What is Boba and How to Use it

If you've been in the drink industry long, you've heard of boba. For the past year or so, it's become a major trend. You've probably seen boba shops or coffee shops that serve boba. We're here to tell you all about it!

What is Boba?

Boba in Blended Milk Tea, What is Boba and How to Use it

Boba are pearls made from cassava starch, also known as tapioca pearls. They're cooked in brown sugar to be small chewy balls. People usually serve it in milk tea or smoothies. The practice of making drinks with boba, or bubble tea, originated in Taiwan. 

What is Bursting Boba?

Orange Bursting Boba, What is Boba and How to Use it

Bursting boba is the sister of traditional boba. They're slightly smaller balls filled with juice. They have a mildly gelatinous coating made from seaweed extract with a fruit juice concentrate filling. They're called bursting boba because they pop like bubbles when you put any pressure on them.

How to Use Boba

Boba and bursting boba are versatile toppings and ingredients in many different foods. Some use it in milk tea or smoothies and some even top frozen treats with it! Here are a few good recipes to use boba and bursting boba.

How to Make Milk Tea with Boba

Boba in Milk Tea, What is Boba and How to Use it

What You'll Need:

For the Boba
For the Milk Tea
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons milk tea powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup ice

How to Make Boba:

1. Cook it

Bring 9 cups of water to a boil. Add your 12 oz of boba pearls. Stir until the boba floats without sticking together. Allow them to cook for 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally. You'll know they're done when they're mostly transparent and fairly squishy.

2. Cover it

Take your pot off the heat and cover with a lid. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. The cooking water will be fairly thick, that's normal. After the 15 minutes is over, the pearls should be almost entirely transparent and very gummy.

3. Cool it

Strain your pearls and rinse them with cold water. Pour them into a bowl and cover them with cold water. Set aside.

4. Make your sugar syrup

In a clean saucepan, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and 3 cups water. Cook on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil until it's your desired thickness. Strain your boba pearls again and add them to your sugar syrup. Cook for a few more minutes until everything is coated and your desired consistency.

Serve while still warm otherwise they will harden.

How to Make Milk Tea:

1. Heat and mix

Heat 2/3 cup milk until it's nearly boiling but not quite. Stir in 3 tablespoons milk tea powder and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Mix until combined.

2. Boba and ice

Put one scoop of prepared boba into the bottom of your cup. Add your ice on top of that. Pour your milk mixture over that and enjoy!

Make sure to drink it with a boba straw so you can sip your drink and boba at the same time!

How to Use Bursting Boba:

There are quite a few ways to use bursting boba, you can use it as a topping for frozen yogurt or even eat it by itself! Our favorite way is in a smoothie. Here's how to make it.

Colorful Boba, What is Boba and How to Use it

How to Make a Boba Smoothie

What You'll Need:

How to Make it:

1. Blend it

Blend together everything except the boba. Process until smooth.

2. Add the boba

Scoop your boba into the bottom of your cup. Pour your smoothie over it and enjoy!

Purple Boba, What is Boba and How to Use it

Boba and bursting boba are a fun, trendy addition to your coffee shop. They're delicious and very photogenic! If you've made these recipes, take a picture and tag us on Instagram. We love hearing from you!

Denise Hansen, What is Boba and How to Use it