DIY Bubble Tea

Bubble tea (or Boba Tea), I love it, but it is one of those things I hardly ever see.  I always forget that I love it until I see it somewhere, then, there is no stopping me!  That sweet delicious tea, those chewy tapioca balls, it’s a drink and a snack all in one!  The other day my brother was making plans to take his kids to China Town in NYC, and the first thing that popped into my head was “Bring me back some Bubble Tea!”  The trip ended up getting canceled because of weather, hence I never got my bubble tea.  So, I decided to make my own.  Much to my delight I discovered that it is very easy to make!  There are just a couple of things you need to get, and I was pleased to find that I could procure them all from Amazon.  We don’t have any Asian markets near me.  There are 2 ways you can do it.  You can buy a mix for about $15.  The bag is about a pound and a half, so I assume you could make a LOT of tea with that. Or you can brew your own tea.  I would suggest green tea, black tea, or jasmin tea.  Then you can just ad Sweetened condensed milk, and the tapioca pearls.  You will also need those big fat straws that let you suck up the pearls (my favorite part).  You can also just buy a kit that has everything you need for about $30.

Here are the full instructions I found on The Kitchn:

What You Need


1/4 cup dried boba tapioca pearls per serving (NOT quick-cooking boba)
1-2 tea bags per serving, any kind
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Milk, almond milk, or sweetened condensed milk
Fruit juice or nectar (optional)


Bowl for holding the cooked boba
Measuring cups


1. Cook the Boba: Measure 2 cups of water for every 1/4 cup of boba being prepared into a saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the boba and stir gently until they begin floating to the top of the water.

Turn the heat to medium and cook the boba for 12-15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, cover, and let the pearls sit for another 12-15 minutes.

2. Prepare Sugar Syrup for the Boba: While the boba are cooking, make a simple sugar syrup to sweeten and preserve them once cooked. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil over high heat on the stove or in the microwave. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup sugar until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

3. Prepare a Strong Cup of Tea: This can be done either while the boba are cooking or ahead of time. Allow enough time for the tea to cool completely before making the boba. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the tea bag. Use one tea bag for regular-strength bubble tea or two for a stronger tea flavor. Remove the tea bag after 15 minutes and chill the tea.

4. Finish the Boba: Once the boba have finished cooking, drain them from the water and transfer them to a small bowl or container. Pour the sugar syrup over top until the boba are submerged. Let sit until the boba are room temperature, at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate until ready to use. Boba are best if used within a few hours of cooking, but will keep refrigerated for several days. The boba will gradually harden and become crunchy as they sit.

5. Make the Bubble Tea: Pour the prepared tea into a tall glass and add the boba. Add milk for a creamy bubble tea, juice for a fruity tea, or leave plain and add a little extra water. Sweeten to taste with the simple syrup from soaking the boba.

Additional Notes:

Very Chilled Bubble Tea: For an extra-chilly bubble tea, combine all the tea, milk, and/or juice, but not the boba in a cocktail shaker. Add a few ice cubes and shake for 20 seconds. Pour into a tall glass and add the boba.

Shortcut Boba: If you want immediate gratification, just cook your boba until they are tender, 5 to 10 minutes, and use them as soon as they’re cool. This kind of boba don’t keep for very long (turning rock hard in a few hours), but are delicious if eaten right away.

Saving Leftover Boba and Making Boba for Later: Boba are best if used within a few hours of cooking, but will keep refrigerated with simple syrup for several days. The boba will gradually harden and become crunchy as they sit.

Photo also from