How To Make Thai Boba Tea - Elm Tea Leaf Company

How To Make Thai Boba Tea

Since it first appeared in Taiwan in the 1980s, boba tea has spread worldwide and grown massively in popularity.

Boba tea is a tea-based drink that includes boba pearls – small balls of tapioca that float in the drink until they are sucked up through a straw and eaten. Find out How to Make Thai Boba Tea below.

2 Glasses of Thai Boba Tea

Thai boba tea puts a spin on the original with a spiced tea blend that leans away from boba’s sweeter leanings.

But how do you make your own boba tea? Don’t worry, because this step-by-step guide is here to help! Here we’ll take you through what you’ll need, as well as instructions on how to make your own boba tea at home.

So let’s get started!

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What You’ll Need


Traditionally, boba uses black tea leaves, but you can use other types of tea if you prefer.

The best tea is really up to your preference; matcha, chai, and even Earl Grey are all great alternatives, or you can use a flavored tea instead if you want to step away from the taste of traditional teas.


When it comes to boba tea, the milk is just as important as the tea itself.

Again, you don’t have to use regular milk; dairy-free options like oat and almond milk work just as well. You can also swap your milk out for cream or half-and-half if you want something creamier.

Tapioca Pearls

These are the stars of the show, and what makes boba so unique.

These balls of tapioca need to be prepared prior to making the tea, and the time it takes to do so varies between varieties.

Check the prep time for the boba you have to make sure it’s ready in time. Alternatively, you can use some alternatives like juice-filled bubbles or jelly if tapioca isn’t really your thing.


Brown sugar is one of the most popular sweeteners for boba, though white sugar can also be used.

Other sweeteners such as agave syrup and honey are great natural options, and artificial sweeteners such as stevia also work well alongside your boba tea.

When you’re making boba tea at home, you can control how much or how little sugar goes in your tea. So if you have a sweet tooth, feel free to splash out a bit!


You can make an iced variation of boba tea very easily.

Once everything else is prepared in the drink apart from the boba, put it in a cocktail shaker with some ice cubes and shake it until it reduces the temperature of the tea.

Then, strain out the ice cubes or keep them whole, add your tea to a cup, and add the boba.

Boba Straw/Long Spoon

Boba pearls are too large to fit through a regular straw. Luckily, you can get specially-made boba straws, which are wide enough to let your boba pearls through.

Be careful if this is your first time drinking boba, as the boba can shoot through the straw pretty quickly and pose a choking hazard.

To reduce the risk of boba-related injury, you can use a long-handled spoon to scoop the pearls out to enjoy.

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How To Make Thai Boba Tea: Step By Step

Pour shot of  Thai Boba Tea

So now that you’ve gotten everything ready, it’s time to start making your Thai boba tea!

1. Prepare The Boba Pearls

Depending on the type of boba you get, you might not need to prepare them until later. Some varieties are ‘quick-cooking’ and will only take between 5-7 minutes to cook. Jelly and juice balls, meanwhile, either come pre-prepared or will have their own set of cooking instructions that you should adhere to.

If you just have regular boba pearls, they will typically take around half an hour to prepare. Fill a pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. From here, add your boba and stir to avoid the balls sticking to each other.

After a few minutes, the boba will float to the surface. Now, reduce the heat down to medium and leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the boba has finished cooking, strain it and rinse them in cold water to remove the layer of starch from the outside. Your boba is now ready to use.

2. Make The Tea

The timings for this step vary based on the tea you’re using. Let it steep for slightly longer than usual, but without letting it stew. You want the tea to be stronger than normal while keeping it from getting bitter. Thai tea mix will need around 15 minutes to steep fully.

Strain any tea leaves or any spices left in the tea, and leave it to cool down. You can put it in the refrigerator to speed the process up. Alternatively, if you want an iced tea you can shake it in a cocktail shaker with some ice.

Now, add your sweetener. Brown sugar is a great choice, but you can use any alternative that you want. Add your sweetener until the tea is slightly less sweet than your preferred sweetness. This is because you can also add some sugar to the bottom of your glass.

3. Fill Your Glass

The tea and the boba are both ready, so it’s time to put it all together.

Put some sugar or other sweetener at the bottom of the glass, and add a few scoops of boba. Then, add your ice if it’s not already mixed with the tea.

Now, pour your tea in. You want to fill the glass to about 3/4 full, leaving enough room for the milk. Top up the glass with the milk, and stir it well with your straw or spoon.

Your Thai boba tea is now ready to serve and enjoy.

Customize Your Boba Tea!

Don’t like plain tea? Then feel free to switch up and customize your boba tea any way you want!

There are plenty of things you can add, substitute, or alter to make the perfect Thai boba tea for you. Here are a few easy ways to make your boba tea even better!

One simple way to up your boba tea game is with flavoring. Not only are there a wide array of different flavored teas out there (like matcha, strawberry, and taro, just to name a few), but there are also plenty of flavored syrups and other ingredients you can add to give your tea a tasty twist.

In addition to flavoring the tea itself, you can also change up the boba you use. If you’re not a fan of traditional tapioca pearls, you have the option to swap them out for alternatives.

For instance, you can use ‘bubbles’ filled with fruit juices to add a juicy pop to your tea. Alternatively, there are flavored tapioca pearls so you can enjoy the texture of your boba with a more inviting taste.

There are plenty of options for customizing your Thai boba tea. So whatever your tastes are, there’s something for you!

Final Thoughts

Now you know how to make Thai boba tea!

Whether you’re making it for yourself or for friends and/or family, you’ll be sure to impress with your new skills.

Simply follow this recipe, and you’ll be able to make delicious boba tea in no time at all. And with so many flavors and options, there’s bound to be a variety of boba tea for everyone to enjoy.