How To Make Strawberry Tapioca Pearls (2023)

How to make strawberry tapioca pearls? Actually, it’s easier than you think. You just need a few ingredients and a little patience. It is worth your time to learn how to make this dessert because the sweet, chewy and soft answer to a craving is only a few minutes out of the oven.

Making tapioca pearls isn’t hard and doesn’t take that long. They need to soak overnight, or for at least a few hours in cold water (if not longer). Not only are strawberry tapioca pearls delicious, but they are also versatile and can be used in other recipes like my Strawberry Tapioca Cream Popsicles .

HOW TO MAKE TAPIOCA PEARLS (BOBA BALLS) WITH PERFECT TEXTURE FOR MILK TEA Last Updated: Oct 21, 2021 · Author: Victoria · This post may contain affiliate links · Jump to Recipe Learn how to make tapioca pearls (boba balls) for bubble tea from scratch. Whether you like your boba pearls chewy, soft, ‘Q’ or firm, we’ll show you how to achieve that perfect texture. Homemade boba pearls are an absolute must if you love drinking bubble tea. Making boba balls from scratch will give you more control over the size, texture, and flavour. This is something you won’t be able to control with store-bought ones. Our recipe will show you how to make the perfect boba in under 30 minutes. No more crispy centered, mushy or hard boba pearls! We’ll also show you how to make tapioca pearls with matcha, mango, lychee and even rose ones at the end! Jump to: What are Tapioca Pearls? Is this the same as sago? What does it taste like? Texture Where is it from? Why is bubble tea also called boba? Is it healthy? Fresh vs Store-bought Using Food Colouring How to Make Tapioca Pearls (Boba) | Bubble Tea How to Make Perfect Tapioca Pearls At Home How long will they last? Customisation WHAT ARE TAPIOCA PEARLS? Tapioca pearls (boba) are small chewy balls made from tapioca starch. Typically, these spheres are black in colour and are used for bubble tea. Although boba has a gelatinous texture, no gelatin is used in the process of creation. Therefore, this makes these small chewy spheres vegan friendly. Boba are naturally translucent and white in colour. However, black food colouring or brown sugar is often used in the process. This is to achieve the familiar black colour. Black boba pearls were created for an aesthetic purpose to contrast with the colour of milk tea. WHAT IS TAPIOCA STARCH? Tapioca starch is a gluten-free flour that comes from the cassava root plant. The native South American plant arrived in Taiwan between 1895 and 1945, under Japanese rule. Tapioca starch is mainly known for making thick and chewy textures in dishes. IS THIS THE SAME AS SAGO? Sago is also a type of chewy ball that is used in Asian desserts. However, it is usually smaller in size and made from a variety of tropical palm stems. Sago is used more widely across different Asian cuisines. WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE? Cooked by themselves, there is very little taste to tapioca pearls. These small spheres can be made with brown sugar or steeped in a caramel syrup for a sweeter taste. TEXTURE Some people describe the texture of these small spheres to resemble that of jelly and gummy bears. In Taiwan, the texture of tapioca boba pearls is referred to as Q or QQ. The term itself is hard to translate. However, it attempts to describe the mouthfeels of the soft yet resilient or bouncy texture. The high percentage of starch in cassava root is the reason behind this chewy texture. Other dishes which are also described in Taiwan as Q include fish balls, mochi, taro balls, and tangyuan. WHERE IS IT FROM? Black tapioca pearls were first created as a cheaper alternative to sago. Milk tea with boba pearls was originally created in Taiwan during the 1980s. Milk tea was not an unfamiliar concept to the tea-drinking culture in East Asia. Meanwhile using boba pearls in desserts was already a common practice. The combination of both naturally kicked off in popularity when it was first introduced as a cooling summer drink and snack. Although the inventor of bubble tea is much disputed, there are two stores in Taiwan which fight the claim of inventing the drink. As neither side won the patent lawsuit, this allowed many vendors to adopt and sell their version of the beverage snack worldwide. WHY IS BUBBLE TEA ALSO CALLED BOBA? Boba can refer to the pearls alone or the milk tea drink as a whole. Interestingly, the term 波霸 (bōbà) in Chinese is slang for a woman with voluptuous breasts. The pearls was nicknamed boba as a gimmick for having larger boba balls than all other competing stores. It is widely believed that the term was adopted by overseas Chinese who referred to the beverage as boba. This was easier to pronounce than the Chinese term 珍珠奶茶 (zhēnzhū nǎichá). Today, the small black spheres are interchangeably called boba, pearls, or tapioca pearls.

