Get Your Bubble Tea Fix: The Best Tapioca Pearls in the UK!



Bubble Tea: The Rise of Tapioca Pearls in the UK

Have you ever tried bubble tea? You might have seen people sipping on the colorful drink with large, chewy balls at the bottom. Those balls, also known as tapioca pearls, boba, or bubble tea pearls, are a key ingredient in the popular Taiwanese drink that has taken the UK by storm in recent years.

The Origins of Tapioca Pearls

Tapioca pearls were first created in Taiwan in the 1980s, as a way to add texture and flavor to tea-based drinks. The chewy, gelatinous balls are made from cassava root starch, which is rolled into small spheres and cooked in boiling water. The result is a translucent pearl that bounces in your mouth and adds a unique mouthfeel to the drink.

The Bubble Tea Trend in the UK

Although bubble tea was first introduced to the UK in the early 2000s, it only gained popularity in the last decade. The first bubble tea shop in the UK opened in London in 2006, and the trend quickly spread across the country. What started as a novelty soon became a staple in many UK cities, with bubble tea shops popping up left and right.

The Appeal of Tapioca Pearls

At first, tapioca pearls may seem strange or even off-putting to some. But their unique texture and flavor have won over many British consumers. The chewy, bouncy balls add a fun element to the drink, and the subtle sweetness of the pearls complements the tea perfectly.

A Variety of Flavors and Toppings

Bubble tea shops in the UK offer a wide range of flavors and toppings, catering to all tastes and preferences. From fruity and floral teas to creamy milk teas, there’s something for everyone. Toppings can include everything from traditional tapioca pearls to fruit jellies, popping boba, and even cheese foam.

Tapioca Pearls Beyond Bubble Tea

The popularity of tapioca pearls doesn’t stop at bubble tea. In recent years, the chewy balls have made their way into other types of cuisine, such as desserts and cocktails. Tapioca pudding, for example, is a popular dessert that features the pearls mixed with milk and sugar. And some bars and restaurants have started incorporating tapioca pearls into their cocktail menus, adding a fun and unexpected twist to classic drinks.


Whether you’re a bubble tea fanatic or have never tried it before, it’s clear that tapioca pearls have made a big impact on the UK food and drink scene. Their unique texture and flavor have won over many British consumers, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. So why not give it a try? Who knows, you might just become a tapioca pearl convert too.

Making Tapioca Pearls at Home: A Fun and Rewarding Experience

If you’re a fan of bubble tea or other tapioca-based drinks, you know that the chewy tapioca pearls are what make these drinks so unique and delicious. But did you know that you can make these pearls at home? Not only is it a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s also a cost-effective alternative to buying them from a store. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the process of making tapioca pearls at home and provide you with some tips and tricks to perfect your technique.

What You’ll Need

Before you get started, you’ll need to gather a few supplies:

  • Tapioca starch (can be found at most grocery stores or online retailers)
  • Water
  • A mixing bowl
  • A rolling pin
  • A pot for boiling water

The Process

Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to start making your tapioca pearls!

  1. Mix tapioca starch and water in a mixing bowl until it forms a dough-like consistency.
  2. Roll the dough into small balls (about the size of a pea) and let them dry for a few hours.
  3. Boil a pot of water and add the pearls to the water.
  4. Stir the pearls occasionally to prevent them from sticking together.
  5. Cook the pearls for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the pearls.
  6. Once the pearls are translucent and soft, remove them from the water and rinse them with cold water.
  7. Add the pearls to your favorite drinks or desserts.
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Tips and Tricks

While the process of making tapioca pearls at home is relatively simple, it can take some practice to perfect your technique. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you along the way:

  • Use a 2:1 ratio of tapioca starch to water to get the perfect consistency.
  • Make sure the pearls are completely dry before cooking them.
  • Stir the pearls occasionally while cooking to prevent them from sticking together.
  • If your pearls are too hard or too soft, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Experiment with different flavors and colors by adding food coloring or fruit juice to the dough.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to note that homemade tapioca pearls may not have the same consistency or flavor as store-bought versions. However, making them at home is a fun and cost-effective alternative that allows you to experiment with different flavors and colors. So next time you’re craving bubble tea, try making your own tapioca pearls at home!

