Instant Boba

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. A commission may be earned for us by clicking some links and buying some products.

Here we will discuss what instant boba is, how it is cooked, and its comparison to other similar types of boba. Generally instant boba is used as a topping for replacing the tapioca pearls in bubble tea that take longer to cook, by being more convenient in a time crunch and cooking faster. Instant boba is capable of being placed in the microwave to cook, unlike the traditional tapioca pearls, which are usually boiled and simmered in a pot.

Most of the time instant boba is just referred to as instant boba, but they are also called instant tapioca pearls or 1 minute boba.

Instant boba is made primarily from tapioca starch for most brand types. They are premade and precooked boba for bubble tea, that cooks in only 10% of the total time of the original tapioca pearls. This makes them more convenient than the traditional tapioca pearls.

The instant boba usually comes in a small box with hand sized thin sealed packets in the box that are filled with precooked boba pearls. The boba pearls are kept frozen in a sugar mixture of liquids and flavorings until they are ready to be cooked.

They are an option for individuals that are looking for ways to cook boba fast, without the hassle of using other bubble tea equipment to do it. Instant boba can be bought online or at some local grocery stores and Asian supermarkets.


The most commonly used flavor of the instant boba pearls is brown sugar, but there can be other flavors such as matcha, taro, strawberry, black tea, passion fruit and more. Most individuals that have tried these flavor types have reported that the flavor is exceptional for the instant boba types from most brands. They are exceptional sweet, but not as sweet as the sweetest boba pearls found in boba shops.

Some instant tapioca pearls have been said to have the flavor more pronounced once the instant tapioca pearls has been bitten and chewed.

Majority of instant boba packets already have the entire flavor for the bubble tea drink in the packet, sealed with the boba pearls. This means that additional syrup or powders for the bubble tea do not usually need to be used. However, even though the instant boba pearls themselves are exceptionally flavored, the base of the bubble tea drink after adding in all of the contents in these packets has been reported to be somewhat flavorful to mildly flavored.

Some brands of instant boba pearls has been reported to have a great flavor for both the tapioca pearls and the base of the bubble tea drink. Some have said that it is very flavorful but not too sweet. The sweetness varies for the brands and instant boba flavor types.


The texture of instant boba pearls varies in comparison to the texture of traditional tapioca pearls. Usually the desired texture of traditional tapioca pearls is soft on the outside with a chewy texture in the middle. For some instant boba types, the texture of the boba pearls has been said to be surprisingly good, while others are lackluster.

Since the instant boba pearls are precooked as frozen foods would be in a grocery that are ready to after a little heating, it is expected that the instant boba quality would be subpar for some types when compared to well made original tapioca pearls. However, for the brands that do have good texture quality similar to originally cooked tapioca pearls, usually all of the flavors and types for that instant boba will have generally the same texture.

It is expected that if the texture of the instant boba brand is subpar, then the rest of the other types of that brand may also be the same way. Generally, the texture of cooked instant boba can range from soft on the outside and hard in the middle to mushy, with some being surprisingly soft and chewy in the middle.

How Instant Boba Is Cooked

How to cook instant boba pearls.

Instant boba can be cooked in two different ways: in the microwave or on the stove top in a pot. The most common way is done in a microwave. Following the exact instructions given on the box or package for the instant boba brand is important for ensuring the optimal quality and flavor of the instant boba pearls and bubble tea drink.

Generally, instant boba takes 1 minute to cook in the microwave and 5 minutes on the stove top in a pot of boiling water.

How Instant Boba Is Cooked In A Microwave

  1. Take 1 frozen sealed packet of instant boba and cut it open.
    • The boba packet has to be cut open for circulation. This can be done with a pair of scissors.
  2. Put the packet of frozen instant boba in a microwaveable container or bowl.
    • The size of the container or bowl needs to be big enough to hold any frozen liquids that will defrost while they are cooking in the microwave.
    • If the idea of placing the whole packet in the microwave with the opening cut by the scissors isn’t working, the packet can be opened, and all the contents in the package placed in the container or bowl without the wrapper.
  3. Heat the instant boba in the microwave on high setting for 1 minute.
    • It usually only takes around 1 minute on the microwave’s highest setting to finish properly.
  4. It is done.
    • After this, the instant boba is done. All of the frozen contents should be liquid, and the instant boba should be cooked.
    • If some of the contents aren’t liquid then the instant boba has to be microwaved longer. It should look like boba pearls resting in a liquid mixture.

How Instant Boba Is Cooked On The Stove

  1. Do not cut open the boba pack.
    • Leave the boba packet uncut. It will be placed in the water in a pot while it is sealed in the packet.
  2. Heat water on the stove in a pot until it is at a rolling boil.
    • Make sure that there is enough water in the pot to fully cook the pack of instant boba in it.
    • Wait until the water reaches boiling point before putting the instant boba pack in the water to cook.
  3. Place the boba pack in the boiling water and cook it for 3 to 5 minutes.
    • The time for cooking varies, but aim for 3 to 5 minutes max. Cooking the instant boba in a pot has a little more leniency than doing it in the microwave.
  4. Remove the boba pack. Cut it open and serve.

How Bubble Tea Is Made With Instant Boba

Making the bubble tea from cooked instant boba is straightforward. All of the contents in the cooked package of instant boba goes into a cup for bubble tea first. This includes the boba in the package, along with the rest of the contents that the boba in the package is in too. It is the flavoring that will be mixed with the milk later.

Ice is then added to the cup at the same ratio of milk (keep reading to see the ratio for the milk). The ice will melt somewhat, because of the freshly cooked instant boba in the cup.

Afterwards, milk is added in, which usually is around 3 and a half ounces to a cup worth. If the instant boba is around 100 calories for the serving amount, it is about half of a cup of milk. If the calories for the serving amount of the instant boba pack is around 200 calories, it is 1 cup of milk. The milk can be whole milk, but any milk of the consumer’s choice can be used. The milk used can effect the overall taste of the bubble tea.

Finally, the whole thing is stirred and ready to drink with a boba straw. As stated, usually no additional sweeteners or flavoring are needed. Instant boba usually comes with everything in it, except the milk that is added in later.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: