Tapioca drinks are sometimes called boba, sago or pearl tea. Common in Pacific Rim countries, they became popular across the United States in the 1990's. You can get them at:


Some people consider making your own tapioca drinks to be very difficult, but really, if you can boil water, you can easily and cheaply make your own bubble tea. You can buy the tapioca pearls at Kim's Mart next to Silver Dragon for $3.99 a bag (10+ servings). Make tea of whatever flavor you desire. Boil some water. When it is boiling, add about a quarter cup of pearls per serving. Be sure to stir until pearls rise to the surface of the water otherwise they stick to the bottom and you end up with a bit of a mess, and boil for 30-40 minutes (this is the case for the larger pearls at least, not sure about the small ones). Drain. Stir a little sweetener into the pearls if you want. Put pearls in a cup, and add tea, sweetener and milk (dairy, soy, coconut... whatever you prefer) to taste. Drink with a straw you save from Old Teahouse or buy a new package of straws at Kim's Mart.

The popularity of tapioca drinks at UC Davis has even resulted in the creation of a Facebook group.


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2005-08-01 17:26:55   Instead, boil the tapioca in water until clear, add cinnamon, cloves and wine. Then sugar. It's a Brazillian recipe for "Sagu". —BenjaminMiller

2005-08-01 19:06:25   Red or white wine? —ArlenAbraham

2006-05-29 16:36:08   I second Philip's comment on CoHo boba. Both of the experiences i had with them involved crunchy pearls... —CarlosBarahona

2008-06-14 00:23:49   Om nom nom. Boba is win. —BreeButler