Coffee Boba Pearls

Coffee Boba Pearls Made From Scratch
Coffee Tapioca Pearls

Coffee boba pearls are boba pearls made with real coffee in them. This article will go over how to make them. They are easier to make than Starbucks’ coffee popping pearls, because they are made from tapioca starch or cassava flour. This means that they will be more suitable for placing them in hot coffee drinks, especially since tapioca pearls do very well in warm or hot drinks.

The cool thing about using coffee tapioca pearls is that the tapioca pearls will actually have caffeine in them for once. This means that the boba can be placed in many different drinks to add flavor and caffeine to them.

If the coffee boba is made correctly, then the boba will come out with the same wonderful texture as black tapioca pearls, but with an excellent coffee flavor. They are healthier than traditional tapioca pearls, because they are not soaked in extra sugars after they are cooked. They will not need the extra flavor, since the coffee taste is very prominent. The boba will have the same health benefits of actual coffee, along with the same benefits from tapioca pearls.

The coffee boba goes well with anything that regular coffee can go with. It works well for macchiato, lattes, cappuccino, iced coffees, Starbucks drinks, and milk teas.

How To Make Coffee Boba Pearls

Making the coffee tapioca pearls will be very easy if you are used to making tapioca pearls from scratch. Either way, detailed instructions on how to make them from scratch will be provided. If for some reason you have any trouble with making the dough from scratch, and it ends up not coming out right, refer to the troubleshooting guide for fixing tapioca dough.

Equipment needed for making coffee tapioca pearls:

  • A non-stick pan.
  • A heat resistant spatula.
  • A measuring cup.
  • A measuring spoon.

Ingredients for making coffee tapioca pearls:

  • 1.5 ounces of water.
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar.
  • A pinch of xanthan gum.
  • 1 teaspoon of instant coffee.
    • I used organic instant coffee, but it has to be the coffee that dissolves straight into the water (instant coffee). They usually require 1 teaspoon to make a cup of coffee.
  • Tapioca starch or cassava flour.
    • Use tapioca starch if you have it, but you can also use cassava flour.

1. Put 1.5 ounces of water into the pan.

Start with water in a pan.

Start out with the water. This will be used to mix with the tapioca starch or cassava flour later to form the tapioca pearls.

2. Heat the pan on the stove at medium-low temperature.

Place the pan on the stove and turn the temperature of the stove to almost medium heat.

3. Put 1 teaspoon of instant coffee into the pan.

A teaspoon of instant coffee in the pan.

A teaspoon of instant coffee is pretty strong. It is enough to give the tapioca dough its coffee smell and flavor. You are welcomed to use more for a stronger coffee taste if you like. With this amount, the coffee tapioca pearls will have a noticeable coffee taste, but it won’t be strong or overpowering. Make it as strong or as light as you want, or just simply use the amount as directed.

4. Put 3 tablespoons of brown sugar into the pan. Mix everything together.

Brown sugar placed in the pan.

The brown sugar isn’t needed so much as to add the color to the boba pearls this time, as it is already done through the coffee. It is just being used as a sweetener to sweeten the boba pearls. You can use regular sugar too if you like.

5. Add in a pinch of xanthan gum on top of the coffee in the pan.

Xanthan gum added into the coffee.

Thoroughly mix the xanthan gum into the coffee. Make sure that you do not add more than a pinch of xanthan gum, as it can ruin the dough and coffee boba pearls if too much is added by gelatinizing the mixture and dough.

6. Add in half a portion of tapioca starch or cassava flour to the coffee. Thoroughly mix it into the coffee.

Tapioca starch/cassava flour added to coffee.

Half of the ingredients need to be tapioca starch or cassava flour (whichever you are using). Add that amount into the pan and immediately mix in in thoroughly.

Tapioca starch/cassava flour mixed in the coffee in the pan.

7. Continously stir the mixture until it thickens to a really thick sticky paste on medium-low heat.

Mixture being turned into dough.

Keep stirring the mixture towards the center of the pan, and keep it all together. Eventually it will become thicker and thicker until it looks like a pasty blob.

Sticky thick pasty dough blob.

8. Pour in tapioca starch/cassava flour into the pan around the amount and size of the sticky dough.

More tapioca starch or cassava flour added into the pan.

Pour the tapioca starch or cassava flour) in the pan on the side of the blob. Lift the blob and place it on top of the starch/flour.

9. Knead the starch/flour into the dough using the spatula.

Tapioca starch or cassava flour kneaded into the sticky dough.

Keep kneading the starch/flour into the dough until it is no longer sticky, and it can hold no more starch/flour. You can take it out of the pan after this.

10. Place the dough on a flat surface and knead more tapioca starch/cassava flour into it by hand.

Dough taken out of the pan and placed on a flat surface.

Spread some tapioca starch or flour underneath the dough to keep it from sticking to the surface. Begin kneading more tapioca starch/cassava flour into the dough until it will not take anymore.

When it is done by hand, you will see that it can still hold more starch/flour. It will take in the starch/flour, then become smooth again after it is thoroughly kneaded by hand. Keep kneading in the starch/flour by covering the dough and then kneading it. Repeat this until it becomes slightly grainy, then the dough is ready to form coffee tapioca pearls.

Coffee tapioca dough.
Kneaded dough, ready to form coffee tapioca pearls.

11. Form the coffee tapioca pearls from the dough.

Uncooked coffee tapioca pearls.
Coffee tapioca pearls that are ready to cook.

Begin taking pieces of the dough in your hands and forming tapioca balls to cook by rolling them into balls in the palm of your hands. Check the size of the balls with a boba straw to make sure they are big enough, but small enough to fit in a boba straw for bubble tea drinks. Roll the pearls in light tapioca starch/cassava flour to keep them from sticking to one another.

The coffee tapioca pearls cook at the same times as traditional tapioca pearls (30 minutes boiling and 30 minutes simmering).

Coffee tapioca boba pearls.
Cooked coffee tapioca pearls made from scratch.

Tip: If you use 3 cups of water to boil them in hot water around 425°F, then simmer them, you can save the water to use it as the base for the drink for making a coffee bubble tea from the finished pearls. The hot water will turn into an extremely light flavored coffee with a little sweetness. You can place your finished coffee boba pearls in this in a cup to make the coffee bubble tea.

The left over water from the cooked coffee tapioca pearls.

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