Bubble Tea Recipe: How to make Boba at home!

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For years we tried to make bubble tea at home with no luck. Since opening our own bubble tea business in Red Velvet we learned that most boba drinks made at restaurants or cafes use commercial grade syrups (or powders) to get that wonderful sweet, fruity flavor. But this leaves you in a pickle if you are wanting to make a delicious boba drink at home for yourself or your family, as most commercial grade syrups or powders are sold in large quantities and can be a really expensive option for someone just looking to make boba drinks for a casual get together. Emma developed this super tasty at-home recipe that you don't need any special supplies for (except boba pearls, of course!).
Here's a recipe for a Strawberry Boba Slushie that anyone could easily make at home with ingredients that can be found at the grocery store. The strawberries can be substituted for any other berry of your choice, but if you choose a tart berry (like raspberries) you may want to increase the amount of sugar. But it's totally up to you!
To make the boba pearls use this method. Emma has spent a lot of time making boba and she feels confident in this method. Bubble tea, or Boba, pearls are tapioca balls that are soaked in suger. They have a similar taste and consistancy to gummy candy. Bubble Tea is a thai treat that has recently become super popular around the world.
For the slushies you will need: 1 bag (10-12 ounces) frozen strawberries, 1 cup sugar, 3-4 cups water and plenty of crushed ice.
Let the berries thaw slightly before beginning. Place all the berries, sugar and water in a blender and liquefy. Combine in a pitcher filled with crushed ice. Pour over boba pearls and serve immediately. This is will make 3-4 servings. And don't forget that you'll want to get some large size straws so guests can drink up their boba. Also, if you have any guests who do not care for boba pearls, just leave them out. This slushie is fun to enjoy without the pearls too!
Enjoying
XO, emma + elsie
  • Ladies, thanks so much for posting this! I have spent a lot of money shipping stuff from a location in hawaii. Your method is great! Yay!

    -No longer boba-free in SD (Kelly)
    :))

  • BRILLIANT!
    thank you so much..the only bubble tea place where i live shut down.. 🙁
    not a lot of WV people are into bubble tea i guess.. 😛

  • I used to work in a bubble tea shop – it’s SOOO much fun! BUT boba is not what makes bubble tea, bubble tea 🙂 The name comes from the bubbles formed by shaking the tea like a martini. Boba is awesome! I would highly recommend cooking them in BROWN sugar – you can make a big batch and freeze it in small portions (2-3 servings) then thaw in the microwave.

  • hi elsie, just to let you know, bubble tea isnt a thai treat. it actually originate from hong kong and taiwan. love your blog! 🙂

  • boba tea is so popular around here. they have the pearls at most southeast asian markets. and are making it at most asian delis now. one of my sisters’ children love eating the pearls plain. they are so gummy yummy. I still want to try to make my own too! i love their big straws as well. so cool!

  • What a great post! I don’t think I have ever seen anyone blog about boba! I am in love with BOBA! Thank you thank you!

  • This bubble tea looks very nice! I just recently tried bubble tea for the first time and I absolutely didn’t like it. The pearls tasted funny and the tea itself was milky and tasted like ‘fake’ strawberry. Though I have to admit, this recipe looks so good, it’s definitely worth a (second) try!

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  • I cannot WAIT to try this!! I’ve wanted bobo tea ever since you started posting about it.

    <3

    I'll have to make post haste!

    --S.S.

  • Another completely delicious (and addictive) super-simple bubble tea recipe is a watermelon slush. Fresh watermelon chunks, a bit of 2% milk, and a splash of sugar. Blend it up until it’s frothy. Shake it up with some ice, and plop in the boba. Man alive, it’s good.

  • I’ve never tried bubble tea due to the fact that I never was quite sure what it was. But reading a bit about it and taking a look at those vibrant pics makes me want to try this reciepe ASAP!

  • WOW, the bubble tea craze has caught on in the Western regions too!

    Actually, it kickstarted from Taiwan, taking the Asia countries like Singapore, Hong Kong etc by storm. That was nearly 10 years ago when it first sprung up AND everyone thought it was just a passing fad.

    But NOW, there’s a second wave of bubble tea madness all over again in the very same countries! New brands sprouting out and concocting all sort of quirky flavours, catering to the now-health conscious lifestyle, offering customers the choice of sugar levels and mixes such as aloe vera cubes, jelly strips, nata de coco (springy coconut bits) besides the usual pearls 😉

    Congrats on the Boba tea! Looking good!

  • Thank you for this! I’ve been craving Bubble tea for ages and there are really no great places to buy them here (not so popular here in South Korea!) so I’ve been wanting to make them at home to satisfy my cravings. This is perfect!

