How to Cook Tapioca Pearls

How to Cook Tapioca Pearls

Making the Best Boba

A lot of people try to cook tapioca pearls only to have them become mushy and lifeless after about 30 minutes.  This is mainly because the cooked boba are not properly stored after making them.  For best results, you want to let your boba soak in a sweetner (sugar or honey) for about 30 minutes after cooking.  Another important point is to only use your tapioca pearls for 4 hours (don’t store them overnight).

Tapioca Pearls

are another name for Boba 波霸 and are made from tapioca which is derived from the cassava root.  I spent six years in Taiwan and two of those years working for one of the biggest bubble tea shops in Taiwan where I learned how to cook authentic tapioca pearls.


To Cook Tapioca Pearls You’ll just need a few things:

  1. Tapioca Pearls (Bubbles, Boba, 波霸, 珍珠)
  2. A pot
  3. Brown sugar (you can also use honey or white sugar)


How to Make Tapioca Pearls (Boba):


Cooking Time: 60 minutes Serves: 2-4

  1. Measure 100 grams of Tapioca Pearls *Expert Tip* Use a colander and shake them to remove any small pieces of tapioca or “tapioca dust” .
  2. Put 1000ml (4 1/4 cups) of water into a pot and bring it to a boil.
  3. Put the 100 grams of the tapioca balls into the water.
  4. Once the tapioca pearls begin to boil, stir them and start a timer for 25 minutes.
  5. Lower the heat to medium and stir occasionally.
  6. While your tapioca pearls are boiling, it’s time to prepare your sugar syrup or honey to sweeten your boba.*One of the secrets to making really good tapioca pearls or boba is to make a sugar syrup to soak them in. 

Tapioca Pearls Sugar Syrup Recipe:

Mix 25ml of hot water with 25g of brown sugar (if you don’t have any brown sugar you can use white sugar or honey).

Stir them until the sugar is dissolved and then put the syrup into a bowl.


Okay, back to your boiling Boba!


boiling boba


  1. Once the timer goes off, turn off the heat and let the tapioca pearls sit for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  2. After 10 minutes, put the tapioca pearls into a strainer(colander) and rinse with cold water for about 2 minutes or until the tapioca balls are no longer hot.
  3. Let all the water drain from the strainer and put them in the bowl of sugar syrup.


Don’t Eat Your Boba Right Away!


how to cook tapioca pearls


Let them sit for 15 minutes in the sugar syrup.  This will give them time to absorb some of the sweet flavor and reach the best consistency.

**Notes: These cooking times are for medium sized tapioca balls. If your using smaller ones then reduce the time to 5 minutes. Increase the time for 15 minutes for larger ones.

***To increase the serving size just multiply all the ingredients by 2. e.g. 200g tapioca balls, 2 Liters of water(2000 ml), 50ml hot water, 50ml brown sugar.


Bubble Tea Training Video

Check out our Bubble Tea Training Video below for more information on how to start your own bubble tea shop and make boba like a pro!

Bubble Tea Machines - Free Guide!


  1. Avatar

    On the picture at the very top, Step 7 is confusing. Do I mix in the hot water from the bubble tea into the “Syrup Solution”/with the honey I’m supposed to set aside? -OR- is Step 7 from the picture telling me to put honey into the pot with boba cooking as well as create a “Syrupy Solution” in Step 8? -OR- Should I ignore that as some typo/other?

    Side note, thank you very much for this recipe/information/website. I’m just very confused by the picture at the top, that’s all.

    • Avatar

      Hi Fatimah, you will want to use new hot water to mix with your sugar or honey to make the syrup solution.

      • Avatar

        Hi, can I ask how many grams of cooked tapioca pearl will that mixtures make? Thanks

    • Avatar

      Hi! Does cooking time change if I increase serving to say, 200g tapioca?


      • Mike

        Hi, no the cooking time does not increase. Just the ratio of water.


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