Homemade Boba (Tapioca Pearls)

Homemade Boba (Tapioca Pearls)

Ingredients for boba

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup (60g) brown sugar
    • I used light brown sugar, which actually made my boba like the pricey golden boba sold in some stores. For traditional boba, use dark brown sugar or muscovado sugar.
  • 1 cup (135g) tapioca starch (plus more for dusting)
  • 6 cups of water (for boiling the boba)
  • 3 cups ice cold water (for cooling the boba down)

Ingredients for honey syrup

  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons hot water


  1. In a small saucepan, add water and brown sugar. Turn the heat to medium low and stir until sugar is completely dissolved (or 5 minutes).
  2. Turn off the heat, and add 3 tablespoons of the tapioca starch to the brown sugar liquid. Combine well and turn the heat back on. Continue to stir the mixture until it starts to thicken, and then, take it back off the heat. It should be gooey at this point.
  3. Add the rest of the tapioca starch, and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Flour a surface with some tapioca starch, and knead until it’s nicely incorporated. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more tapioca starch.
  5. Once combined, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Take each piece and roll it into a long skinny log. For the dough pieces that you aren’t using, wrap it in cling wrap.
  6. Using a knife, cut each log into small pieces (approximately 1/2 inch wide).
  7. Now, take each little piece and roll into a smooth ball. Dust the ball in tapioca starch to keep it from sticking. You can now freeze this boba for later.
  8. For cooking the boba, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the boba pearls, and boil for 12-15 minutes. Immediately, scoop the boba into the ice water to cool them down.
  9. In the meantime, combine honey and water to make the honey syrup.
  10. Drain the cold boba, and add them into the honey syrup and coat the pearls.
  11. You’re done! Now, you can add this boba to anything of your choice!

If you want a fun recipe to use your boba with, try my Strawberry Dalgona Matcha Latte with Boba! For a traditional milk tea, follow this recipe:

Ingredients for milk tea

  • 4 black tea bags
    • You can also use 2 tablespoons of loose leaf black tea here instead of tea bags.
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • You can use more or less sugar depending on how sweet you like your milk tea. Granulated sugar works here, but you can also use brown sugar for some extra flavor.
  • 1/2 cup boba (tapioca pearls)
  • 1/2 cup milk
    • I actually used oat milk, but traditionally, whole milk it used. However, you can be creative and use soy milk, almond milk, and so on! Feel free to add more or less to taste.
  • 1/2 cup ice

This recipe makes about 2 glasses of milk tea.


  1. In a heatproof bowl or pitcher, steep the tea with the boiling water for about 7-9 minutes. Then, you can do a taste test to determine if this is the strength you’d like your milk tea. It should be a little bit stronger than the final product at this point.
  2. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. If you’re using loose leaf tea, strain your tea at this point.
  3. Prepare your cooked boba as in the steps above.
  4. Now, it’s time to assemble. Divide the cooked boba into two glasses. Add half of the ice to each glass. Then, add half the milk to each glass. Finally, add half of the black tea to each glass. Stir and enjoy!

Homemade Boba is such a fun thing to do at home! It was so cool to me that I could make quality boba at home, and they’re so much better than store-bought boba. These are more tender and have the right amount of chew, so it’s a perfect addition to add to any milk tea, fruit tea, even ice cream or cake…the list is endless. Rolling each ball can be time consuming, so also relaxing at the same time. Let me know what type of drink or dessert you’d add your homemade boba to!

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