Learn how to make tapioca pearls (boba balls) for bubble tea from scratch. Whether you like your boba pearls chewy, soft, ‘Q’ or firm, we’ll show you how to achieve that perfect texture. Homemade boba pearls are an absolute must if you love drinking bubble tea. Making boba balls from scratch will give you more control over the size, texture, and flavour. This is something you won’t be able to control with store-bought ones.
Homemade boba pearls are an absolute must if you love drinking bubble tea. Making boba balls from scratch will give you more control over the size, texture, and flavour. This is something you won’t be able to control with store-bought ones.
Our recipe will show you how to make the perfect boba in under 30 minutes. No more crispy centered, mushy or hard boba pearls! We’ll also show you how to make tapioca pearls with matcha, mango, lychee and even rose ones at the end!
WHAT ARE TAPIOCA PEARLS?
Tapioca pearls (boba) are small chewy balls made from tapioca starch. Typically, these spheres are black in colour and are used for bubble tea. Although boba has a gelatinous texture, no gelatin is used in the process of creation. Therefore, this makes these small chewy spheres vegan friendly.
Boba are naturally translucent and white in colour. However, black food colouring or brown sugar is often used in the process. This is to achieve the familiar black colour. Black boba pearls were created for an aesthetic purpose to contrast with the colour of milk tea.
WHAT IS TAPIOCA STARCH?
Tapioca starch is a gluten-free flour that comes from the cassava root plant. The native South American plant arrived in Taiwan between 1895 and 1945, under Japanese rule. Tapioca starch is mainly known for making thick and chewy textures in dishes.
WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
Cooked by themselves, there is very little taste to tapioca pearls. These small spheres can be made with brown sugar or steeped in a caramel syrup for a sweeter taste.
Some people describe the texture of these small spheres to resemble that of jelly and gummy bears.
In Taiwan, the texture of tapioca boba pearls is referred to as Q or QQ. The term itself is hard to translate. However, it attempts to describe the mouthfeels of the soft yet resilient or bouncy texture. The high percentage of starch in cassava root is the reason behind this chewy texture. Other dishes which are also described in Taiwan as Q include fish balls, mochi, taro balls, and tangyuan.