Where to Find Tapioca Pearls in the UK

Are you a lover of bubble tea or just looking to try something new? Tapioca pearls, also known as boba pearls, are an essential ingredient in this popular drink. But where can you find these chewy, sweet pearls in the UK? Here are some options:

Asian Grocery Stores

One of the easiest places to find tapioca pearls is at Asian grocery stores. These stores specialize in ingredients and products from Asian countries, including Taiwan where bubble tea originated. Wing Yip is a popular chain of Asian grocery stores with multiple locations across the UK. Hoo Hing, See Woo, and Loon Fung are also Asian grocery stores that may carry tapioca pearls.

Online Retailers

If you can’t find tapioca pearls in your local Asian grocery store, don’t worry. Online retailers such as Amazon and eBay offer a wide variety of tapioca pearls for purchase. You can choose from different sizes and colours, and even purchase in bulk for a better value.

Bubble Tea Shops

If you’re looking for a specialty bubble tea experience, there are bubble tea shops that sell tapioca pearls. Bubbleology and Chatime are popular chains that offer a variety of bubble tea flavours and toppings including tapioca pearls.


Believe it or not, some supermarkets may also carry tapioca pearls in their international food aisles. Tesco and Waitrose are two examples of supermarkets that may have tapioca pearls available for purchase. However, availability may vary depending on location and season.

Now that you know where to find tapioca pearls in the UK, you can enjoy a delicious and unique bubble tea experience. Whether you choose to make your own at home or visit a bubble tea shop, tapioca pearls are sure to add a fun and tasty twist to any beverage.

Exploring the Delicious World of Tapioca Pearls

If you’re a fan of Asian desserts and drinks, chances are you’ve come across tapioca pearls. These small, chewy balls are a popular ingredient in bubble tea, a Taiwanese drink that has taken the world by storm. But tapioca pearls are more versatile than you might think. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the delicious world of tapioca pearls and explore their many uses and variations.

What are Tapioca Pearls?

Tapioca pearls are made from the starch extracted from cassava root, a plant native to South America. The starch is processed into small, round balls that are boiled until they become soft and chewy. Tapioca pearls are commonly used in Asian desserts and drinks, but they can also be used in savory dishes like soups and stews.

Bubble Tea and Beyond

Bubble tea is perhaps the most well-known use of tapioca pearls. This delicious drink typically combines tea, milk, and tapioca pearls. But there are many variations of bubble tea, with different types of tea, flavors, and toppings. Some popular toppings include fruit jelly, grass jelly, and pudding.

Aside from bubble tea, there are many other delicious tapioca pearl desserts to try. Tapioca pudding is a classic, creamy dessert that’s easy to make at home. Mango sago is another popular dessert that combines fresh mango, sago, and coconut milk. Coconut milk tapioca is a sweet and satisfying dessert that’s perfect for a hot day.

Cooking with Tapioca Pearls

When cooking with tapioca pearls, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully to ensure they cook evenly and don’t become too mushy or hard. Here are some tips for cooking tapioca pearls:

  • Soak the pearls beforehand for at least 30 minutes to help them cook evenly.
  • Use a large pot with plenty of water to prevent the pearls from sticking together.
  • Stir frequently while cooking to prevent the pearls from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Getting Creative with Tapioca Pearls

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are many ways to get creative with tapioca pearls. You can try adding them to smoothies for an extra chewy texture, or use them as a topping for ice cream. You can also experiment with different flavors and colors of tapioca pearls to create unique desserts and drinks.


Tapioca pearls are a versatile and delicious ingredient that can be used in a variety of desserts and drinks. Whether you’re a fan of bubble tea or want to try something new, there are many ways to enjoy the chewy goodness of tapioca pearls. So why not give them a try and see what delicious creations you can come up with?

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