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Brown Sugar Syrup Recipe for Milk Tea & Boba

Brown sugar syrup is a dark, rich liquid sweetener perfect for almost any kind of bubble tea recipe. If you’re a tea lover, you’re probably already familiar with simple syrup, and how well it mixes into any drink recipe, hot or cold.

But have you ever had a recipe that calls for brown sugar syrup? This darker, richer syrup is basically the same thing as simple syrup, but instead of white cane sugar, it’s made with its sweet cousin, brown sugar.

The great thing about both simple syrup and brown sugar syrup is that they’re incredibly easy to make to keep on hand in your refrigerator, just waiting for the perfect tea drink recipe to come along.

Brown sugar syrup and simple syrup can both be flavored to add an extra punch. Think things like vanilla extract, rum, or even lavender to spice up a drink.

What is Simple Syrup?

Simple syrup is the most basic of liquid sweeteners to add to drinks like iced tea, boba milk tea, iced coffee drinks and cocktails. It’s a one to one mixture of white sugar and water that when heated, makes a sweet runny syrup. Drink shops like your local bubble shop and Starbucks usually use pre made, commercially available syrups.  Simple syrup can also be made with another type of sugar like corn syrup

Check out this easy simple syrup recipe if you want to whip up a batch to have on hand.

brown sugar syrup for milk tea and boba
Brown sugar syrup is perfect for milk tea and boba drinks.

What is Brown Sugar Syrup?

As you’ve already probably guessed, brown sugar syrup is a mixture of brown sugar (usually dark brown sugar) and water. Heated together in a small saucepan, the sugar melts into the water and then when cooled, stays mixed at room temperature or when refrigerated.  

What sets this brown sugar syrup recipe for milk tea apart is the fact that it uses a two to one ratio of sugar to water. Because it uses twice as much sugar for every cup water, this delicious brown sugar syrup has a deeper, richer flavor than its paler counterpart, simple syrup.  

What can you use Brown Sugar Syrup in?

The possibilities are pretty endless. Brown sugar syrup is often called for in recipes for milk tea and bubble tea because its stronger flavor stands up well to other flavors.  

Some recipes you’ll find that use brown sugar syrup are:

brown sugar syrup in taiwan milk tea
Brown sugar syrup is an ingredient in Taiwan milk tea.

Why Should You Make Your Own Brown Sugar Syrup?

There are too many reasons to list, but here are a few reasons why I always make my own:

  • You can use premium ingredients like pure cane sugar.
  • You don’t have to worry about weird chemicals and artificial ingredients that are often in store bought syrup.
  • This recipe is so easy and only uses basic ingredients you probably already have.
  • You can make the best bubble tea at home just the way you like it.
  • It’s way cheaper than buying it in the store.
  • You’ll have it on hand to soak cooked tapioca balls for your next DIY boba.

This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is sort of boring, but you can find it here.

How to Make Brown Sugar Syrup for Milk Tea

Ingredients for Brown Sugar Syrup

There are only two simple ingredients you need for this easy recipe:

  • Dark Brown Sugar
  • Water

You probably already have these ingredients in your pantry so you’re ready to go. If you don’t the dark type of brown sugar, light brown sugar will work, but the resulting syrup won’t be quite as dark. (It still tastes great though!)

C&H Pure Cane, Granulated Dark Brown Sugar, 1 lb

Steps for Making Brown Sugar Syrup

If you can boil water, you can make brown sugar syrup. It’s pretty much the easiest thing to make in your kitchen with only a couple of easy steps. Here’s the simple cooking process:

  1. Add one cup of cold water to a small saucepan.
  2. Sprinkle in the sugar.
  3. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Boil the mixture over medium heat until bubbly like a thick syrup.
  5. Remove from heat as soon as it reaches the right consistency.
  6. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  7. Stored like this it will keep for about a month. 

How to Store Brown Sugar Syrup

Once you’ve whipped up a batch of this syrup, you’ll need to store leftovers in any clean, airtight container in your refrigerator. You can use an empty jar you’ve washed well, or get some of these cool bottles. If you’re mixing up drinks for friends, these look like you’re a professional barista!

Estilo Swing Top Clear Glass Bottles,16oz Set of 4 Easy Cap Clear Bottles with Stoppers, Flip Top Glass Bottles to Store Home Brews, Oils, Vinaigrettes, Wines, Beer, Teas, Limoncello

How to Make Infused Brown Sugar Syrup

Once you’ve mastered this easy recipe, you can get fancy by adding all sorts of things to your completed syrup. It’s a good idea to try experimenting to find what you like. Start by adding about a tablespoon of these add-ins to a cup of syrup. 

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Vanilla bean
  • Orange peel
  • Lavender
  • If you google “infused syrup”, you’ll find seemingly strange ideas like bacon and peppers

When making infused syrup, the longer these additions soak in the syrup, the more intense the flavor will be. Just make sure to store the finished infused syrup in the refrigerator.

Now that you know the how to make brown sugar syrup you can mix up your own popular bubble tea flavor like brown sugar boba tea made with black tea, chewy tapioca pearls and fresh milk.

brown sugar syrup for boba

Brown Sugar Syrup For Milk Tea and Boba

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Brown sugar syrup is a dark, rich liquid sweetener perfect for any kind of milk tea or boba recipe. Made with dark brown sugar, it's sweeter and thicker than regular simple syrup, but just as easy to make.


  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar


  1. Add water to a small saucepan.
  1. Sprinkle in the sugar.
  2. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Boil the mixture over medium heat until bubbly like a thick syrup.
  4. Remove from heat as soon as it reaches the right consistency.
  5. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


For a darker, richer taste, stir in a tablespoon of molasses after removing from the heat.

Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 30 days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 116Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0gSugar: 30gProtein: 0g

Nutrition figures are estimates. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information for any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe.

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brown sugar syrup for bubble tea, boba and milk tea
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