut flavor, but it actually has a rather subtle coconutty flavor that’s sweet. It pairs perfectly with a green or black tropical, fruity tea. Darjeeling, Ceylon, and Assam blend harmoniously with coconut milk.

As for the overall taste of coconut milk in tea, well, that would depend on what tea it’s paired with, other added ingredients, and whether it is added to a true tea beverage or bubble tea drink. Bubble teas are very high in sugar, and there’s no getting around the sugary taste that overpowers added tea, coconut milk, etc. 

How Much Caffeine Is In Coconut Milk Tea?

If a coconut milk tea is made with a true tea such as black, green, oolong, yellow or white, there will be caffeine in the drink. Bubble tea with true tea can have anywhere from 10 to about 20 mg of caffeine. As for a tea with a dash of coconut milk tea added, there will be more caffeine compared to bubble tea because there’s more tea present in the drink. 

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends the daily intake of caffeine should not exceed 400 mg. You can enjoy about 4-6 (six-ounce) cups of true tea a day without exceeding that recommendation.

Is It Okay To Drink Coconut Milk Tea Every Day?

Consuming the bubble tea version of this drink daily is unhealthy and will pack the pounds on quickly. Bubble teas are notoriously chocked full of carbs, sugar, and fat. A typical 12 oz. bubble tea contains 250-323 calories and 48-57 g of carbohydrates. 

A healthier alternative to a sugary bubble tea is a brewed true tea with coconut milk added. By choosing this option, you significantly reduce the carbs and calories by about half to three-fourths, if not more.

coconut milk

Coconut Milk Tea Benefits 

The only benefit you’ll receive from coconut milk tea in bubble tea form is the momentary satisfaction of a sweet treat. Bubble teas have very little benefit due to their high sugar, calorie, and carb content. So, is coconut milk tea healthy? Benefits of a true tea version with coconut milk include anti inflammatory, antidiabetic, boosts the immune system, aids in weight loss, helps metabolism, and more, as outlined in a published article entitled, “Tea and Health: Studies In Humans.”

Why Coconut Milk Tea Is Bad For You

The Food Science and Nutrition Journal published an article on the excessive amount of sugar in bubble tea which includes the coconut milk version. The article highlights how obesity and bubble tea are intertwined. You have no control over the ingredients, so if you have diabetes, one of these drinks can wreak havoc on your health and may even land you in the emergency room.

Now, if you happen to have a cup of true tea (black, green, oolong, yellow or white) with coconut milk added, caffeine may be something to take into consideration, especially if you are caffeine-sensitive, have any medical conditions, or are taking medications. Certain medical conditions may be aggravated by tea, and some medications can interact with constituents in tea. When in doubt, talk to your doctor to find out if tea is safe to consume or not.

How To Make Coconut Milk Tea

Because there are two variations of coconut milk tea, we have a recipe for the bubble tea version and also for the true tea version.

Bubble Tea: Green Chai Coconut Milk Tea

Because you are in full control over what goes into this coconut milk tea bubble tea drink, you can be confident it is slightly healthier than the ones you purchase in tea shops. 


  • 2 cups of coconut milk.
  • ½ cup of brewed green chai tea
  • ¼ cup of premade black tapioca pearls
  • Whipped Cream (optional topping)
  • ⅛ teaspoon of freshly grated cinnamon stick
  • Ice 
  • Tall chilled glass
  • Wide straw


  1. Brew the green chai tea as directed on the packaging and allow it to sit to cool off to room temperature.
  2. Place the black tapioca pearls into a strainer and run cold water over them. This removes any slimy starchiness. 
  3. Pour the black tapioca pearls into the bottom of the chilled glass.
  4. Fill the glass half full with ice.
  5. Pour the coconut milk into the glass until ¾ full.
  6. Pour the brewed tea on top of the coconut milk. Notice the beautiful green marbling effect in the glass.
  7. Gently add a dollop of whipped cream on top of the milk tea.
  8. Sprinkle the grated cinnamon on top of the whipped cream.
  9. Put a wide straw into the glass and enjoy!

True Tea: Coconut Milk Tea

This delicious Thai Coconut Milk Tea is superb, either hot or cold. 


  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • ½ cup of coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons of loose-leaf Thai Tea


  1. Heat the water to about 176 degrees (F) (80 degrees C.) 
  2. Remove from the heat.
  3. Place the loose leaf tea into a tea infuser.
  4. Drop the tea infuser into a teapot.
  5. Pour the hot water into the teapot.
  6. Cover and allow to steep for 3 minutes.
  7. Pour into a teacup.
  8. Add the desired amount of coconut milk, and enjoy!

It’s A “Go-Go” For “Co-Co!”

Coconut milk tea is a must-try, and if you decide to try the bubble tea version, we recommend making it yourself as a healthy alternative to those served in tea shops. If bubble tea isn’t your thing, try a dash of coconut milk in your next cup of regular tea. We’re confident your palate will be pleasantly surprised.

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