Homemade Tapioca Pearls (Boba)

If you like to try and make your own homemade tapioca pearls, the one in boba tea, then you’ve come to the right place. Once in a while I get the craving for boba tea. Especially the tapioca pearls, they give a nice finish and taste!

The Tapioca pearls are the small balls on the bottom. Filled with sweetness, and a unique but pleasant and smooth texture. It is what makes this tea extra special!

This recipe will be good for between 20-30 servings depending how much tapioca pearls you use in each serving. It also does take some time to make, but you can freeze and store it for later use. If you have any difficulties following the homemade tapioca pearls boba recipe, then this video will help you.


Ingredients to make tapioca pearls
  • 400 gr tapioca starch
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 pcs of palm sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 4 drops of green food color
  • 4 drops of red food color
  • 2 tbs of moka syrup
  • 800 ml of water for the syrup

I can imagine, if you do not have the palm sugar, you can use brown sugar. That would be 2 cups then. For the milk tea you would need some ice cubes, black tea and 1/2 cup of milk.

Prepare the ingredients and if you are using the palm sugar you would need to cut it up in pieces. If you are using brown sugar, you can start with the next step.

Sugar water for tapioca pearls

Add the water in a pan and start adding the sugar, food colouring, syrup and a teaspoon of salt. As soon as this sugar mixture starts boiling, turn of the fire. Use a strainer to be sure there are no chunks any more.

About 1-2 cups of the mixture go back in the pan, and you’ll just need to reheat it shortly. as soon as the bubbles show, turn of the fire. This prevents from burning the sugar and tapioca starch which you are about to add. Do not throw away the rest of the sugar water. We will need it later on again.

Dough forming

When the tapioca starch is added, it will become some mush. Stir it well, and keep adding the starch until it looks like a kneadable dough like in the picture. When it looks like that you can take it out of the pan and start kneading. During this process you will probably need to add some more starch until it has a plasticine texture.

When it has reached the desired texture you can roll the dough in one big roll and cut them evenly. From this cut part, roll it again. But this time it should become 1 cm in diameter. This allow for cutting into tapioca pearls right away. Cut them all, and start rolling the balls in your hand.

The balls tend to stick to each other. I use a container with a little bit extra starch to prevent it from sticking to each other. When you are done rolling it, you can add the balls to a strainer and you can remove the excessive starch.

Boil tapioca pearls

Boil the pearls in water for 20 minutes or when the pearls start to float. Make sure to stir regularly. After boiling add them in a bowl of cold water. This will harden the tapioca pearls and give them texture. Now the colour and taste is not finished yet. For that we are going to use the leftover sugar water from before.

On low fire we’re reboiling the tapioca pearls for about 30 minutes. The taste and colour will change for the tapioca pearls, and the result looks amazing. Homemade tapioca pearls, pretty easy, it just takes a while.

Now to make the bubble tea

At this stage you should be proud and excited of yourself that you made it. It should also be enough to last a while.

Without further waiting, add some of the tapioca balls and sugar water in a big glass. Add tea ice cubes, black tea (which is cooled off already) and milk. Homemade boba tea! yummy! I hope you will enjoy this recipe.

homemade Tapioca pearls

How to make tapioca pearls at home

Recipe for making the tapioca pearls, boba tea at home
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Course refreshment
Cuisine Asian
Servings 30 servings
Calories 120 kcal


  • 1 strainer
  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 pan


Tapioca pearls

  • 400 gr tapioca starch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 pcs palm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 drops green food colouring
  • 4 drops red food colouring
  • 2 tbs moka syrop
  • 800 ml water

Bubble tea

  • 1 black tea
  • 1 cup milk


  • start with the palm sugar if you are going to use it. Cut them in slices. it will help the boiling process go faster.
  • Add water, sugar, food colouring, moka syrup and salt in a pan. boil this. As soon as it's boiling turn of the fire
  • Strain the mixture so you are sure there are no more chunks
  • add about 1-2 cups of the sugar water you strained back in the pan. The rest of the sugar water mixture you will save for later. Give it a little heat and as soon as it is boiling, you turn of the fire again.
  • begin adding the tapioca starch to the pan and make sure you turned off the fire. Mix the tapioca starch with the sugar water. Some kind of dough is forming.
  • Kneed the dough and cut it in equal pieces. Kneed the dough and this time make it 1cm in diameter. cutting them in small pieces make it easier to roll the tapioca balls
  • Roll the tapioca balls. This takes a but of time. Add the balls in a container with some of the tapioca starch to prevent the balls from sticking to each other.
  • When you have rolled all the tapioca pearls, add them in the strainer to remove the excess tapioca starch. Shake it a little.
  • Boil the pearls for about 20 minutes. When they start to float on the water it also means they're done.
  • Cool the pearls off in cold water. This hardens them and gives them the texture.
  • Now add the leftover sugarwater in the pan. Boil it together with the tapioca pearls that were just cooled off. This time the boiling should take around 30 min and should happen on low fire.
  • Take out the tapioca pearls and notice that they are shinier and more attractive in colour.

Making your boba tea

  • add the pearls and a bit of the sugarwater you made. this should be added first for the Boba effect.
  • Add ice cubes and black tea. Half of the glass should be filled now.
  • Add milk on top, and stir it a little bit. You just made your own boba tea from scratch!



Boba tea is a great refreshing drink! I hope you enjoyed the recipe. This comes in a big quantity so be sure to share with friends and family! Thank you for checking out my recipe.
Keyword Boba tea, bubbel tea, Tapioca balls, Tapioca pearls
About Fleurdwi Cooking

Hi, my name is Dwik. My hobby is cooking, I have worked in an Indonesian-Chinese restaurant for 4 years giving me different experiences regarding types of cuisine. I created this website to share my experiences about food and also the recipes that I have uploaded on my youtube channel Fleurdwi Cooking If you are a YouTuber with a cooking channel, you are welcome to join to write your recipe, where the recipe will be linked to your channel automatically. For more detailed information, please read the About section. Please send an email if you want to join us. Thank You

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