Homemade Bubble Tea Recipe / Boba Tea Recipe – 5 Ways

How to Make Boba Tea at Home with Black Pearl Tapioca Balls

Now you can make your favorite summertime (or anytime) drink in your own kitchen with these healthy boba tea recipes! Learn how to make bubble tea at home, including how to cook black pearl tapioca balls and where to find them. I’ve got 5 bubble tea recipe ideas to share, with flavors ranging from strawberry to matcha to iced coffee boba and more.

Bubble tea – also known as boba tea or bubble milk tea or pearl milk tea – is a deliciously sweet milk-based drink with chewy tapioca pearls at the bottom. Because boba tea tends to be high in added sugars, I’ve had tons of requests for a healthy bubble tea recipe (or at least healthy-ish). So, I decided to learn how to make bubble tea at home, so YOU are in control of the ingredients. You’ll find 5 simple, lower sugar bubble / boba tea recipe ideas below for your inspiration!

5 Healthy Boba Tea Recipes
Strawberry Bubble Tea Recipe

What is Boba Tea?

Authentic Boba Tea Ingredients

Boba tea a.k.a. bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, then started gaining popularity in the U.S. in the 1990s. Traditionally, boba milk tea has been a tea-based drink, usually shaken with milk and/or fruit of some kind for flavor. It’s served in a cup, with a thick straw designed for sipping up the chewy, black tapioca pearls on the bottom.

Sometimes bubble milk tea is made with actual black or green tea, sometimes it’s just a fruity milk base without any tea. Either way, one factor is a constant: boba tea is irresistibly sweet. Typically, the milk tea base is the source of all the sugar. Some boba drinks contain as much as 30-60g of sugar, and upwards of 500 calories. A delicious treat, but sometimes a sugar overload for me!

Can boba be healthy?

With any food or drink, the question of whether it’s “healthy” is so subjective. Personally, I enjoy drinking boba tea, and I give myself permission to drink it! No, it’s not hydrating like water, and it isn’t a rich source of nutrients like a breakfast smoothie might be. And yes, it tends to be higher in added sugars and starchy carbs (as some smoothies also can be). Overall, bubble tea has a place in my life because I enjoy it, though it’s not something that I typically enjoy every day. Only you can decide what’s right for you when it comes to boba!

In my own relationship with food, I’ve let go of labeling foods as “good” or “bad” because of the stress these labels create. All too often, we come to see ourselves as “good” or “bad” based on what we eat, leading to cycles of bingeing and restricting, or over-exercising trying to compensate. Plus, all of that stress about what we’re eating takes a toll on our bodies and minds. If you’re interested in diving deeper into your own relationship with food and eating habits, check out my Food Freedom course!

How do you make healthy bubble tea?

Some people are concerned about the starchy carbs in the boba pearls, and so they choose to omit them altogether. But, let’s be real—a boba tea recipe without the chewy boba is just plain old milk tea! Ultimately, learning how to make bubble tea at home is your best bet for a healthier choice.

You can still enjoy the chewy, starchy, not-so-nutrient-rich (albeit delicious) tapioca pearls, but served in a much lower sugar milk tea! I’ve designed each boba tea recipe below to be lower in sugar than the typical store-bought options, and you also have the option to not add any sugar or sweetener at all.

How to Make Bubble Tea at Home
Iced Coffee Boba Tea Recipe

What are Boba Tapioca Pearls?

The term “boba” generally translates to “bubbles” or “big pearls,” referring to the chewy black tapioca pearls at the bottom of every cup. Boba pearls are made from the starch of the cassava root, also known as tapioca starch. It’s rich in carbohydrates, yet stripped of most other nutrients like fiber and minerals. Granted, boba pearls contain minimal-to-no added sugars, just loads of starchy carbs. That’s why bubble tea pearls are very chewy but sort of flavorless.

Nutrition: Are tapioca pearls bad for you?

Overall, boba tapioca pearls are delicious and fun to eat, though they’re not a rich source of nutrients. In ⅓ cup boba pearls, there are around 100 calories, 25g of carbs, 2g of fiber, and that’s pretty much it. And, for those who are gluten conscious, boba pearls are gluten free! Again, I tend to steer clear of calling any foods “good” or “bad.” I enjoy eating tapioca pearls, and I also recognize that they’re mainly a source of starchy carbohydrates.

Where to Find Bubble Milk Tea Pearls

I bought my black tapioca pearls online, and they conveniently came with a set of classic boba straws! This is a great set of boba tea cups, which you can purchase separately for serving if desired. You can use any cups and straws that you like, just know that those tapioca pearls will be far too thick to sip through a standard-size straw.

