How to Make Boba Tea : The Ultimate Guide

Iswarya Padmanabhan
Iswarya Padmanabhan Lifestyle
16 Min Read
Image Source: Depositphotos, Variety of milk bubble tea in tall glasses, strawberry, butterfly tea and black

Refreshing, sweet tea with chewy bubbles of flavor—this drink of Taiwanese origin has taken the world by storm. Boba tea or bubble tea is the trendiest new way to beat the heat during summer because it is most often served cold.

Here is a fun fact! In many Asian countries like China, boba is served hot. People now serve Boba not only in teas but also on top of desserts like ice creams and garnishes in some savory dishes. This article will focus on the art of creating Boba tea from a humble root vegetable and recipes on how to make Boba tea at home.

Kid with boba
Image by RDNE Stock Project , on Pexels

1. What is Bubble Tea (Boba Tea)?

Boba is made from tapioca starch obtained from the cassava root. That is why they are sometimes called “Tapioca Pearls.” Originally being native to South America, Cassava Root was introduced to Taiwan during the Japanese colonial rule.

1.1 Making of Boba

The starchy root vegetable is processed to obtain tapioca starch, which is then mixed with water to form a dough. This dough is then rolled into small balls and cooked in hot water until translucent. These chewy balls are then soaked in sugar syrup and added to the tea base, creating explosions of sweetness in the consumer’s mouth.

Dry, uncooked tapioca pearls can be rehydrated and cooked in hot water to get the bouncy, chewy little balls that are now adored all over the world.

Originating in Taiwan in the early 1980s, this beverage is the perfect blend of tea decoction, milk, tapioca pearls, and sometimes, fruit juices.

1.2 Use of Boba straw

A big-mouthed Boba straw is used to consume this drink so that the Boba can be sucked out of the cups easily without getting stuck halfway. Alternating between the cool, flavourful tea and bouncy, sweet tapioca pearls provides a unique experience that makes this drink simply irresistible.

2. Basic Ingredients: How to Make Boba Tea 

Bubble teas are generally divided into 2 categories: milk teas and teas without milk. All boba teas require certain basic ingredients to taste authentic and delicious.

2.1. Tea

Both categories use a variety of teas like black tea, green tea, oolong tea, Earl Grey tea, English breakfast tea, and matcha. The tea leaves are brewed meticulously according to their specific requirements. Most often, this may involve infusing the aroma and flavor of the tea leaves in hot water. The brewed tea is then cooled and used for the preparation of the beverage.

Teabags
Image by Skitterphoto , on Pexels

2.2. Milk or Creamers

Normally, fresh whole milk is used, but condensed milk, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk can also be used in place of your usual dairy products. The milk and tea can be assembled directly into the cup. But commonly, the tea is mixed well with the milk in a shaker or cocktail mixer.

2.3. Coffee, Cheese and Taro

Coffee can also be added to appease all the coffee lovers out there. It just needs a blissful cup of caffeine to start the day.

Sometimes, a creamy layer of cheese foam is added to the tea. This oddly fascinating version of the drink is well-liked in Asian countries and other parts of the world.

Taro, a starchy, naturally sweet root vegetable, is used to make creamy bubble tea, which serves as a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. Known for its characteristic purple color and delicate flavor with subtle hints of vanilla, Taro milk tea is a popular favorite among bubble tea enthusiasts.

3. Gain in Popularity of Boba Tea

Even though Boba Tea has been around since the 1980s, it has gained a lot of attention in the last few years. Boba tea now has a huge fanbase and is featured heavily on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest. And frankly, the public can’t get enough of this drink.

4. What Exactly Made Boba Tea Popular? 

Boasting a wide range of flavors that satisfy our taste buds and are captivating to look at, Bubble tea has gained a faithful following across the globe. The color, presentation, and taste all contribute to the popularity of this quirky drink. Pictures and videos of this drink in vibrant colors and appetizing presentations have flooded social media and increased the craze for bubble tea all over the world.

Lady with Bubble tea
Image by RDNE Stock Project , on Pexels

The ability for consumers to customize and create the drink according to their liking is an added plus. Boba tea isn’t necessarily unhealthy. The high amount of sugar and fatty milk or creamers might make it high in calories. This can be avoided by opting for other healthier variations of this beverage.

Many Boba tea outlets now offer gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, low-fat versions, which also helps more consumers gravitate towards this drink instead of other cold drinks.

5. Six Bubble Tea Recipe Ideas 

This article includes cool and refreshing recipes that’ll help you make boba tea at home to brighten your mood! (at least temporarily).

5.1 Classic Boba Milk Tea

This is the classic way to prepare a cheerful cup of boba tea that’ll make all your sadness go away.

boba tea
Image Source: Depositphotos, Taiwan milk tea with bubble on wood background

Ingredients

  • ½ cup tapioca pearls
  • 8 cups water
  • For the tea,
  • 2.5 tablespoon black tea leaves
  • 4 cups water
  • For the simple syrup,
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • For assembling the final drink,
  • 1 and ¾ cup brewed tea
  • ¼ cup milk ¼ cup simple syrup
  • ¼ cup ice
  • ½ cup Boba pearls

Instructions on How to Make Boba Tea

1.   To a saucepan, add sugar and water and cook on medium heat to prepare simple syrup.

2.   Cook the tapioca pearls in boiling water till cooked and then transfer to ice-cold water for 2 minutes. Drain and mix with half the prepared simple syrup.

