Homemade Boba/Tapioca Pearls/”Bubbles”

Bubble tea has always been my favourite go-to guilty pleasure drink. Having grown up in Taiwan, I’ve been having it for as long as I can remember. I’ve made milk tea at home before, but always used store-bought boba. Dehydrate store bought boba is a nightmare in itself. The first time I ever made it, it took me nearly 2 hours to boil and even then, it was still white in the middle and the texture was never as nice as the ones in stores. I’m not sure how I stumbled onto this website, but I’m so glad I did. I never knew it was SO easy to make boba at home. It only uses 2 ingredients and takes less time to make than dehydrated store bought boba! This version makes white boba – no difference in taste or texture from the original black ones, just in colour. Check out the original website for some tips and suggestions on making them black and some photos of the process.

Recipe adapted from: https://thethingswellmake.com/how-to-make-boba-tapioca-pearls-from-scratch/


  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • ~1/2 cup boiling water
    • (Optional: dissolve 1 Tbsp white sugar into the boiling water before using – this will make the boba sweet)


  1. Put your tapioca starch in a medium sized bowl and add in half of the boiling water. Mix with a spoon. Then use your hands to knead the starch mixture to mix properly and add the boiling water little by little until you have a nice smooth dough – careful not to burn yourself with the water; you may not need the entire half cup of water. Your dough should be soft and easy to manipulate – reminds me of the texture of bubble gum.
    • If it’s too sticky, add in more tapioca starch. If it’s too dry and cracking/crumbling, then add more hot water.
  2. Once your dough is ready, roll it out into strips and cut them into small pieces (a little smaller than the size of regular boba – they will expand a little when cooking) and roll them into small balls. If you want to eat them right, away follow the “COOKING” instructions below. Otherwise, follow the storage instructions.


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil on high heat and drop in your boba. Stir. Once the boba rises to the top, turn your heat down to medium. When the boba once again falls to the bottom, it’s ready! Turn off your heat and strain out your boba.
  2. If you’re not using it right away, keep it in a bowl with a little honey or sugar water to prevent them from sticking together and adding a little sweetness.


  • Cooked boba does not store well, so unless you plan on eating your boba that day, you should freeze the uncooked boba balls and cook as per instructions above when ready to use.
  • Refrigerating cooked boba will end up in hard boba. Avoid refrigerating them!
  • If you leave out cooked boba for a couple hours in honey, they may harden a little. Just microwave them for 30 seconds before using and they should be good to go.


  • You can try adding flavours to your boba if you like. I’m tempted to try adding some matcha powder to the tapioca starch next time. Or even ground sesame!

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