Black Tapioca Pearls
Add tapioca pearls to boiling water, stir lightly, then cover and cook for 3 minutes.
Add boba tapioca pearls into boiling water. Lightly stir until pearls begin to float, then cover and boil for 3 minutes.,

How to Make Boba Pearls at Home

  • To start, fill a large pot halfway full with water and bring to a boil. If desired, add liquid sweetener of choice to infuse some sweetness into the tapioca balls as they cook. I like to use stevia or monk fruit drops, or you could use simple syrup if preferred.
  • Once boiling, add uncooked black tapioca pearls. Lightly stir until they begin to float, then cover and boil for about 3 minutes. (You’ll need ⅓ cup boba pearls per 2 servings of homemade bubble tea, so cook as many servings as you plan to use immediately.)
  • After boiling, remove from the heat and drain the boba pearls. I prefer to use a slotted spoon to gently remove them from the hot water. Finally, transfer cooked tapioca pearls to a bowl and cover with room temperature water until you’re ready to serve.
  • To serve, add a few tablespoons of cooked boba pearls into a cup, pour homemade bubble milk tea on top, and serve with a boba straw!
How to Cook Boba Pearls
Gently remove cooked boba pearls from pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of cool water until ready to serve.
How to Make Bubble Tea
Add cooked boba pearls into a cup for serving, pour in prepared milk tea, and serve with a boba straw.

Basic Bubble Tea Recipe / Homemade Boba Tea Recipe

Each homemade boba tea recipe that I designed follows the same basic formula. This isn’t any kind of traditional or authentic boba ingredients list, but a simple framework that you can use to come up with your own bubble tea recipe flavors at home!

Keep in mind, each of my recipes yields 2 servings. That means you distribute the ⅓ cup of cooked boba pearls into 2 cups, followed by the blended milk tea mixture. (Of course, you can serve up larger boba drinks with more boba pearls, the nutrition will just be different!) For a single-serving boba drink, use the amounts below to come up with your own homemade boba flavors.

Basic Single-Serving Bubble Milk Tea Recipe

  • ~1 cup milk tea base (milk of choice, blended with fruit + flavorings)
  • sweetener to taste, if desired
  • 2-3 Tbsp cooked boba pearls
Mango Bubble Tea Recipe

5 Bubble Tea Recipe Ideas – How to Make Bubble Tea at Home!

Below, you can explore the 5 homemade bubble tea recipe ideas that I came up with for your inspiration. They’re all made with simple, nutritious ingredients and no added sugars or sweeteners—unless you want to add some! Follow them as strictly or loosely as you’d like, adjusting ingredients to suit your tastes. Or, just use them as a framework and swap out the ingredients entirely to create new flavors!

To see how these boba tea recipes are made, watch my DIY Boba / Bubble Tea Recipes video!

Strawberry Boba Tea Recipe

PB&J Strawberry Bubble Tea Recipe

Classic peanut butter and jelly flavor, blended up into a tasty strawberry bubble tea! Fresh, ripe strawberries make this drink especially delicious, and can cut down on the sugar or sweetener that you need. A naturally bright, vibrant and clean homemade boba tea recipe.

Strawberry Bubble Tea Recipe

PB&J Strawberry Bubble Tea Recipe

Learn how to make bubble tea at home with this sweet, sippable strawberry boba tea recipe! Creamy, salty-sweet, and oh-so-satisfying.
5 stars (5 ratings)

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup strawberries
  • cups milk of choice
  • Tbsp peanut butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • liquid sweetener, to taste (if desired)
  • cup boba tapioca pearls, (cooked)

Instructions 

  • Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. If desired, add ~10 drops liquid sweetener to infuse some sweetness. (I like to use stevia or monk fruit drops.)
  • Add uncooked boba tapioca pearls to boiling water. Lightly stir unto boba begin to float, then cover and boil for 3 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and carefully drain boba pearls. Transfer to a bowl and cover with water until ready to use. (Otherwise they’ll stick together!)
  • In a blender, combine strawberries, milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and sweetener (if desired) and blend until smooth.
  • Add cooked tapioca pearls to desired boba tea cups, pour in blended milk tea, serve with a boba straw, and enjoy!
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 169kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 8g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g
Did you make this recipe?Share a photo and tag us @mindovermunch — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!
Mango Boba Tea Recipe

Mango Green Tea Boba Tea Recipe

This boba tea recipe is SO simple—check out how to make bubble tea with just iced green tea, milk, and fresh mango! Perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. Feel free to get creative with your favorite ingredients!

