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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

If you’re addicted to boba but tired of paying eight dollars every time you go, this one’s for you. I’ve worked at a boba shop for two years, so I hope I can pass on some knowledge and save you some money for other necessary sweet treats

The Boba

Getting the perfect boba is the key to the best boba drinks. A lot of chain boba shops have specially branded imports which are nearly impossible to find, so here are some alternative brands that are just as good. We used Possmei boba pearls which have the perfect combination of soft and chewy. Most pre-made boba comes in large batches, so it can be a little pricey; however, when stored in an airtight container it can last longer. Now it’s time to cook our tapioca. The key to the perfect texture is the 30:30 method. Bring your water to a boil and put your tapioca pearls in, wait for five minutes or until the boba is floating, then turn the heat down about halfway and let them cook for another 25 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid the boba burning or clumping up. After the boba is done cooking, turn the heat off and cover the pot, and let rest for 30 minutes. Next, drain the boba so just the pearls are left (no liquid) and rinse under warm water. To give the boba some flavor you’re going to need to “season” it. There are a couple of ways to do it: add honey (or honey-flavored syrup), add brown sugar syrup, or you can just use brown sugar and vanilla. I can’t really tell you measurements since everyone has a different preference.

The Tea

A good tea makes or breaks the tea; if you’ve ever made milk tea at home and wondered why the flavor wasn’t right, it’s most likely because it wasn’t loose-leaf tea. Tea can be super pricey, especially loose leaves, so I’ll recommend some cheaper options. The Tea Zone jasmine green tea and golden milk tea, Pantai Thai tea, Organic Positively Tea Company, and Ocha & Co. are all great choices. Most teas have brewing instructions that should be followed to ensure the best flavor. A good measurement is 1.5-2 oz. of loose-leaf tea for every 8 oz. of water. For green tea, I recommend you cold brew it (letting the tea steep in room temperature water overnight) because it is very delicate and easy to burn if the water is too hot. When it comes to boba shops, a lot use fructose to sweeten the drinks, but homemade simple syrup or honey are great alternatives. For milk teas, half & half or non-dairy creamer can be used. If you are lactose intolerant, non-dairy creamer is a good option; my favorite brand is the one from Tea Zone which can be found on Amazon. The sweetener, brewed tea, and creamer can all be added to a shaker with ice to create the final product. If you like flavored green teas and are willing to invest in some flavored syrups, the ones from Possmei, Bossen, or Tea Zone are delicious and most commonly used. 

The Toppings

Boba topping is probably the most expensive thing to make boba; however, it can be stored in the fridge for long periods of time. For popping boba, and jellies my favorites are from Possmei.  Additionally, toppings like milk foam or cheese foam can often be found as powder mixes.

Sophmore at the University of Texas, Austin. I love horror novels, hair metal, and collecting fashion dolls...