One of the most important parts of your bubble tea set is the tapioca pearls, also known as boba, little translucent balls made from a starch taken from the cassava root. They’re somewhat jelly-like and chewy in texture and they make drinking bubble tea a huge amount of fun, as you suck them up through your straw with each sip.
These boba pearls are the most popular topping for milk tea and if you’re new to the drink, it might be a wise idea to start with them so you know what to expect. From there, you can start experimenting with all sorts of different flavours and toppings to find out exactly how you like to drink yours.
Interestingly, you can actually make your own tapioca pearls entirely from scratch if you have the time and inclination. All you’ll need is tapioca flour, some brown sugar and some hot water, and it should take around an hour to whip up a batch.
You just heat your sugar up in the water until it’s all dissolved and then stir your flour in, making sure it’s lump-free. Heat until it thickens up, then add more tapioca flour to form a sticky dough.
Knead your dough until it becomes soft and elastic, then roll it out to form a thin rod of dough, before cutting it up into small pieces. Then you need to cook them in boiling water for about 20 minutes.
Of course, this is quite time-consuming so it’s an awful lot easier to get yourself a bubble tea starter kit and take it from there!