bubble tea/boba

This Asian drink originated in Taiwan in the 1980s. David and I love it, but at $3.50 for a cup, it can get expensive quickly. We bought the powder and dried tapioca balls (”pearls”) at local Asian food stores. Here’s the recipe I concocted for frozen bubble tea–it’s so good! If you can’t find the bubble tea powder (or want a healthier alternative) there are a number of recipes online (like this one) that use fresh fruit & tea instead.

The tapioca pearls and the bubble tea powder.


  • 2 tablespoons bubble tea powder (we have green tea powder)
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use skim), possibly a little more
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/3 cup dried tapioca balls

Yields approximately 2 glasses


1) Follow the directions on the package for how to cook the tapioca balls. (I cooked mine by adding the dried balls to 5 cups of water, over medium heat. When the balls started to float, I covered them, turned the temperature down, and cooked for five minutes, until squishy). If you like them sweet you can add sugar to the water while they cook.

2) Put the ice, milk, bubble tea powder, and sugar in a blender. If it’s too thick and won’t blend, add more milk.

3) Divide the tapioca balls (”pearls”) between two cups, pour the blended beverage on top. Add a thick straw (also available at Asian markets)!

The glass with pearls, before the tea is added.

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