STRAWBERRY MILK TEA WITH BOBA PEARLS AND FRESH STRAWBERRIES Last Updated: May 9, 2022 · Author: Therese Chua · This post may contain affiliate links · Jump to Recipe Strawberry milk tea or strawberry bubble tea is a wonderful treat for people who enjoy fresh fruit, milk, and optionally, tea. While it is usually offered when strawberries are in season, the use of powder and fruit juice extracts makes it possible to have it off-season. Jasmine Milk Tea with Strawberry | Image from Instagram Around the world, boba shops are aplenty in Asia, but the United States and Europe have also been seeing an uptrend. A popular store in the US even founded National Bubble Tea Day to share their passion for this delectable drink. There has been an increase in boba franchises in the UK, especially in London, with some early entrants such as Chatime and Mooboo seeing continuous growth over the years. Not only have the classic and tapioca pearl drinks gained popularity but variations such as the taro pudding and brown sugar boba drinks are trending as well. People who prefer refreshing drinks can opt for drinks with fruits as the main ingredients. Jump to: What is Strawberry Milk Tea? Are There Other Variations? Strawberry+ Taro? Best of Both Worlds! Vegan and Non-Lactose Options Toppings and Other Add-Ons Powder Drink Mixes and Ready-To-Drink Bottles Is it Healthy? How To Prepare At Home Using Fresh Strawberries Strawberry Milk Tea Recipe with Fresh Strawberries Additional Notes on Ingredients WHAT IS STRAWBERRY MILK TEA? The main ingredients are as simple as they come – just fresh strawberries, milk, and tea. You can customize the sweetness by adding your preferred sweetener such as sugar or honey. In many boba shops, the ‘strawberry milk’ drink offered there may not contain tea. This can sometimes lead to confusion especially when ordering in-store. Strawberry Milk Tea | Image from Instagram However, this also means that you can opt for the one without tea if you are looking to cut caffeine! The regular strawberry milk tea contains caffeine. If you are looking for a version with tea, make sure you ask the shop staff if the drink contains it. ARE THERE OTHER VARIATIONS? We are glad you asked (or didn’t)! Here are some of the other variations that you can choose from. For a thicker consistency of strawberry milk tea, Chatime’s version is more of a strawberry smoothie. It has a denser and creamier texture thanks to the use of frozen strawberries or yoghurt. Some of the ones that we have tried even have strawberry chunks – a delight if you like to munch on fruit! Matcha Strawberry Latte (left), Chocolate Boba Tea (right) If you prefer a drink that contains caffeine, more often than not it’s going to be listed under the “Tea Latte” category. Strawberry tea latte has the same ingredients as strawberry milk tea, with the added exception of having tea instead of the creamy dairy as its base. Personally, we prefer the latte variants as our systems welcome the extra kick of caffeine! STRAWBERRY+ TARO? BEST OF BOTH WORLDS! Taiwan is the country recognised to have invented and introduced boba drink to the world. There, the strawberry-based drinks are often sold alongside another crowd favourite, the taro milk tea. While taro is fancied for its sweet and creamy texture, strawberries offer a refreshing balance of sweet and tangy flavours. Taro Milk with Tapioca Pearls Additionally, what grabs many people’s attention is the vibrant colours of both these drinks. The rich or cotton candy purple, and the deep red or bubble gum pink colours, which make them instantly photo-worthy. For anyone who likes to try new innovative boba drink flavours, we trust that you will enjoy these fresh combinations that boba shops have come out with. A personal favourite that we would recommend is the ‘taro + strawberry latte’. This beverage has all the delicious components – a base of green tea, strawberry, and taro – which balance well with one another. VEGAN AND NON-LACTOSE OPTIONS You might be thinking – “I am vegan (or lactose intolerant) so I won’t be able to try strawberry milk tea nor all its other variations!” Well, do we have good news for you! One good thing about a lot of the newly-opened boba drink shops these days is that they want to be available and enticing for a larger group of people. In recent years, there is an increasing demand for plant-based products as well as a growing global boba drink market. Due to these two phenomena, we observe many boba shops offering vegan and non-dairy milk options. These non-dairy alternatives offered at the stores include soy, almond, and coconut milk. You can choose to use any of this type of milk for your strawberry milk tea. Moreover, these plant-based options also offer patrons low-calorie boba tea options when ordering their customised drink. This is because generally, plant-based milk has a lower calorie count per cup compared to regular full dairy milk.

