Believed to have originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s, Boba tea started as a popular drink in Asia. Boba refers to a broad category of “chunky” drinks and usually includes tapioca pearls, other fruity bits, and jellies. Boba’s popularity spread west, including the U.S. Here in the U.S., Boba is commonly known as tea with tapioca pearls. Usually, pearls are black but can be enjoyed in other colors as well. Bubble Milk Tea is another popular name for Boba tea.
Traditional Boba is black tea, milk, sweetener, ice, and cooked tapioca pearls shaken together. If you go to a tea shop today, you can order Boba in many different varieties. Don’t feel limited to just black tea. Shops often use syrups to enhance the Boba experience and offer more flavors, but we think you’ll love it with any of our Hackberry teas.
If you want to enjoy Boba tea, you don’t have to go to a tea shop or Asian restaurant. You can prepare and enjoy Boba in the comfort of your own home. Check out your local Asian market for raw tapioca pearls. All you need is water, raw tapioca pearls, sweetener, and of course, tea. Pearl packages include instructions for cooking the pearls. Make sure you read and follow cooking instructions for the best results. Since pearls are somewhat tasteless, it’s a good idea to steep them in sweetener before adding in the tea. Don’t feel limited to only black tea. We recommend trying green, white, herbal, or fruit teas. You can also leave the milk out and enjoy plain tea with Boba. Just like any other tea it’s a personal choice, so try a homemade Boba tea with any of our delicious Hackberry teas.
What You Need for Homemade Boba
- 4 tsp of your favorite Hackberry Tea
- 4 cups of hot water
- Whole milk or your choice of milk
- Your choice of sweetener
- Prepare the tea using the appropriate brewing instructions for the tea you selected.
- Allow the tea to cool.
- Cook tapioca pearls. Follow the instructions from the tapioca pearls you selected. Stir pearls and wait for them to float to the top, then continue cooking for a few minutes. Test the pearl for the desired softness. Once your pearls reached the desired softness, remove pearls and place them in cold water using a slotted spoon. Add your preferred sweetener to the pearls. The key to great tasting Boba is making sure you steep the tapioca pearls in your sweetener for enough time.
- Assemble the drinks
- Strain the tea into a pitcher.
- Add the cooked tapioca pearls into four large glasses.
- Add ice to each glass.
- Pour 1 cup of the tea into each glass.
- Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sweetener.
- Stir and taste the milk tea. Add more milk or simple syrup to your taste.
Make sure you use large boba straws. If you don’t have straws, you can use a spoon to scoop the tapioca pearls. Enjoy!