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DIY Bubble Tea Recipe (From Scratch!)

WHAT?? Stand-alone bubble tea shops still cannot open for business on 2 June?! This pushed me to try making my own boba from scratch when I finally manage to find Tapioca Starch and Brown Sugar in stock during my trip to NTUC this week.

Is it worth the effort?

Well, it took me almost 4 hours in total to make this 4min+ DIY BBT video, so why not you watch and decide if you wanna give it a go? XD I've included the recipe below in text so you can save it (for yourself) or share it with your boba buddies too!

The most torturing part is the rolling of the tiny boba pearls one by one, and with this recipe, you can make about 150-200+ boba balls enough for an entire week of BBT supply... LOL. This part takes about 2hour+ to turn the starch and brown sugar into cute little boba balls, but it can be fun if you pull in your kids to help speed up the process! I'm sure they will enjoy playing play dough alot more than you do if you have to do it all by yourself. I made about 100 pearls and gave up on the other half of the dough T.T Alternatively if you want to skip the pain of making the boba from scratch you can get ready-made boba pearls DIY kit below:

Image Credits: Whale Tea, Dessert Guru

If you've got lots of time to spare at home and think you are game for the challenge to try making the pearls from scratch, here's the recipe for you!

Making Boba Pearls From Scratch


1 cup of Boiling Water

1 cup of Dark Brown Sugar

2 ½ cup of Tapioca Starch

1) Add brown sugar and boiling water in a pot and stir till it dissolves.

2) Add in the tapioca starch and stir evenly until there are no clumps. Stir the mixture over extremely low heat, until it forms a dough.

3) After it cools down abit, knead the dough till it is smooth.

4) Take a small chunk and roll into a long shape.

5) Cut it into small pieces (about 2/3 the diameter of your boba straw as the pearls will expand when cooked).

6) Roll them with your palms into a round ball. Have fun... 'Cause you just have about 150-200 balls to roll!

Cooking the Raw Boba Balls

1) Boil the Pearls for 20 minutes.

2) Put the cooked pearls in a bowl

of ice water to make the pearls

more QQ or chewy.

3) Spoon the cooked tapioca

boba balls into your glass to prepare for BBT.

I've included 2 of my favourite BBT flavours below. Take your pick!

Brown Sugar Boba Milk


1 cup of dark brown sugar

1/2 cup of water

1/4 cup of cooked tapioca pearls

1 cup of milk

1 cup of ice (optional)

1) Add hot water to the brown sugar and heat until it boils. Alternatively, you can heat the brown sugar with water in a pan for a thicker texture. Start with high heat to dissolve and then reduce heat to medium for 5 minutes. Keep stirring so it doesn't burnt. Stir till the mixture has thickened.

2) Pour in the brown sugar followed by the milk and drizzle some more brown sugar syrup on top.

3) Add ice if you like it cold.

Yakult Green Tea BBT


1/2 cup of green tea

1/2 cup of yakult

1/4 cup of cooked tapioca pearls

1) Add a spoon of brown sugar syrup

to the cooked pearls and spoon

them into the glass.

2) Pour in the green tea and yakult.

As simple as that! Easiest recipe ever! XD

Additional Tips

  1. Use a metal pan or pot, don't follow my video and use a ceramic pot or glass. This is so that the mixture will heat more evenly and won't get burnt at the corners and bottom.

  2. Always, always keep stirring when you are heating the mixture over fire.

  3. Do not make the boba balls too big, just 1/2- 2/3 the diameter of your boba straw will do, as the balls will expand when you cook them. If it's too big, it will get stuck when you drink it!

Are you going to try making it? Share with me how it goes if you are trying!

If this is really too time consuming for you but you are really craving some BBT during this circuit breaker period, check out some of these shops that still do delivery/ takeaway for BBT!

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