3.   Brew the tea decoction according to your desired consistency. Strong tea is preferred to balance out the sweetness.

4.   Now assemble the tea, milk, syrup, and ice in a glass.

5.   Add boba pearls to the tea and enjoy!

5.2 Strawberry Milk Boba Tea

This boba tea recipe is free from dairy and gluten but infinitely more delicious! The vibrant strawberry brings a juicy explosion of flavor to this already refreshing drink.

Strawberries
Image by Ylanite Koppens , on Pexels

Ingredients 

  • 2 ½ cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup tapioca pearls
  • 2 tbsp or 25 g sugar
  • 2 green tea bags
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup ice

Instructions on How to Make Boba Tea

1.   Steep the teabags in hot water for five minutes and strain.

2.   Add diced strawberries, sugar, and ¾ cup water to a pot and cook until the strawberries are soft and mushy. Filter through a sieve to get the strawberry juice.

3. The boba pearls are cooked in hot water for 5 to 6 minutes and cooled. Add half of the strawberry syrup to the cooked tapioca pearls and stir.

4.   Assemble the remaining syrup, tea, milk, boba, and ice in 2 glasses and serve chill!

5.3 Jasmine Bubble Tea

This delicious bubble tea is an all-time favorite among bubble tea lovers. It combines the flavor of creamy milk tea with delicate floral notes, creating a medley in your mouth.

Jasmine tea
Image by Julia Filirovska , on Pexels

Ingredients 

  • 1 teaspoon jasmine tea leaves
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup boiled tapioca pearls

Instructions on How to Make Boba Tea

1.   Add the aromatic jasmine tea leaves to hot water and steep it for 5 to 7 minutes. Strain the brewed tea and let it cool.

2.   Mix the milk, sugar, and tea decoction to make the jasmine milk tea.

3.   Add the boba pearls and serve chill!

5.4 Iced Boba Milk Tea

This bubble tea recipe is for all of you caffeine lovers who prefer coffee over tea. Blending the robust flavor and slightly bitter taste of coffee with creamy milk and sweet bubbles, this drink is sure to make your morning instantly better!

Coffee
Image by Burst , on Pexels

Ingredients

  • ½ cup strong coffee or espresso
  • 1 cup milk of any kind
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Boba pearls
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar or honey

Instructions on How to Make Boa Tea

1. Brew ½ cup of strong coffee or espresso and let it cool.

2. Cook your boba or tapioca pearls in water on medium heat and let it cool.

3. Fill a tall glass with a few ice cubes and add in the cooled coffee and milk.

4. Top it with the Boba pearls.

5. Serve cold and enjoy!

5.5 Mango Boba Tea

Some of you might be wondering… “Hey, we already looked at the recipe for a fruit flavored bubble tea! Do we really need another one?” But this recipe has been tweaked a little bit and will definitely be a delicious treat for all of you who love bubble tea and adore it in every variation.

boba tea
Image Source: Depositphotos, Making tea with tapioca, bubble tea on a gray background. Side view, copy space.

This mango boba tea does not require milk or creamers of any kind. It’s refreshing and has the tropical punch of Mango to it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tapioca pearls
  • 1 tea bag of any kind
  • 100 ml mango syrup
  • 100 g Ice

Instructions on How to Make Boba Tea

1. Using a tea bag of your choice and hot water, brew a cup of flavourful tea and let it cool down.

2. Add the tapioca pearls to boiling water, cook it on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, and let it cool.

3. Assemble the bouncy and sweet tapioca pearls in a tall glass.

4. Add syrup and the brewed tea.

5. Add ice to the assembled drink

6. Serve cold and enjoy!

5.6 Taro Milk Tea

Made from a blend of taro root, jasmine tea, boba pearls, and milk, this drink has a delectable flavor profile that is not overly sweet.

Taro
Image by Coffeefy Workafe , on Unsplash

Taro root has a beautiful earthy taste. Combined with the milk, tea, and tapioca pearls, this drink is simply divine with subtle and mellow flavors. This vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free tea will make sure to hit the spot with its pretty purple color and unique flavors.

Ingredients

1. Boba

  • ½ cup uncooked boba pearls
  • 6 cups water
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar + ⅓ cup water

2. Jasmine Tea

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon loose Jasmine tea leaves

3. Taro mix

  • 3 tablespoons taro powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 3-4 tablespoons simple syrup
  • Ice

Instructions

1. Cook your tapioca pearls in boiling water on medium heat for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and cool the cooked pearls.

2. Mix the brown sugar with water on low heat to make a simple syrup and remove from heat when the sugar has dissolved completely.

3. Keep aside ¼ cup of the simple syrup and mix the rest with the cooked and drained boba pearls.

4. Brew the jasmine tea in hot water for 2 to 3 minutes, and then let it cool down to room temperature.

5. Add the tea, coconut milk, taro powder, and 3 tablespoons of simple syrup to a blender and blend the mixture until smooth.

6. Take a tall glass and fill half of it with ice and tapioca pearls.

7. The rest of the glass is filled with the blended mixture. Serve cold, and enjoy!

6. Conclusion

Boba has become quite the sensation across the globe thanks to its texture, flavors, and beautiful presentation. The art of making Boba is fascinating, involving hand-picked ingredients, careful preparation, and artistic presentation that appeals to all.

Boba tea is handcrafted with passion and a flair for innovation. The amount of effort and creativity that goes into the preparation of this drink makes it worth the hype and love it is receiving from people all over the world.

Last Updated on by Sathi Chakraborty

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