One of the most successful (and delicious) Taiwanese inventions is bubble tea. Tapioca pearls in milk tea first made an appearance in a shop in the city of Taichung in the ’80s, spawning numerous spins on the original including taro and green tea.

Today, the majority of the world outside of Asia is familiar with this marvelous drink; but for those who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the concept of ingesting something of a gelatinous texture, all that can be said is: you’re missing out. Food52s recipe breaks down the basics of bubble tea-making, so that you can enjoy it without leaving your kitchen.

Homemade Boba Tea

Serves 2


  • ½ cup dried black boba pearls
  • 1 cup honey (or ½ cup white sugar + ½ cup brown sugar)
  • 3 black tea bags
  • 2 cups milk or almond milk, or a few tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, to taste
  • Ice
  • Any additional flavorings such as syrups, frozen fruits (to be blended like a smoothie), flavored powders, or extracts


Get the instructions and view the full recipe here.
The tapioca pearls in their true form—tapioca is a starch extracted from Manioc
The first step to preparing the boba pearls is to boil them, brining out their chewy texture. 
Combine water and honey or sugar to make a simple syrup for the boba mix.
The finished boba pearls with the blended tea. If you want to try the pearls with a fruit smoothie, blend together some fruit, milk, and tea. (All photos courtesy of Food52)

This article and recipe originally appeared on Food52.