How to Make Boba: A Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome Challenger!

Hello, Challenger! Are you a fan of the popular Taiwanese bubble tea? If so, have you ever wondered how to make boba pearls at home? Making boba may seem intimidating, but it’s actually very simple with the right ingredients and techniques. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps of making boba pearls from scratch, and how to prepare them for your favorite bubble tea drinks.


Boba, also known as bubble tea or pearl milk tea, originated from Taiwan in the 1980s and has since spread worldwide in popularity. The drink often features a blend of tea, milk, sugar, and chewy tapioca pearls. The tapioca pearls, or boba, are the key ingredient that makes this drink unique. When cooked correctly, the boba pearls have a soft and chewy texture, making them an excellent addition to any drink.

Making boba may seem daunting, but it’s actually a straightforward process that requires only a few basic ingredients. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about making boba pearls from scratch. We’ll discuss the necessary tools and ingredients, the step-by-step process, and some tips and tricks to ensure that your boba comes out perfect every time.

Are you ready to learn how to make boba? Let’s get started!


To make boba pearls, you’ll need the following ingredients:

1 cup of tapioca starch
1/4 cup of hot water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
Extra tapioca starch for dusting


In addition to the ingredients listed above, you’ll need some essential tools to make boba pearls:

mixing bowl
slotted spoon

Step-by-Step Process

Now that you have all the necessary ingredients and tools let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making boba pearls from scratch.

Step 1: Combine the Tapioca Starch and Hot Water

In a mixing bowl, combine one cup of tapioca starch and 1/4 cup of hot water. Use a fork to mix the ingredients thoroughly until a dough starts to form.

Step 2: Knead the Dough

Use your hands to knead the dough for at least five minutes until it becomes smooth and pliable. If the dough feels too wet, add more tapioca starch. If the dough feels too dry and crumbly, add a little bit of hot water.

Step 3: Form the Dough into Small Balls

Once the dough is smooth and pliable, use your hands to form small balls. Each ball should be around 1/4 inch in diameter.

Step 4: Cook the Boba

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the boba balls to the pot. The boba will sink to the bottom of the pot at first, but they will eventually float to the surface as they cook. Boil the boba for 15-20 minutes until they are soft and chewy.

Step 5: Rinse and Drain the Boba

Once the boba is cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl of cold water. Gently stir the boba in the water to rinse off any excess starch. Drain the boba and transfer them to a bowl.

Step 6: Sweeten the Boba

In a saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of brown sugar with 1/4 cup of water. Heat the mixture over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the sugar syrup over the boba and stir to coat them evenly. Let the boba sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb the sugar syrup.

Step 7: Serve the Boba

Once the boba has absorbed the sugar syrup, it’s ready to be served. Add the boba to your favorite bubble tea drink for a delicious and satisfying treat.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make perfect boba pearls every time:

• Use a slotted spoon to handle the boba during cooking, as this will help prevent sticking and clumping.

• Be careful not to overcook the boba, as this will cause them to become too soft and mushy.

• Make sure to rinse the boba thoroughly after cooking to remove any excess starch.

• Add the sugar syrup to the boba while they’re still warm, as this will help the boba absorb the sweet flavor more effectively.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make delicious boba pearls that will impress your friends and family.


Q1: Can I use regular flour instead of tapioca starch to make boba?

A1: No, tapioca starch is essential to achieving the chewy texture of boba pearls. Regular flour won’t have the same effect.

Q2: How long will cooked boba last in the fridge?

A2: Cooked boba can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

Q3: Can I freeze cooked boba pearls for later use?

A3: Yes, you can freeze cooked boba pearls. We recommend storing them in a sealed plastic bag or container in single-serving portions.

Q4: How can I make colored boba pearls?

A4: You can add food coloring to the dough before forming it into balls to create different colored boba pearls.

Q5: Can I make boba pearls without brown sugar?

A5: Yes, you can use white sugar or honey instead of brown sugar to sweeten the boba pearls.

Q6: How many servings does this recipe make?

A6: This recipe makes around 1 cup of boba pearls, which is enough for about 2-4 servings of bubble tea.

Q7: Can I use a different sweetener instead of sugar?

A7: Yes, you can use other sweeteners like honey or maple syrup to sweeten the boba pearls.

Q8: Can I reuse leftover syrup from sweetening the boba?

A8: Yes, you can reuse leftover syrup to sweeten future batches of boba pearls. Just make sure to store the syrup in an airtight container in the fridge.

Q9: How long does it take to cook boba pearls?

A9: Boba pearls usually take 15-20 minutes to cook until they’re soft and chewy.

Q10: Can I make boba pearls in advance and store them until I’m ready to use them?

A10: Yes, you can store cooked boba pearls in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to use them in your bubble tea drinks.

Q11: What kind of tea should I use to make bubble tea?

A11: You can use any type of tea you prefer, like black tea or green tea.

Q12: How much boba should I use per serving of bubble tea?

A12: We recommend using 1/4 to 1/2 cup of boba pearls per serving of bubble tea, depending on your preference.

Q13: Can I make boba pearls into different shapes besides balls?

A13: Yes, you can experiment with different shapes like stars or hearts. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.


Congrats, Challenger! You now have a comprehensive understanding of how to make boba pearls from scratch. With just a few simple ingredients and tools, you can create delicious and chewy boba pearls perfect for adding to your bubble tea drinks. We hope this guide has been helpful and that you now feel confident in your ability to make boba pearls at home.

So what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen and start making your own boba pearls today!


The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. Consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist before making any significant changes to your diet.