Make Your Own: Bubble Tea

Bubble tea is amazing stuff. If you live rurally, like me, you might not be as familiar with it because we don't have those fancy shops that serve this delicious stuff. Bubble tea (also known as Boba Tea) is tea that has been poured over giant black tapioca pearls that you suck through a giant straw.

It's basically like drinking yummy sweet, creamy tea with gummies at the bottom. YUM! I was hooked the first time I tasted it, and then I came back to my hometown and cried because I couldn't have it anymore. So I relentlessly searched online for a place to buy the tapioca pearls to make my own. And for the straws--you have to have the straws.

After a tireless search, I found and they have the best rates for shipping and the pearls themselves. Now I make my own. I like coconut flavor, but you can get creative as you like with it. But here is my recipe for you bubble tea enthusiasts out there! Please enjoy!

Tapioca pearls... mmmmm. They are my favorite! You will use a half a cup for the purposes of this recipe. You don't want to make too many because, really, they don't store all that well once they are cooked. 

Measure 'em out and then sift out the excess tapioca dust. Once I didn't do this and all the balls turned into one big ball because the dust turned to a gummy gel and I had to start over. 

Bring two cups of water to a boil and then add your tapioca. 

Your tapioca balls will float to the top. Let them boil about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. When they are done boiling, you cover them and let them sit about 30 minutes. 

And I know what you might be thinking--we're in this tea for 45 minutes? It'll be totally worth it, I promise!  

While all that tapioca business is going on, you will want to deal with the actual tea part. I have tested several recipes in finding my favorite one. For this you want about a cup of water. One chai tea bag and a can of coconut water. 

Bring your water to a boil and then remove from the heat. Steep your tea bag about 5-7 minutes. 

In a pitcher filled with ice, like this cute one here, pour your tea. 

Add your can of coconut water.... 

Then add sugar. I used 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, but if you like it sweeter or what have you, you know, don't let me tell you how to sugar... sugar. 

Same with the cream. I love the creaminess of this drink. I used a quarter cup of heavy cream, but it's a suggestion more than anything else. You can use flavored creamer, powdered creamer, or no creamer in any quantity you find befits your flavor! 

You got your tea! 

When your tapioca pearls are done soaking, this what they will look like. I wanted to make a joke about how I love these black balls--oh wait, I think that counts. Rinse your balls. 


This recipe will make up to 4 bubble teas, depending on the size. I had leftovers, but I was only making two for the moment. One for me and one for my husband who is also bubble tea crazy. 

So, you put your tapioca pearls at the bottom, then add ice, and your straws. The straws are essential and they are cheap on 

Then add your tea! And at long last, you have your perfect bubble tea, all laid before you--take that local coffee shop who told me bubble tea wasn't "trendy" anymore! 

Billie's Bubble Tea

Time: 1 hour | Serves: 4 | Difficulty: Medium

You Will Need:

 For the pearls: 
1/2 cup black tapioca pearls
2 cups water 

For the tea: 
1 cup water
1 chai tea bag
1 can of coconut water 
1/4 cup heavy cream 
2 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar 


Special items: Bubble tea straws 


Measure your tapioca pearls and then sift them to get the access powder out. 

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add tapioca pearls. Allow them to boil about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. 

When they are done boiling, remove them from the heat, cover the pan with a lid and allow them to sit for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat and allow your teabag to steep in the hot water for 5-7 minutes. 

Fill a small pitcher with ice. Pour your tea over the ice once steeped. 

Add to your tea the coconut water, sugar, and cream. Stir. 

When the tapioca pearls are fully soaked (after the 30 minutes), drain them using a colander. Give them a little rinse as well. 

Fill 2-4 cups (depending on how many awesome people want to join you for bubble tea) with tapioca pearls. You can add as much or as little as you like, but 2 tablespoons to each cup seems to be about perfect. 

Fill cup with ice and add a bubble tea straw. Pour prepared tea mixture over the ice and tapioca, and serve! 


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