Boba, also known as tapioca pearls, come from the starch of the cassava root. Once prepared, they are about the size of marbles with a chewy texture, similar to a gummy candy. Boba have become a popular addition to cold tea and fruit concoctions, which are known as “bubble teas.” They literally give the drinker something to chew on. Boba can be prepared simply at home, along with the sugar syrup boba are soaked in. You can add these prepared boba to the bubble drink of your choice.

Things You'll Need

Preparing the Boba

Add at least two quarts of water to a large pot or saucepan and bring to a boil.

Add tapioca pearls to the boiling water and stir to prevent sticking. Cover the pot and continue boiling for 20 minutes.

Turn off the burner and leave the pot on the stove, covered, for another 20 minutes.

Drain the boba in a colander over the sink, then rinse with cool water.

Place boba in a jar or plastic storage container and cover with sugar syrup.

Preparing the Sugar Syrup

Add the white sugar, brown sugar and 3 cups water to the saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved.

Let the sugar syrup cool slightly before pouring over the prepared boba.


  • Tapioca pearls are available at many Asian food markets, specialty food retailers or through online grocers.

    Preferences for the chewiness or softness of boba vary, so alter the cooking times to suit your taste.

    Store leftover prepared boba in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat for 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water before adding to bubble drinks.

    Leftover sugar syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

References and Resources

Boba Tea Help
Bubble Tea Recipes