How to Make Bubble Tea At Home Yourself in Less Than 10 Minutes (Full Instructions)


Last Updated on 2020-11-18 , 8:43 pm

While the entire process of making a cup of bubble tea looks like something only a Michelin-Star chef can pull it off, it really isn’t very complicated.

You merely need two main ingredients: the tea and the boba pearls.

And both can be pre-made.

Making the Milk Tea

The hard part is apparently getting the tea right; for that, you’d have to compromise a little and use instant tea unless you’ve a high-end tea making machine like this:


If not, just buy something like this, put hot water and then chill it:

Image: NTUC FairPrice

That’ll do the trick for the tea.

To adjust the sugar level, simply put more or less sugar in. If you want a fragrance and authentic BBT taste, try packaged brown sugar instead.

And now, the slightly more complicated ingredient: the boba pearls.

Making the Boba Pearls

This is what stops people from making bubble tea at home themselves.

Do you have to buy tapioca flour, mix them with water and sugar until it becomes starchy, ball each of them into little pearls, cook them and then hope for the best?

Kind of like making tang yuan?

Here’s the goody news: you don’t need to.

Just like tang yuan, there are pre-made boba pearl sold online, so that’ll remove the most tedious stage of the entire cooking process.

Here’s one example:

Image: Shopee

In fact, if you want some PlayMade-style pearls, there are some colourful ones as well, though it’s unknown if they taste any different:

Image: Shopee

When you’ve got both the ingredients for the tea and pearls right, it’s time to get down to work.

The Steps

Step 1: Prepare the tea

Prepare your instant tea like how you always want it to be. If you want it to be highly concentrated, just use two packs instead of one pack—and this is recommended if you’re pressed for time. After that’s done, allow it to steep and come to room temperature, then chill it in your refrigerator. If you need to have the bubble tea ready within the next fifteen minutes because the withdrawal syndrome is too much to handle now, then add ice to hasten the chilling process—do note that you should only do that if you’ve used two sachets instead of one.

After all, add sugar or milk to your desire.

Because bubble tea is usually sweeter than your boyfriend’s sweet nothings, you might want to add more sugar or milk to your tea. That is, of course, entirely up to your preference. At least no one would judge if you have 200% sugar.

Step 2: Cook the Boba Pearls

This is actually a process that’s easier than you expected. Simply boil a pot of water and once it’s boiling, add the pre-made boba pearls in. It’s just like cooking your typical Maggi Mee.


When the pearls are in, stir them well to prevent them from sticking to each other—we all know how frustrating it is when the pearls become twins and could not be sucked up. Cook for a few minutes until they’re floating on the surface and look chewy.

Drain them and raise them under cold or tap water. You’d be left with something like this:


Now you’re officially a staff in LiHo.

Step 3: Be The Staff in Those Bubble Tea Outlets

What’s left is to emulate what those staff did in bubble tea shops do.

Grab a cup and put the boba pearls in first. If you want the full experience, you can buy these reusable cups:

Image: Shopee

Technically speaking, you should fill it with pearls to about 1/4 of the cup, but hey: you’re now in control. Throw every single pearl in if you so desire.


After that, pour the chilled tea in.

If you want to, you can shake it so that you’d feel like you’re dude in a Gong Cha outlet, but if you don’t want to look like an idiot in the background while your housemate is on a Zoom meeting, you can simply use a spoon to stir it.

This is also when you can add even more sweetener in.

And there you have it: your own homemade bubble tea.

Just like those bubble tea you bought from stores, you’d need to consume it immediately if not the boba pearls will become hard and rubbery.


Reader Bao: I tried it but it still tastes a little different

Thank you for being our FAQs, Reader Bao. Yes, it’s definitely not going to taste the same as those in stores; this is merely a substitute for you BBT addicts, and also a way to show you how much sugar is needed to prepare a cup, which hopefully will discourage you to drink so much when the Circuit Break period is over.

Reader Bao: The pearls are chewy enough, but can they be sweeter? Or maybe flavoured?

No—the boba pearls are mass-produced and pre-made, so you can’t change the taste. Some bubble tea shops make their own pearls with a machine, so they can have different unique flavours. So come on, Ah Bao; beggars can’t be choosers.

But if you want to, you can pour your pearls into a sugar syrup and stir them well, and then put them in a cup before adding the tea.

There would be instructions on the pre-made boba pearls you buy, so just follow them.

But if it’s already sweet, adding even more syrup would make it even sweeter.

Reader Bao: Okay, I’ve made it. How I drink it?


You just drink it lah. What kind of question…oh, hold on.

Good question.

Before you prepare anything, make sure you’ve a boba tea straw at home. If not, buy one like this online first before cooking:

Image: Shopee

Ah Bao, you’re finally useful in an article.

Anyways, for all the items mentioned here, you can get them from Shopee, but I bet other online platforms would have them as well.

If you’d like to know more about bubble tea, do watch this video we’ve done:

(Also, check out our YouTube channel for more informative and entertaining videos!)