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How to Make Black Tapioca Pearls for Bubble Tea

black tapioca pearls
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / sam651030

Black tapioca pearls are a signature part of bubble tea, a sweet, milky drink that has become popular across the world. We'll show you how to make black tapioca pearls for bubble tea at home.

Bubble tea (or boba tea) originated in Taiwan and has become popular worldwide over the last few years. It is a sweet, milky drink that comes in a variety of flavors and colors. The “bubbles” in this drink are made from tapioca, or tapioca pearls, which are placed at the bottom of the glass before pouring the liquid ingredients in. 

Making black tapioca pearls is a simple process that only requires three ingredients — tapioca flour, brown sugar, and water. A dough is made from the ingredients. The dough is rolled into long, thin, sausage shapes which are then cut into small pieces and rolled into balls. These balls are boiled to make yummy black tapioca pearls which are sweet and chewy.

It’s surprisingly easy to make black tapioca pearls — we’ll show you how. You can then add them directly to your homemade vegan boba tea and enjoy.

How to Make Black Tapioca Pearls

To get homemade black tapioca pearls, you only need three ingredients.
To get homemade black tapioca pearls, you only need three ingredients.
(Foto: / poring)

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. hot water
  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour + extra for dusting


  1. In a medium saucepan warm the sugar and water on medium heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat.
  2. Mix in a tablespoon of the tapioca flour, ensuring there are no lumps. Warm again until it starts to thicken and then remove it from the heat.
  3. Gradually stir in the rest of the tapioca flour and mix until a dough forms.
  4. Flour a kitchen surface and your hands with the tapioca flour and knead the tapioca dough until it becomes elastic.
  5. Use your hands to roll the dough on the floured surface into long, thin logs. Try to make the width of the rolled dough less than half an inch wide, as the tapioca pearls will get bigger when cooked. 
  6. Chop the logs into small pieces and roll each into a ball using your hands. This process may take a while, so cover your dough logs to prevent them from drying out.
  7. To cook the tapioca pearls, boil just enough water to cover the tapioca pearls in a large saucepan. Once boiling, add the tapioca pearls and keep stirring so that they don’t stick together.
  8. Cover and boil for twenty minutes. Afterward, let them rest for twenty minutes and then strain off the water. Use immediately in your bubble tea.

Store uncooked tapioca pearls in an airtight container in a cool, dry area — they will keep for up to six months. Refrigerating them will make them hard, but still useable. Or freeze them and then boil when needed (no need to thaw).

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