Boba Tea

Boba Tea

Boba are naturally gluten free tapioca balls that are served in a variety of drinks. These drainks are usually made with black or green tea, plus sugar syrup and milk. Boba originated in Taiwan and is also called pearl milk tea or bubble tea. Boba was introduced when cassava became more common in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial rule. Cassava does not naturally grow in Japan or Taiwan, but it was brought over by the Japanese from South America.


The oldest version of boba tea was made with hot black tea, small tapioca pearls, sugar, and condensed milk. The iced version is most common nowadays, and it’s usually sealed with a plastic topper so you can vigorously shake it. After the drink has been shaken, a special boba-sized straw is used to puncture a hole in the plastic seal.

When you order boba, you’ll receive a chewy boiled and sweetened tapioca portion at the bottom of the cup. This is then topped with ice, and finally with tea and other toppings of your choosing. Boba tea options now often include agar, jellies, fruit, milkshakes, juice, and other various sweet things. Boba drinks that include alcohol can be found in certain shops.

The texture of the boba is very important. These need to be exactly the correct level of chewiness to remain separate, yet bouncy enough to be enjoyable to chew in either a hot or cold beverage. While boba shops have their own special machines that will seal off a cup of boba for optimal mixing, boba is pretty easy to make at home. There are dried and packaged boba pearls that can be boiled, but you can also craft your own boba entirely from scratch, if you’re feeling up to it.

Make tapioca pearls from scratch:

Or prepare and customize bubble tea at home:

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