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.
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.
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.