  • Not to rain on your parade but bubble tea is most definitely not from Thailand. It is a Taiwanese cafe drink. And it’s not recently become popular, I’d say it’s been popular for at least 10 years in the United States. There just seems to be more reincarnations of it recently.

  • i MUST try this. the closest place to get bubble tea around here is TWO HOURS away. it’s such a sad thing because i love bubble tea sooo much!

  • looks good 🙂 i’ve been wanting to try bubble tea for a while know but i was worried about how the tapioca pearls would taste…i might try it out

  • Another completely delicious (and addictive) super-simple bubble tea recipe is a watermelon slush. Fresh watermelon chunks, a bit of 2% milk, and a splash of sugar. Blend it up until it’s frothy. Shake it up with some ice, and plop in the boba. Man alive, it’s good.

  • :/

    ‘Bubble tea – a chilled tea drink, sometimes filled with gummy tapioca balls you have to chew on! – has caught on in Asia and parts of America in a big way. In Taiwan, Hong Kong and also Singapore, there are bubble teashops at every corner. In fact so immensely popular is the drink in its motherland Taiwan, that it might well be the country’s national drink! Even the United States is falling for the drink, with hundreds of locations serving bubble tea in California alone, and many more shops expected to mushroom.

    Humble Beginnings

    Story has it that this drink originated in Taiwan at a non-descript tea stand some 20 years ago. In order to entice school children to her stall and out-sell the other rivalling tea stands, the owner started to add different fruit flavourings to her tea.

    The children loved the taste and the fun concept, and before long, the other stalls followed suit – adding flavourings and shaking the teas to blend the flavours. The shaking of the drink caused little bubbles to form and hence, it became known as ‘bubble tea’.

    The newest and most popular fad is to add chewy tapioca ‘pearls’ into your favourite concoction. These bafflingly springy little balls are said to be the creations of a Liu Han-Chieh who introduced them to Taiwan during the early 80s. ‘

  • When i tried bubble thing for the first time it tasted.. well honestly, it tasted HORRIBLY! That scared me from any kind of bubble drink,but this post made my think about trying it maybe once again…

  • I actually found the tapioca pearls in their gummy glory at an asian mall recently. It was awesome, but…there was already made bubble tea, so I took the lazy route.

  • best one i ever made was avocado-lemon… so good! also i’ve been stalking your page for awhile, i live in kc, so i need to take a trip down to your store someday!

  • Heyy. Sorry but bubble tea is originated in Taiwan not Thailand.. ‘Bubble Tea is a thai treat that has recently become super popular around the world.’ Please correct this 🙂 I’m Chinese and I live in Thailand, surely I would know where bubble tea came from. The article is great. I’m just here to correct the small mistakes 🙂 hopefully you can change it…? 🙂

  • Wow, How cool..I’ve never heard of this. I love tapioca, but this is really unusual- I will look forward t making it thank you for sharing the recipe.

  • Bubble tea is absolutely delicious, I can’t wait to try this. Bubble tea originates from Taiwan, however

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  • Yumm, this looks really good. But I don’t like the boba, or the pearls. I like the jelly better. I hope this tastes good with the jelly 🙂

  • Aaaah! I’m so excited that I just found this post! I have ben addicted to bubble tea the past year, but my hubby and I recently moved to Germany for 2 years so I have been having withdrawals! I am so crazy excited to try and make my own. Thanks for sharing! I just found your blog yesterday and I’m lov’n :o).

  • hi emma,
    bubble tea is actually not a thai treat. it originated from taiwan.

  • Hi, I chanced upon your blog while searching for instructions to do a side braid. It is really amazing and filled with pretty and delightful stuff 🙂 I just moved to NY from Singapore (where I used to drink bubble tea everyday lol), and it has been very difficult to find local specialty. This post on bubble tea is a nice surprise. Thanks!

    Oh, and I agree with Lisa and Marcia. Bubble tea originated from Taiwan, and quickly became popular in a lot of Southeast Asian countries like mine and Thailand. Bubble doesn’t refer to boba, it refers to the froth when vendors shake the drink 😉

  • Nice post and looks very tasty. Been a big fan of boba tea for a while but tend not to make slushy (crushed iced) drinks. I’ve been experimenting with different bobas aside from tapioca. Trying to get something that tastes more like whatever additive I’m using, in this case strawberries.

    Still a nice post and I’ll have to try this on a hot day this summer.

  • I’ve been completely obsessed with bubble tea, and even got my own bag of boba! I just couldn’t find an easy recipe to make. But this looks wonderful, and I can’t wait to try this out 😀

  • BOBA IS NOT NATIVE TO THAILAND GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.
    It’s originally Taiwanese.
    But at least the recipe is decent…

  • Yes, I’m glad someone else already corrected you on the origins of bubble tea. It’s from Taiwan!