Mango Bubble Tea Recipe

Mango Green Tea Boba Tea Recipe

A refreshing green tea bubble tea recipe, made with sweet, vibrant mango for a tropical twist.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup mango
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • cups iced green tea
  • honey or sweetener of choice
  • cup boba tapioca pearls, (cooked)

Instructions 

  • Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. If desired, add ~10 drops liquid sweetener to infuse some sweetness. (I like to use stevia or monk fruit drops.)
  • Add uncooked boba pearls to boiling water. Lightly stir unto boba begin to float, then cover and boil for 3 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and carefully drain boba pearls. Transfer to a bowl and cover with water until ready to use. (Otherwise they’ll stick together!)
  • In a blender, combine mango, milk, green tea, and sweetener and blend until smooth.
  • Add cooked tapioca pearls to boba tea cups, pour in blended milk tea, serve with a boba straw, and enjoy!
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 87kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g
Did you make this recipe?Share a photo and tag us @mindovermunch — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!
Iced Coffee Boba Tea Recipe

Iced Coffee Boba Tea Recipe

Take your summer iced coffee to the next level by turning it into a decadent boba tea drink! If you can find pecan milk, I think it makes this coffee bubble tea especially tasty and creamy, but any type of milk will do.

Coffee Boba Drink Recipe

Iced Coffee Bubble Tea Recipe

A bold, energizing iced coffee boba tea made with coffee concentrate and a dash of maple syrup.
4.67 stars (3 ratings)

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. If desired, add ~10 drops liquid sweetener to infuse some sweetness. (I like to use stevia or monk fruit drops.)
  • Add uncooked boba tapioca pearls to boiling water. Lightly stir unto boba begin to float, then cover and boil for 3 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and carefully drain boba pearls. Transfer to a bowl and cover with water until ready to use. (Otherwise they’ll stick together!)
  • In a blender, combine coffee concentrate, milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon and blend until smooth.
  • Add cooked tapioca pearls to boba tea cups, pour in blended milk tea, serve with a boba straw, and enjoy!
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 176kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 10g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g
Did you make this recipe?Share a photo and tag us @mindovermunch — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!
Avocado Matcha Boba Tea Recipe

Avocado Matcha Bubble Tea Recipe

The antioxidant power of matcha meets creamy avocado in this irresistible matcha boba tea recipe! It’s rich, refreshing, and loaded with nutrients. Learn how to make bubble tea with matcha powder and fresh avocado for a bright, vibrant sippable treat!

Avocado Bubble Tea Recipe

Avocado Matcha Bubble Tea Recipe

A nutritious matcha boba tea recipe loaded with powerful antioxidants and creamy avocado goodness.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Ingredients

  • ½ avocado
  • cups milk of choice
  • 1 Tbsp matcha powder
  • 1 Tbsp honey, or sweetener of choice
  • cup boba tapioca pearls, (cooked)

Instructions 

  • Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. If desired, add ~10 drops liquid sweetener to infuse some sweetness. (I like to use stevia or monk fruit drops.)
  • Add uncooked boba pearls to boiling water. Lightly stir unto boba begin to float, then cover and boil for 3 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and carefully drain boba pearls. Transfer to a bowl and cover with water until ready to use. (Otherwise they’ll stick together!)
  • In a blender, combine matcha, avocado, milk, and sweetener and blend until smooth.
  • Add cooked tapioca pearls to boba tea cups, pour in blended milk tea, serve with a boba straw, and enjoy!
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 177kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 13g
Did you make this recipe?Share a photo and tag us @mindovermunch — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!
Coconut Bubble Tea Recipe

Banana Coconut Boba Tea Recipe

This boba milk tea is bursting with creamy, tropical flavor! Use a ripe banana, and you don’t even need to add any sweetener. I personally think the best way for how to make bubble tea is with a frozen banana—for an extra thick, creamy texture!

Coconut Bubble Tea Recipe

Banana Coconut Bubble Tea Recipe

A lusciously creamy coconut boba milk tea with the natural sweetness of banana. The perfect sippable summertime treat!
5 stars (4 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, frozen or fresh
  • 2 Tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • cup boba tapioca pearls, (cooked)

Instructions 

  • Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. If desired, add ~10 drops liquid sweetener to infuse some sweetness. (I like to use stevia or monk fruit drops.)
  • Add uncooked tapioca pearls to boiling water. Lightly stir unto boba begin to float, then cover and boil for 3 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and carefully drain boba pearls. Transfer to a bowl and cover with water until ready to use. (Otherwise they’ll stick together!)
  • In a blender, combine frozen banana, coconut cream, and coconut milk and blend until smooth.
  • Add cooked tapioca pearls to boba tea cups, pour in blended milk tea, serve with a boba straw, and enjoy!
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 263kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 14g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 11g
Did you make this recipe?Share a photo and tag us @mindovermunch — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!