Boba Pearls

Can’t go out to get boba? Make it yourself. A day ahead, preferably.


  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar

Steps: Prep

Heat water and 4 tbsp brown sugar in a pot. Once dissolved, mix in 1/3 cup of tapioca flour and QUICKLY mix until smooth. If you wait, it’ll start to clump and you’ll have to spend extra time mashing it around.

Place remainder (2/3 cup) of tapioca flour on work surface. Scrape the cooked contents on top, and fold with a scraper blade until mostly incorporated, or cool enough to handle. Continue kneading until all flour has been absorbed.

It will be a little tacky. Resist the urge to add more flour.

Working with chunks at a time, roll out the dough into cylinders, at most 1cm in diameter. The size will be approximate to what the final result will be, so if you want it to be straw’able, go smaller!

Cut the cylinder into pieces. Round them into rough spheres.

Lightly flour the spheres. They will store in the fridge for a day, or freeze.

Steps: Cook

Boil a lot of water. More than you think you’ll need, as the balls will release a lot of starch.

Once at a rolling boil, add the pearls. Simmer covered for 15 minutes, then turn off heat and let rest for 15 minutes.

If they are still doughy, drain, rinse in cold water, and repeat the cooking steps.

Steps: Syrup

While the cooking is going…

Combine 4 tbsp water and 1/3 cup brown sugar in a pot. Dissolve over low/medium heat.

Once the pearls are cooked, drain and combine with syrup.

These should last in the fridge for a few days.

Steps: Milk tea

Combine loose leaf black tea with several cups of milk, in a pot. Heat the pot over low heat until milk is steaming. Remove from heat and let brew to taste. (Longer, stronger.)

Chill, or serve with lots of ice, with the brown sugar syrup and pearls.


Oh so sweet. Usually too sweet.

Also good with equal parts coffee and milk (non tea’d).

See Also