I’m currently sitting in my kitchen after a few hours of research about boba bubble drinks, I’ve also created 5 in total and I’m a bit proud of myself. I will gladly share my knowledge with you, what’s the easiest way and what’s the best drink.
Let’s start with a simple note that we’re going to talk about boba as an entire drink and not only the topping bubbles. Personally, I can’t work without bubble tea on my desk. It’s the most thirst-quenching snack I can think of. Fortunately for my addiction, bubble tea is super easy to make at home. Stay with us and we will teach you how to make boba.
Let’s start with boba tapioca pearls
You can find boba pearls at almost any Asian grocery store or online, Tapioca pearls are made from tapioca starch. Typically, these spheres are black in color and are used for bubble tea. Although boba has a gelatinous texture, no gelatin is used in the process of creation. Therefore, this makes these pearls vegan friendly.
Tapioca starch is a gluten-free flour that comes from the cassava root plant. The native South American plant arrived in Taiwan between 1895 and 1945, under Japanese rule. Tapioca starch is mainly known for making thick and chewy textures.
what you will need:
- 60ml water
- 50g brown sugar
- 100g tapioca starch
- Boil the water and slowly add sugar, brown will be good for it.
- Once it is well incorporated and bubbling, turn the heat off. Add 40g of the tapioca starch and mix it with water and sugar.
- If the mixture is still hot (if not turn the heat up a bit), add what’s left of the starch flour and mix it again. After all of that let it all slightly cool before the next step.
- On a flat surface, knead the dough. Add a bit of flour if you have, and try to roll it to be about 1.5cm thick.
- Take a knife and cut these into 1.5cm x 1.5cm squares.
- Take the squares in your hand and roll them until they will become take shape of a small ball, also you can add some dry tapioca or flour to prevent balls from sticking to each other.
- Let the balls dry a bit.
For the cooking part you’re going to need:
- 60ml water
- 80g brown sugar
- Ice cubes
- It’s time for cooking, boil 8 cups of water and add the balls. Let it cook for 8 minutes on medium heat.
- Prepare an ice bath for quick cooling pearls. Just take water with ice in it.
- Take a second pot, and boil 60ml of water and 80g of brown sugar for 5 minutes let it reduce to a syrup form.
- Add the black boba to an ice bath for at least 1 minute!
- Put the pearls into prepared brown sugar from the 4th step, and turn the heat to low. Allow this to cook for about 7 minutes or until the syrup thickens to the desired form. Stir slowly after every minute. This can be added to hot drinks, but if you want it for a cold drink, allow it to rest for 15 minutes before assembling.
Let’s create a simple tea base
This can be done either while the boba is cooking or when the pearls are cooling. Allow enough time for the tea to cool completely before making the boba. Take 1 cup of water and boil it. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. You should use one tea bag for regular-strength bubble tea or two for a stronger tea flavor. Remove the tea bag after 15 minutes and cool the tea.
Boba pearls are best if used within a few hours of cooking, but don’t worry if you want to create more for the future, you can keep them refrigerated for several days. The boba will gradually harden and become crunchy as they sit. Let’s make it done and combine it all. Pour the prepared tea into a tall glass or any other container and add the boba. Those are optional but, add milk if you want a creamy bubble tea, juice for a fruity tea, or leave plain and add a little extra water. Sweeten to taste with the simple syrup from soaking the boba.
Notes to make your life easier
Boba is at its chewiest best if used within a few hours of cooking. However, the longer cooking method that we’ve used helps the boba stay soft and moist for several days or weeks if kept refrigerated in a syrup. They will gradually start to harden and become crunchy in the middle. For a quick-fix bubble tea when you know you’ll eat them right away, just boil the boba until they are soft, it should take about 8 minutes.
Is our recipe healthy?
Some people are concerned about the starchy carbs in the boba pearls, and so they choose to omit them altogether. But, let’s be real—a boba tea recipe without the chewy boba is just plain old milk tea! Ultimately, learning how to make bubble tea at home is your best bet for a healthier choice.
Are tapioca pearls bad for you?
Overall, boba tapioca pearls are delicious to eat, though they’re not a rich source of nutrients. In a single cup of boba pearls, there are around 120 calories, 28g of carbs, 3g of fiber, and that’s pretty much it. There’s a lot of sugar in it that’s why the calories from it are high for a normal drink. And, for those who are gluten conscious, boba pearls are gluten-free. I enjoy eating tapioca pearls, and I also recognize that they’re mainly a source of starchy carbohydrates.
We do have a big article about boba on our site, take a look if you want to know more.
If you have any problems with this recipe I think it must be the pearls… remember that you can also buy them online, they will often come with a boba straw used to eat pearls from the bottom of the drink. But the taste will be better if you make them yourself!
Don’t give up on your first try, but if you struggle you can try a youtube video like this one from Joshua Weissman. With every try you will be better at it, so don’t give up and try your best to make your delicious drink!