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This time I’m back with something a little different! I have always been a lover of fancy drinks and I thought it might be fun to share one. This strawberry and lime sparkling boba is so fun and refreshing. The perfect drink to share with your loved one on Valentines day!

At this point I think i am using the excuse of Valentine’s day to make anything pink 😂 but I think it’s a valid excuse.

How To Make Strawberry Tapioca Pearls (1)


A little about me… I love boba! Aka bubble tea or pearl milk tea. The soft and chewy pearls add texture to drinks and make them so much more exciting to drink. I have always been a sucker for milk teas with pearls, matcha milk tea, earl grey milk tea, taro milk tea… I could probably drink them every single day, except my body and bank account would probably hate me for it. I mean, is it just me but are drinks are SO expensive these days 😂

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I do have a solution for that though… make your own! It may be a little time consuming, but if you have time making the boba pearls yourself is a game changer. They turn out with the perfect amount of softness and chewiness that you can’t achieve from store bought instant pearls. Plus you can make them whatever colour you want! If you wanted you could even make the rainbow 🌈

And honestly the process of rolling each boba pearl is so relaxing.

How To Make Strawberry Tapioca Pearls (2)


There are a couple of things to keep in mind when making boba from scratch!

  • Don’t forget the cornstarch!
    • The most annoying thing when making boba is when they stick together. If you don’t fix that you’re going to be cooking a giant floating mass of boba.
    • What I like to do is make a small mound of cornstarch on the side and put the pearl straight into the cornstarch after I’ve rolled it. That way they will all be covered!
    • It doesn’t matter if there is heaps of cornstarch as you can always dust it off.
  • Storage
    • Once you have cooked them place them straight into the strawberry/lime syrup. This keeps them from sticking together while allowing them to take on some flavour.
    • If you don’t have the syrup made, or just want the boba by itself mix a couple of tablespoons of sugar with the hot boba to create a quick sugar syrup that will keep all the boba apart
  • Eat them as soon as possible!
    • Boba tends to firm up over time, or when they are cold. Try to eat them as soon as possible, or just cook them as you need them. You can store uncooked boba pearls in the freezer and cook them when the craving hits!


Now if you want to up your game and create a fun cocktail for a night in it’s an easy twist, and it tastes SO good.

Just add a shot of vodka!

Add the shot before topping up with sparkling water, and then give the drink a good stir. Your friends or significant other will love you 🥰

How To Make Strawberry Tapioca Pearls (3)


A refreshing drink with strawberry, lime and tapioca pearls. This strawberry lime sparkling boba is the perfect drink to impress your loved ones this Valentines day!

  • Prep Time:30 minutes
  • Cook Time:30 minutes
  • Total Time:60 minutes
  • Yield:4




  • ½ cupTapioca starch
  • ¼ cupBoiling water
  • a drop Red food colouring
  • Cornstarch


  • 1 cupDiced strawberries
  • ¼ cupWhite sugar
  • ½Lime
  • 1l Sparkling water
  • 4Lime wedges



  1. Add strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan
  2. Squeeze the juice from the lime wedges into the strawberries and place the skins in the pan too
  3. Heat over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring to prevent burning
  4. Remove from heat and set aside


  1. In a medium sized bowl combine the tapioca starch and boiling water, stir until just combined then knead until smooth
  2. Add the food colouring and knead until colour is spread evenly (if dough is too sticky you can add a little more tapioca starch)
  3. Roll the dough into small balls, dusting with cornstarch as you go to prevent sticking
  4. To cook place balls in a large pot of boiling water, cook until they float to the surface, then turn off heat and leave for 5 minutes (if you like them softer you can cook them for longer)
  5. Drain and place in the strawberry/lime syrup


  1. In a glass place 3 heaped tablespoons of tapioca pearl/syrup mixture and ice
  2. Squeeze in a wedge of lime, top with sparkling water
  3. Serve! (mix well before drinking)

How to Make Strawberry Bubble Tea

Did you know that strawberries have about 200 seeds on them on average? That’s crazy right!? Who would’ve thought such a small fruit would have sucha number ofseeds on it.

