Boba: How It’s Made

Boba: How Its Made

Claire Allard

Boba: How it’s Made


When it comes to Boba there are more than a thousand flavor combinations and a million toppings. The founder of boba, Liu Han-Chieh, first came up with the idea of serving Chinese tea cold,  after visiting Japan where he saw coffee served cold. Bubble or Boba Tea is one of the few tea preparations that has become a full-blown sensation not only in its country of origin, Taiwan, but abroad as well. There are many family-owned boba places in Temecula. Not only are they close, but they also are delicious!

Boba was invented in the 1980s, bubble tea (also called “black pearl tea” or “boba tea”) is a beloved Taiwan classic. Though there are dozens of different variations, at its core it’s a combination of tea, milk, and the ‘bubbles’ – which are essentially little balls made of anything from tapioca to fruit jelly. 

This is how tapioca pearls are made; The tapioca balls are made from the tapioca starch that comes from the cassava root. Boiling water is added to this starch and kneaded to form a dough-like consistency. The dough is then cut and shaped into bubble shapes. These are added to a boiling mixture of brown sugar and water to finish the product. These delicious chewy delights are so fun to eat. Other than the tapioca there is also popping boba. Popping boba is also an amazing experience when you have it for the first time. When you think of the popping boba you think of bright, bursting, fruity flavors. But when you look up how they are made you would be surprised. It involves a specification process,  mixed with fruit juice, to make a fantastic pop of flavor! 


When you have the tapioca pearls or popping boba, You need to have a drink or a base. Pearl milk tea is a common one. There is also black tea or Thai tea. Some people like to have smoothies or juice, whatever you like there are many kinds!

There are more than thousands upon thousands! Here are some examples. Black, oolong, and jasmine are the most common tea bases, combined with milk, creamer, and usually some other flavor. Anything from taro, to strawberry, to brown sugar.


When you get Boba you don’t only think of the drink or milk tea itself, you think about the toppings too! Tapioca pearls are a classic when it comes to boba. There are many variations of tapioca-like these. Brown sugar tapioca pearls are so good.  Also called Brown Sugar Bubble tea, Brown Sugar Boba Milk tea, and Tiger Sugar Milk tea. This confectionery drink originated from Taiwan and quickly became famous worldwide.  

  Lychee tapioca pearls are a sweet, crisp, afternoon treat to enjoy! The lychee bubble tea is light,  sweet, and a delightful smooth milk tea served with tapioca pearls. Tea flavor gives the depth, lychee gives the sweet fragrant taste, milk imparts smoothness, boba balls give a texture and the bubbles give a unique mouthfeel to this drink.

Green tea tapioca pearls are a fun, and tasty way to enjoy your boba. You can be experimental with the tea you use for your bubble tea! By far the most common teas to use are black tea (like earl gray, chai, breakfast tea, green teas like matcha, jasmine, or Oolong tea.) If you’re new to bubble tea, try a black tea to get you started for your morning.  Egg custard/pudding is a creamy way to have a smooth, and sweet boba.  Although the ingredients are the same, the sweetness levels differ between the Chinese and the Japanese version.  Egg custard/pudding the Chinese version is created by steaming a mixture of eggs with milk and sugar. Definitely try egg custard/ pudding!


Taro balls are a tangy way to have a nice, tangy flavor. The taro balls can be made by mixing mashed taro with water and sweet potato flour or potato flour, making the taro balls more springy or softer respectively. The color of mashed taro makes the dessert appear crystal purple or gray. Sweet potato balls are also a great way to and a fun ingredient to your boba! 


   Red bean is a flavourful and delectable treat as a topping to put on boba or milk tea. Here is how it can be made. Red bean, also known as adzuki bean, is a topping made from dried red beans and sugar. The flavor can be described as sweet, creamy, and earthy. It has a slightly granulated texture and is high in fiber. Mung bean boba is an earthy-toned ingredient to definitely try in your beautiful cup of boba. It looks grayish-green, tastes mostly sour with a tinge of sweetness. It’s definitely an acquired taste.

 Crystal boba or white boba can be put on other foods too! Crystal boba is also called Agar boba or white pearls

 – has a chewy yet not-so-jelly-bouncy, gelatin texture. The beautiful, translucent spheres are immersed in the syrup with a subtle grapefruit, citrus flavor. It is ready-made for use on bubble tea, frozen yogurt, shaved ice, or iced beverages. 

All these combinations and toppings are so delicious. Try some when you are at a boba tea shop in Temecula. Which boba flavor do you like? Comment down below if I missed any of your favorites!