Bubble tea (boba) first became famous in Taiwan. Its best-known and most common variant consists of tapioca pearls, black tea, syrup, and ice. The tapioca pearls add uniqueness. Pearls become pleasantly springy balls when boiled and absorb the drink’s flavor.
Tapioca pearls are made from the starch obtained from the cassava root. These pearls are widely used in Southeast Asian countries in desserts, the thickening of foods, and the making of boba or bubble tea.
I’ll show you how to quickly make strawberry bubble tea (boba) at home. Total making time is 15-20 minutes, and the serving size is for 1 person. If you want to make it for 2, double the ingredient sizes; for 3 people, triple the measurements.
Whether you make a boba for yourself or host a party, we’ll have a fun ride ahead. Let’s start!
Ingredients you’ll need for one bubble tea:
|1/4 cup / ~50g
|Black or green tea
|1 tea bag
|~ 3.4oz / ~ 100ml
|~ 3.4oz / ~ 100ml
|~ 0.22lbs / ~ 100g
I like to use these Wu Fu Yuan tapioca pearls. Especially because they are ready in five minutes and are delicious.
- Make the tea.
- Cook boba/tapioca pearls.
- Complete the drink.
- Put boba into a cup, add syrup, pour tea and milk, and mix.
- Add ice if you want, and enjoy!
Step #1: Make a Cup of Tea
Typically, black tea is used in bubble tea, but I prefer green tea. I’m a big fan of green tea, and I like bubble tea more when it’s done with green tea.
You can use a tea of your taste; the result should be tasteful in any case. If unsure, I recommend trying first with black tea and then try with green tea. Then you get to know the difference and find the best suit.
Use a tea bag or tea leaves. I prefer using tea bags because it’s more convenient.
- Boil water.
- Put the tea bag into a cup.
- Pour boiled water into the cup.
Optional: Sweeten your tea at your choice, but remember that we will add the syrup into bubble tea. Also, you can later sweeten your boba pearls, so don’t make your tea too sweet unless you are the one who likes everything super sweet. I don’t do that and prefer sweetening the pearls and bubble tea.
When your tea is ready, let it cool. If you went with black tea, take your tea bag out after 5 mins. A green tea bag can stay as long as the tea cools. You can also add a few ice cubes to cool it faster. I like to take tea bags out when I add ice cubes, but probably there isn’t a difference.
So, let’s give some peace to the tea and move to the next step, where we start cooking boba!
Step #2: Cook Boba/Tapioca Pearls
Now, let’s get the main ingredient ready. It’s a relatively quick and easy process and doesn’t require much skill.
If you are interested in making tapioca pearls, learn how to make boba pearls.
It depends on how many “bubbles” you want in your bubble tea. One cup of pearls is enough for four bubble teas. So, for one bubble tea, let’s cook ½ cup (around 1.2dl).
- The manufacturer has labeled: “Boil 10 cups of water for every 1 cup of tapioca pearls in a pot.” For 1/4 cup of tapioca pearls, boil 2.5 cups of water.
- Wait until the water starts to boil.
- Add tapioca pearls slowly into boiling water and stir lightly. The white powder on the pearls is starch, which disappears when heated, so don’t be bothered about that.
- Wait until pearls float to the water’s surface and cover the pot.
- Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. I cook them for two and a half minutes and like to stir them occasionally.
- Turn off the heat and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. If you like soft boba, make it 3 minutes instead of 2 minutes.
- Place the pearls into cold water for a half minute.
- Scoop out tapioca into a dry bowl.
For extra sweetening, mix the pearls with honey or the syrup you will use. If you have already sweetened the tea, try not to over-sweet the pearls. Keep in mind that we’ll add the syrup later.
Step #3: Serve the Strawberry Bubble Tea
Now we get to the best part; this is where your bubble tea will be born. I hope you are as excited as me, so let’s get into it without further ado!
- Take a cup or mug (where you want to make your drink) and put pearls on the bottom of it.
- Dip the side of the cup with the syrup. Just start pouring the syrup on the top of the side and swirl the cup simultaneously until the entire side is covered. Some of the syrup should sink, which is excellent.
- Add the tea and mix it.
- If you want, you can add ice.
- Taste it and add syrup if you like.
- Use a wide enough straw and enjoy your boba!
To know more about boba straws and cups, read our article, where we break it all down.
Cooked tapioca pearls can stay at room temperature. I recommend consuming cooked tapioca pearls within 3 hours after cooking. Yes, they are okay even after 6 hours, but they are more enjoyable when used immediately.
Refrigerate the open package and use it as soon as possible. It’s still good to use for a couple of days, but the sooner you cook it, the better.
I hope we all know that everybody should be careful and avoid choking on tapioca. As a parent, you should know that bubble tea might not suit children under three years of age. It would be good if children consume bubble tea under adult supervision.
As already mentioned, the white powder on tapioca pearls is starch. It helps to store tapioca pearls. Also, significant storage temperature differences can cause steam inside the package. If you notice that, you should know it’s okay and safe for consumption.
Hopefully, you liked my strawberry bubble tea recipe. I think you can agree with me when I say it’s an easy and fast process. It all can be done in 15-20 minutes! It can be done even faster when you get more advanced and know where and how to multitask.
You can make the same bubble tea without milk; look at our strawberry bubble tea (without milk) recipe.