Random facts: Tapioca Express was my first job. In college, I wrote a 10 page research paper on tapioca for something that originated in Southern California.

But today, was the first time I ever made my own boba! It’s finally gotten to a point where I actually have to…

In Boise, they call it “bubble tea” and they only sell it as an add-on at Japanese or Vietnamese restaurants (usually as a smoothie). There is no actual milk tea chain here whatsoever. No milk foam, extra toppings, egg pudding, grass jelly and all the other things I used to be spoiled with. I was so deprived that when I was Chicago, I took the train to Chinatown just to get legitimate boba.

So when we went to the Asian market, I was excited to swoop up a bag of tapioca and have a kitchen experiment.

Making chewy black balls
The bag lied. It did not take 5 minutes…
1) Boil 10 cups of water, pour 1 cup of tapioca, gently stir.
2) When the pearls start floating, turn heat to medium and cook for 5-8 minutes.
3) Turn heat off and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
4) Drain and run cold water off of it.

Come here honey
1) Boil 1 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar.
2) Let it simmer until all the sugar dissolves.
3) Pour over the boba and mix in 4 tablespoons of honey.
4) Leave it alone to soak for at least 30 minutes.

Tipsy shake
1) Pour the following into a cocktail shaker:
2-3 mini yogurt drinks
1 cup of brewed green tea
2 large spoonfuls of condensed milk
1 shot of vodka
2) Shake and adjust to your own liking. The second one I made, I added some lychee calpico.

Creaming it
Instead of the usual sea salt milk foam to top off the drink, I decided to be adventurous and try strawberry- to fit better with a fruitier base.
1) Puree strawberries. I just blended 3 frozen strawberries with a little bit of leftover green tea.
2) Mix it with heavy cream (guessing around 1/4 cup) and add a bit of brown sugar. I whipped it in my KitchenAid until it was frothy-softish-firm but not too hard with peaks.


This marks the beginning of my bobaholic at-home concoctions. Taking “bobaholic” literally, I’m sure there will be many more creative tipsy experiments to come!

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