How to make bubble tea

Bubble tea and boba, also known as pearl milk tea, are popular drinks around the world, but they’re most commonly found in Asian countries. Boba drinks are brewed from tea and contain tapioca balls made from tapioca flour or starch that give the drink its fun texture. And if you're still feel like you would like some more information you can read our guide to everything bubble tea.for more recipes.

Top Tips

  • Rinse your tapioca pearls with cold water before and after cooking them to stop them from being too sticky
  • Make your sugar syrup beforehand using a 1:1 water to sugar ratio. Try using brown sugar for a more caramel flavour if you have a sweet tooth.
  • Remember to include ice cubes to cool down the drink and stop the tapioca pearls from overcooking.

How do I know if my tapioca pearls are good?

There are a few things you can do to test if your tapioca pearls are good. First, try cooking a small batch of pearls. If they float to the top and are chewy, they're good. If they sink to the bottom and are hard, they're bad. Second, smell the pearls. They should have a neutral smell, not a sour or fishy smell. Finally, taste a pearl. It should be slightly sweet with no aftertaste.

Does it matter what kind of cup I use?

If you want to get really fancy, you can buy special bubble tea cups with built-in straw holders. But if you're just making bubble tea at home, any cup will do. Just make sure it's big enough to fit all the ingredients!

how to cook tapioca pearls

Ingredients for Classic Boba Tea

  • 5g loose black tea leaves (preferably Assam) or 2 black tea bags

  • 450ml hot water

  • 150ml milk (you could use almond milk for a non-dairy version)

  • 50ml sugar syrup, or to taste

  • 120g black tapioca pearls 

  • Ice

  • Extra Wide Straws For Boba Bubble Tea

Step 1: Cook The Tapioca Pearls 

  1. Bring 2.5 litres of water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add the pearls and wait until they rise to the surface. Cover the pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and sit for a further 2-3 minutes until soft. It is a good idea to cook the pearls until they feel slightly softer than you would normally like - they will firm up as they cool.
  3. Once cooked, transfer to a bowl of sugar syrup and allow to cool. For best results, use the pearls as soon as they’re cool.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

 Step 2: Make The Bubble Tea

  1. Steep the tea in the hot water and leave to cool (until lukewarm is fine). If using tea bags, remove them before the next step.

  2. Divide the tea equally between two glasses (remember to use a strainer if you’re using loose tea) then add the milk and sugar syrup to taste. Stir gently until mixed.

  3. Carefully spoon the tapioca pearls into the two glasses, half in each. If you have a slotted spoon, use this to drain the sugar syrup from the pearls.

  4. Add a few cubes of ice.

  5. Stick in your boba straw and enjoy!

© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024


more bubble tea recipes


Why not check out our guide to everything bubble tea for more recipes inspired by world cuisines.


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