How to Make a Coconut-Flavored Boba Tea


Boba tea -- or bubble tea -- has been a favorite drink in Taiwan for years. It is now popular in North America as well. A blend of black or green tea with ice, milk and almost any flavor you can imagine, it's like iced latte with an exotic twist. Best of all, it has tapioca "pearls" at the bottom of each cup, waiting to be sucked up with an extra-wide straw. Coconut boba tea is easy to make at home, if you have the right ingredients -- and some giant straws.

Things You'll Need

  • Large tapioca pearls
  • Water
  • Saucepan
  • Bowl
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey (optional)
  • Tall glasses
  • Strong brewed black or green tea
  • Crushed ice
  • Regular or low-fat milk
  • Regular or low-fat coconut milk
  • Drink shaker
  • Wide straws
  • Prepare the tapioca pearls. Make sure you get the large pearls, since Asian groceries usually sell smaller pearls as well. Bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup pearls to the boiling water, and let them continue to boil for 30 to 45 minutes, or until they are clear.

  • When the pearls are clear, take the saucepan off the heat and let the pearls sit in the hot water for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse the pearls in warm water.

  • Drain the pearls thoroughly and put them into a bowl. Sprinkle the pearls with 2 tbsp. brown sugar and toss. You may also add 1/2 tsp. honey with the brown sugar, if you like. Divide the sugared pearls equally between two tall glasses.

  • Brew 1 cup black or green tea, making sure that it is very strong. Steep it for a longer time than usual, or put in two tea bags instead of one. Put this into a drink shaker along with 1 cup crushed ice, more honey to taste, and 1/2 cup each milk and coconut milk. Both kinds of milk can be either full-fat or low-fat, but not skim.

  • Shake the tea mixture until it is frothy and bubbly. Pour into the two pearl-filled glasses in equal amounts, and place an extra-wide straw into each glass. Serve immediately.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have leftover cooked tapioca pearls, you can save them for up to 1 day in the refrigerator, covered with cold water in a container.
  • If you don't have the time or ingredients to make the coconut boba tea from scratch, you can buy a mix. You'll still need to prepare tapioca pearls from scratch.

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  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images Jupiterimages/ Images Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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