How does it even fit that much actually?

Beats us.Anyways, with therefreshinglytangy but delicious sweetness of strawberries what more can you ask for?Maybea strawberry bubble tea. Is one of your favorite fruits during the hot summer days is a nice juicy strawberry? Did you ever think what it would taste like in bubble tea form with sometapioca pearls?

Let us tell you, it’sabsolutelyamazing and very refreshing!With fresh strawberries (none of that powdered stuff) we can make areallytasty strawberry bubble tea that goes perfect with any meal.Typicallywe like to enjoy a nice strawberry bubble tea with a side of Vietnamese pork on a bed of rice. How’s that sound for a delicious meal? Or maybe barbecue pork on a bed of rice, you know… char siu!

Enough with the meals, let’s begin the strawberry bubble tea recipe guide down below!

Prep Time

10 Minutes

Cook Time

20 Minutes

Total Time

30 Minutes


2-4 Servings

Ingredients you’ll need
for making
Strawberry Bubble Tea

  • 1/4 cup tapioca pearls
  • Handful of fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of creamer (almond milk, soy milk, oat milk etc)
  • Handful of ice
  • Tea of your choice (green tea works well)
  • 1-2 tbsp of sweetener (honey, simple syrup etc)

How to Make Strawberry Bubble Tea

Step 1

The first step is the longest step.

Let’s get a pot of water to a rumbling boil and steep ourgreen tea leavesin that pot of water once it’s boiled. If you want to make this step even faster, you can use an electric water kettle.

You can buy these at your local department store. Or if you live in a new age, you can buy it straight from Amazon. We recommend buying fromCosorias we have one in our office.

During this step, we’ll also have a separate pot of water to boil so that we can cook our tapioca pearls.If you bought some tapioca pearls in-store or online likethese ones,be sure to follow the instructions. You can find cooking instructions on the back of the packaging for how to cook tapioca pearls.

Typicallywe cook our tapioca pearls for 7-15 minutes depending on how tough they are. A good tip is to actually try your boba pearls around the time you think they’re ready. Almost like trying pasta.Justso that you’re sure the texture is the right consistency you want.

Keep in mind itreallydepends on the tapioca pearls you buy. See the labels on the back before boiling for a specific amount of time. Someboba pearls like this onewillbe donein a matter of minutes!

Step 2

If you’re taking the traditional route of boiling water in a pot, while we wait for it, let’s prepare the rest of the ingredients. Start with a handful of fresh strawberries. Begin by cutting off the leaves and placing the strawberries into ablender.

Be careful, use a sharp fruit knife so that you don’t slip and cut yourself during this process. A great knife like aJapanese fruit knife from Kotobukiwill workperfectly.

Step 3

Once you’re done cutting your strawberries and placing them into the fruit blender, your boiling water and tea should be ready to hop off the heat. Take your tea off the heat and let it cool to the side. Your boba pearls in the meantime will still need a few more minutes before having the right texture.

Justbe sure to stir itgentlyas time progresses.Tapioca pearls tend to stick to the pot or themselveseasily.

During this step, we’ll add the rest of the ingredients. Take 1/2 cup of creamer of your choices such asoat milk, almond milk, soy milk, or even whole milk. Pour it into the blender with your strawberries.

Add your 1-2 tablespoons of sweetener as well. We like to usehoneyto give our strawberry bubble tea a great aroma. Also, don’t forget to add the handful of ice during this step too!

Finally, wait a few more minutes so that your teais cooledto room temperature. Then add thefreshlybrewed tea into your blender.

Step 4

Last and final step, we’re almost there! Using your handy kitchen blender, blend everything up. You’re looking for a smooth slushy type of texture,similar tothose icees you got as a kid.

Justa quick side note, don’t you think those melt so fast during the summer!?

Anyways, once you’ve achieved the right texture, grab your favorite bubble tea glass and add your cooked tapioca pearls. From here,simplypour the blended contents youjustpulsed up and give it one last stir in the glass. Now you’re ready to serve!

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