Boba Fête: Make Your Own DIY Coconut Vegan Boba Tea

Use our lower-sugar, dairy-free recipe to create a bounty of bubble tea

Photo: Getty Images

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Boba tea drinks might be one of those things that you’ve never thought about making at home, but it can be a fun treat to whip up in the kitchen. Going DIY is frugal, since for about the price of two drinks at your local cafe, you can buy the supplies to make dozens of at-home creations, probably lower in sugar and fat than the cafe version, and cuts back on disposable plastic waste. And, of course, there’s the peace of mind of knowing your vegan boba is in fact dairy-free.

How you make the bubble tea base is up to you. We recommend a mixture of tea, almond milk, and coconut milk to get the thick (but not too thick) consistency we’re all familiar with. But you can mix and match as you please. If you prefer a fruit base to tea, just grab equal parts coconut milk and the fresh fruit or berry of your choice and blend them into a purée.

The Great Boba Shortage of 2021 turned out to be kind of over-hyped, and supplies of tapioca pearls are again flowing through global trading routes. You can buy tapioca pearls online or at some Asian supermarkets, just be sure to check the ingredients to ensure the one you’re buying is vegan. Some contain caramel, which can be derived from dairy products. If you’re looking for a bigger project, you can also make your own vegan boba pearls from tapioca flour and sugar, or try adding mango to the pearls.

When it comes time to serve your bubble tea creation, skip the single-use plastic straws and opt for an extra-wide reusable instead.

More Related Recipes to Try Next:
Mango Sunrise Ice Cream with Coconut Lime Dust

Frozen Matcha Slushies
Mini No-Bake Matcha Tea Cheesecakes

DIY Coconut Vegan Boba Tea



  • 1/2 cup large tapioca pearls
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 cup chilled very strongly-brewed black tea or 1 cup of matcha
  • 1/2 cup almond or oat milk, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup low-fat or regular coconut milk


Bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil over medium heat, and add tapioca pearls. Boil for 30 to 45 minutes, or until pearls are turning translucent. Remove from heat, and let sit in hot water for 30 minutes more. Drain, and rinse in warm water. Put pearls in a mixing bowl, add brown sugar and toss.

Divide tapioca equally between 2 large serving glasses.

Mix together remaining ingredients, and shake. Pour mixture into the 2 glasses of tapioca pearls. Serve with large reusable straws.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 150
  • Carbohydrate Content 31 g
  • Cholesterol Content 5 mg
  • Fat Content 2 g
  • Fiber Content 0 g
  • Protein Content 2 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 1 g
  • Sodium Content 60 mg
  • Sugar Content 9 g