DIY Boba Tea Recipe

Last Update: September 27, 2022

Originally created in Taiwan in the 1980s, boba is a drink made with tapioca pearls that are typically sweetened with brown sugar. But it wouldn’t be a Thrive Market recipe without a more wholesome swap—in this case, we used coconut sugar and honey. Happy sipping!

DIY Boba Tea

Yield: 2 servings
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


For the simple syrup:
1 cup Thrive Market Organic Coconut Sugar
½ cup water

For the boba (aka tapioca pearls):
6 tablespoons Thrive Market Organic Coconut Sugar
½ cup water, plus more for boiling
⅓ cup Thrive Market Organic Tapioca Flour, plus more for dusting and mixing

For the tea:
4 cups brewed Thrive Market Organic English Breakfast Tea
1 to 3 tablespoons Thrive Market Organic Raw Unstrained Honey
1 cup cooked tapioca pearls
½ cup Thrive Market Organic Almond Beverage


Make the simple syrup:
Stir coconut sugar and water together in a small saucepan; boil until sugar dissolves. Let the mixture cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Make the boba (tapioca pearls):
Stir coconut sugar and water together in a small saucepan; boil until sugar dissolves. Add ⅓ cup tapioca flour, whisking until smooth, and cooking until mixture becomes glossy, thick, and sticky. Turn mixture out onto a tapioca-dusted work surface and continue adding tapioca flour 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is firm but stretchy. Knead several times, until dough is smooth, then roll into a long log.

Cut log into smaller pieces, and roll each piece into a thin log, about ¼-inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut into 1/16th-inch pieces (about the size of peas), then roll them into a balls with the tips of your fingers. Place boba pieces into a large bowl and dust lightly with tapioca flour, allowing the balls to roll around to enhance their shape.

Bring 8 cups of water to a boil, then add boba and stir gently. Cover the pot and reduce heat to simmer; cook for 15 minutes, remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain boba and rinse with cold water, then place rinsed boba into reserved simple syrup.

Make the tea:
Brew tea according to package directions. While steeping, add honey and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely. To serve, divide boba between the bottom of 2 cups. Add ice, almond milk, and cooled tea to a cocktail shaker; shake well. Strain finished tea into each cup.

Recipe credit: Angela Gaines

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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