Making your own black boba or tapioca pearls from scratch for homemade bubble tea is quick and easy. Fresh boba are so much better than dried tapioca pearls found in stores. By making them yourself, you can avoid unwanted ingredients, and make them in any color of the rainbow!
Course Beverages, DIY Pantry Foods
Keyword boba, bubble tea
Special Diet Dairy free, Gluten free, Paleo, Vegan
Add the tapioca starch to a bowl, followed by either the activated carbon or one of the other natural colorants. (Read the post above to know which colorants you can use.) Depending on how vibrant you want the color to be, you can add more or less colorant. Keep in mind that the colors will get darker when the boba are cooked and become more translucent. I found that around 1/4 tsp. worked well for most colors. I added a bit more of the hibiscus powder, and also added more activated carbon to half of the black boba.
Mix together the colorant with the tapioca starch.
Add the boiling water. I work the water in little by little because in most cases you won't need the full amount. You want to have more than enough boiled and ready, though. Kneading with your hands is the best way to incorporate the water and make a non-sticky dough. Be careful not to burn yourself, though. You need to add the water while it is still very hot to get the tapioca starch to partially change its texture and make a pliable dough.
Keep kneading until you have incorporated all of the flour. You may now repeat the recipe to make boba of a different color if desired.
Once you have a workable dough, the easiest way to make tapioca pearls is to roll the dough into long snakes of dough, cut them into small pieces and roll them into tiny balls.
To cook your homemade boba, boil at least twice as much water as the volume of tapioca pearls that you are going to cook.
Add your homemade boba to the boiling water. The boba should float to the top. When that happens, you can begin to check on the texture of the boba.
When you are happy with the texture, remove the boba from hot water with a slotted spoon, and transfer them to a bowl with either a sweet syrup like maple syrup or coconut syrup or some honey. The syrup will help preserve them until you are ready to use them while slightly sweetening them and keeping them from sticking to each other.
Add them to your tea! They have the best texture when warm, so if you want cold bubble tea, it's best to add them first to your glass while they are warm, and pour the cold tea over top, serving immediately!