Have you ever tried boba (bubble) tea before? There are all sorts of flavors and variations, but basically it’s a sweet tea, smoothie, or latte that contains boba pearls you drink along with your beverage.
Boba pearls are kind of like small, gummy candies that are made of mostly tapioca. Strange, right?
I think most people either end up loving it or hating it. But it’s always fun to try new things. And today I’m going to share my no-fail method for preparing boba pearls at home.
We used to serve boba tea at the our little boutique’s sweet shop many years ago, so I’ve prepared the pearls lots of times. When I was first learning to prepare boba, I found some information online to be very helpful and some not so helpful.
I’ve also noticed that when I buy boba pearls sometimes the instructions on the package will vary a great deal depending on the brand (and sometimes I am unable to read it if there is not an English version).
So, I’m going to share my fool-proof method for preparing boba pearls—it’s super simple!
1. Start with 2 cups of boba pearls, around 10 ounces. There’s lots of places to buy these online (and sometimes locally at Asian markets as well).
Boba can only be prepared up to 24 hours in advance, although it is best when served within 12 hours of making the pearls. So only make as much as you’ll consume. Two cups is plenty for a small get-together— about 6-7 drinks.
2. Fill a large pot (the boba needs to be able to move around so they don’t stick together) about 1/2 to 2/3 full of water. Bring the water to a boil.
Give it a stir and pour the boba pearls in. They should float to the surface within the first 30-45 seconds. If they don’t float you may have a bad batch or you may not have allowed the water to boil all the way before adding the boba.
3. Allow the boba to cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring every so often.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and place a lid on top. Allow the boba to cook covered for an additional 2-3 minutes.
5. Strain the boba from the water and pour into a bowl/container. Add just enough cold water to cover the pearls. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar to sweeten the boba. Allow to cool before using.
When you are ready to use your boba pearls simply use a slotted spoon to remove them from their storage liquid and add to whatever drink you are making.
If you don’t need to use the boba pearls for more 12 hours, cover the container and refrigerate. The pearls will stick together some the longer they sit in the syrup, so give them a good stir before adding to drinks to help them unstick.
You will also want to serve boba pearl drinks, bubble tea, with large straws (larger than standard size) so the pearls will fit inside the straw and can be consumed. I also like to serve them in tall skinnier glasses but you can do whatever glass you like.
They also have instant versions of boba tea that come with the milk tea as well if you want to try those out for when you want a drink quickly.
If you love boba tea, then try these popsicles or thai tea with boba.
Now that you know how to prepare the pearls will you be making them? Have you ever tried boba before? Love it? Hate it? Let us know your thoughts and favorite flavors. 🙂
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- 2 cups boba pearls
- ¼ cup sugar (brown)
- Fill a large pot (the boba needs to be able to move around so they don’t stick together) about 1/2 to 2/3 full of water. Bring the water to a boil. Give it a stir and pour the boba pearls in. They should float to the surface within the first 30-45 seconds. If they don’t float you may have a bad batch or you may not have allowed the water to boil all the way before adding the boba.
- Allow the boba to cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Remove the pot from the heat and place a lid on top. Allow the boba to cook covered for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Strain the boba from the water and pour into a bowl/container. Add just enough cold water to cover the pearls. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar to sweeten the boba. Allow to cool before adding to drinks.
I was just talking about making our own bubble tea drinks with my boyfriend, so this came at just the right time! I’m excited to try this!
I feel like there was a missed an opportunity to highlight the origins of boba and the culture who created it.
Ohhh, this looks so good. Always wanted to try out boba pearls/drink. Thanks for sharing!
While I’ve never personally have had boba tea before because I have always been sceptical of whether or not I’d like it, I have always been facinated by it at the same time. Thanks to you I can make my very own & finally try it?
I love boba!! Wish I could drink it everyday if I could but realized I could be saving A LOT of money if I made it at home. Thanks for the tips – can’t wait to try!!
It def can save money. Plus it’s a really fun party trick for get-togethers (whenever that happens again. sigh)
So glad for this article! I just followed the steps and I’m drinking home made green milk tea boba! So delicious! I used honey instead of brown sugar because that was all I had lol
Can you use just regular white tapioca pearls, or does it have to be the boba tapioca?
You can use either one, but I think the boba will have a little more flavor! 🙂
I experienced this tea in Munich some days ago whee the new American shop called bubblekitchen just opened its doors. It was a discovery though I could not get used to it immediately. The different fruit tastes of the boba-like balls where quiet sweet. And the real boba was like chewing gum!
Anyway, a great experience and lots of fun for my friend who thought I was crazy. Enjoy!
Just made this! Sooooo yummy!!
Love it!! I just bought some tapioca flour to make some boba from scratch!
I love boba! I finally bought some of the pearls myself but I haven’t taken time to make it.
Useful data. Hope to observe more great posts in the future.
Ah! Boba tea was such a craze in cali a few years ago! To think I could have been making it at home. Now a search for the perfect passion fruit tea…
Boba is the best thing ever I love it so much
That’s so funny, in my area we call it bubble tea! I love it, it’s so delicious! One of my favourites has been lychee!
Very handy, I’m obsessed with bubble tea.
Raffles Bizarre Blog
So interesting! I’d like to try this!
There’s a great Vietnamese bahn mi trailer here in Austin that has really good Cardamom bubble tea. If you’re still here, you should try to check it out! It’s called Lulu B’s and it’s on S. Lamar. They have an amazing Lemongrass Tofu sandwich too!
I am obsessed with boba! Thank you for the instructions, I can’t wait to try to make it at home!!
Thank you for this recipe. I absolutely love bubble tea and definitely try out this recipe soon.
I had never had boba until I moved to college, where they had a boba stand in the student union. I LOVED it!! I used to get a green tea or coconut smoothie with boba before class, yum. My husband HATES drinks with what he calls “debris” in it, haha, so I am the only boba drinker in our household 🙂