Boba Coffee Recipe – Chewy, Yummy Coffee Drink!

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You may have had boba tea or an iced latte in the past. But have you ever had a boba latte drink? Combine the taste of espresso coffee with the subtle sweetness of tapioca pearls for a modern take on a popular coffee drink.

Here, we will learn more about boba latte and how to make it at home as well as the ingredients and how to enjoy the different variations and substitutions that can help to make the boba coffee drink you will love with your favorite flavors.

Here is our video tutorial showing you how to make Boba Latte at home.

Key Takeaways

  • A boba coffee drink (Bubble coffee) combines the delicious taste of boba balls with coffee flavors.
  • It has Taiwanese influences because of the boba pearls.
  • Boba is created from the cassava root, whereas tapioca starch is extracted from the plant.
  • The tapioca starch is combined with boiling water to create a dough. Processors shape the dough into boba pearls.
  • Both boba lattes and milk teas have caffeine in them. However, a boba latte has coffee, while milk tea contains steeped tea, reminiscent of its name.
  • Using pre-made tapioca pearls for this coffee recipe is easier. You can find them on Amazon.

What Is a Boba Latte?

Boba latte is a boba drink that integrates boba balls and espresso in one delicious, luscious combination. It is a modern upgrade to coffee lovers’ traditional go-to latte drink. It also differs from bubble tea because it contains coffee instead of tapioca, taro, or black tea to create the quintessential Taiwanese drink.

The drink’s creamy consistency comes from the milk or creamer you use. The sweetest liquid is a brown sugar syrup or a regular one made with white sugar.

You will notice the layers separated in the glass, which makes a lovely presentation. The boba pearls sink to the bottom as the espresso stays on top. The milk remains atop the espresso until you mix the drink with an extra wide straw.


What Is Boba Made From?

Boba is a delicious alternative for individuals who do not want to eat gelatin but desire to enjoy the same texture. Boba comes from the cassava root, which is mainly indigenous to African nations. A large portion of the worldwide cassava root production and harvesting takes place in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria.

Manufacturers extract the tapioca sta from it to start making the boba pearls. Hence, boba is a delicious plant-based option for vegans.

Manufacturers place the cassava root under a pulping and washing process to begin tapioca starch extraction. When enough wet cassava root pulp has accumulated, processors squeeze it out to get the tapioca starch.

Then, the tapioca starch is mixed with boiling water, and the reaction forms a dough, whereas processors shape them into tiny boba pearls. The boba is the basis for boba latte, bubble tea, and other boba drinks.

Steps to prepare tapioca pearls for Boba Latte

How To Make a Boba Latte

Here is how to make a boba iced latte in the comfort of your home. Ordering a boba latte from your local cafe may be tempting, but you can save money by making one at home!

The preparation can be as careful or as quick as you would like it to be. Choose to do a homemade brown sugar simple syrup or to do store-bought. You can brew espresso yourself or get a ready-made version at the grocery store. The choice is yours! Refer to the variations and substitutions below for more ideas.


How to Make a Boba Latte at Home

This recipe will show you how to make boba coffee or boba latte at home.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Asian
Servings 1 cup
Calories 240 kcal


  • An espresso machine or a moka pot to brew the espresso coffee
  • A tall glass
  • An extra-wide straw to drink up the tapioca balls
  • A pot filled with water to cook the tapioca pearls
  • A separate pot for making brown sugar simple syrup


  • 2 shots espresso
  • 8 ounces black tapioca pearls
  • 8 fl. oz milk (Optional: Almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk or others)
  • 1-2 ounces brown sugar simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (ingredients needed for homemade brown sugar simple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup water (ingredients needed for homemade brown sugar simple syrup)
  • ice cubes for the iced coffee
  • Other sweeteners as desired


  • Brew your favorite espresso coffee with an espresso machine.
  • Cook the tapioca pearls according to the package directions. It takes 5 to 30 mins, depending on the brands.
  • Strain the boba from the water and set them aside so that they come to room temperature.
  • Next, make the brown sugar simple syrup. Mix a ¼ cup of brown sugar and a ¼ cup of water in a pot and heat it until the sugar dissolves and the concoction turns into a syrupy consistency. You can keep the extra syrup in a mason jar for 30 days.
  • Fill your boba cup in to the glass. Add ice cubes if you prefer an iced drink
  • Garnish the glass with 2 tbsp of bown sugar syrup.
  • Pour in 10 to 12 ounces of milk to finish the latte drink. (Optional: Steam or froth milk for a better texture.)
  • Pour your espresso over the millk.
  • Mix everything with an extra wide straw and enjoy!


Serving: 10fl. ozCalories: 240kcal
Keyword boba coffee, boba latte, coffee boba
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Variations and Substitutions:

  • Use a ready-made espresso drink from your local grocer if you do not have an espresso machine at home.
  • Any brewed coffee will work for this coffee boba recipe. You can use cold brew coffee if you prefer an iced coffee drink.
  • Follow our coffee tea drink recipe and add tapioca pearls to make a boba coffee tea.
  • Try the Collins brown sugar simple syrup if you do not want to take the extra step of making homemade simple syrup.
  • Substitute the brown sugar simple syrup with vanilla, butterscotch, caramel, or almond varieties to enhance and compliment the espresso’s flavor profile.
  • Vary the boba latte’s taste by purchasing flavored tapioca pearls instead of the original black ones. Some come in fruity flavors of the sweetest liquid, such as strawberry and mango.
  • Sweeten the drink further with a couple of teaspoons of honey.
  • Use 1 tbsp of instant coffee and 3 oz water to make a quick instant espresso if you don’t have any coffee makers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know more about boba latte, let’s answer more of your questions about the drink. Learn more about the drink’s taste, if it’s caffeinated, and the difference between a boba latte and milk. 

What does a boba latte taste like?

Boba latte tastes like a traditional iced latte combined with boba tea. The creaminess of the milk mixed with the luscious smoothness of the boba pearls compliments the depth of the coffee flavor. It can have different flavor notes depending on the type of boba pearls you use.

Do boba lattes have caffeine in them?

Yes, boba iced lattes have caffeine in them because of the espresso coffee. A shot of espresso equals about one ounce, and two shots of espresso coffee equate to a couple of ounces. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says about 127 mg of caffeine is in two espresso coffee shots.

What is the difference between a boba latte and a milk tea?

Boba latte has espresso coffee, milk or creamer, cooked boba pearls, and simple syrup. Milk tea does not contain coffee as it only has milk and black tea (or another type). Some people substitute the milk with creamer, half and half, or sweetened condensed milk to create milk tea.


Are you a coffee lover looking for a new java beverage? Maybe you drink boba tea regularly, but you want a different taste to try. Look no further than a boba latte! It gives the right punch of caffeinated flavor from the espresso and creamy lusciousness of milk. The boba pearls are a refreshing flavor pop throughout the drinking experience. Making a boba latte at home is fairly simple once you have the ingredients, so try making your own and tailor the flavor to your liking!

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Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe.