Iced Coffee Boba

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Make delicious and refreshing iced coffee with boba at home with my step-by-step directions. It’s so easy to make in just a few minutes!

Iced Coffee Boba in a clear class with large black straw.

What is Boba?

Boba is the name for tapioca balls, which are chewy and soft little round spheres found in bubble tea (also called milk tea) drinks. The tapioca starch used to make boba comes from cassava root.

When people say boba, it can mean the tapioca balls or the drink (bubble tea).

The easiest way to make bubble tea at home is to use store-bought tapioca balls that have already been cooked in sugar and have been dried. To add boba to drinks, they just need to be cooked in water to make them soft.

RELATED: 10+ Bubble Tea Recipes

Recipe Highlights

  • Iced coffee boba is a drink made with cooled down brewed coffee and tapioca balls (boba). It’s sweetened with brown sugar and made creamy with half & half. There’s no tea in this drink.
  • Store-bought tapioca balls are easily purchased online or in Asian markets and they’re the fastest and easiest way to recreate bubble tea drinks at home in just a few minutes.
  • Brewed coffee for this recipe can be made in a drip coffee machine. Cold brew can also be used.
  • The best boba drinks are made with tapioca balls that are just hot enough to eat since they have the perfect consistency of soft and chewy.

RELATED: Iced Latte with Boba

Ingredient Notes

Iced Coffee Boba ingredients individually in measuring cups and labeled.
  • Coffee
    Any kind of strongly brewed coffee made in a coffee machine can be used.
  • Tapioca balls
    These are sold dry, like pasta, and you just cook them in water for a few minutes to soften.
  • Brown sugar
    Using white granulated sugar is good too, but I prefer iced coffee with brown sugar because it has a richer, caramel-like taste.
  • Half & half
    Half & half is half cream and half milk so it’s much more creamier than regular milk. If you don’t want to use half & half, replace it with any kind of milk you like.
  • Water
    Using filtered water will make a better tasting drink.
  • Ice
    Whenever possible, use ice made with filtered water.
My Tapioca Balls Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

The tapioca balls I use to make bubble tea at home.
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Step-by-Step Instructions

Iced Coffee Boba step-by-step instructions for how to prepare and assemble the drink.

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe.

  1. Cook tapioca balls in brown sugar and water.
    Boil water and brown sugar together then add tapioca balls.
  2. Put tapioca balls and brown sugar syrup into a glass. Add ice.
  3. Pour in cooled coffee.
  4. Top with half & half.
    Serve immediately. Stir before drinking and use an extra wide straw.

RELATED: Easy Brown Sugar Iced Coffee

Iced Coffee Boba with swirling milk and boba at the bottom of a clear glass.

Recipe Notes

Use warm (almost hot) tapioca balls.
Tapioca balls that have cooled down just a bit so that they’re not too hot to eat but still very warm, have the perfect boba consistency where they’re soft and chewy.

Cooking tapioca balls in brown sugar syrup.
The brown sugar and water creates a brown sugar syrup, that sweetens the drink and the tapioca balls. Adding brown sugar to just the coffee didn’t give the drink enough depth of flavor so I use this method so it’s tastier.

Cold brew coffee, or coffee made in a French press can be used.
If you don’t have a drip coffee machine, you can replace the coffee in this recipe with cold brew coffee. You can also use coffee made in a French press that has been cooled down.

Use strong brewed coffee.
Use 3 tablespoons of ground coffee and 1 cup of water to brew 3/4 cup of strong coffee. You can use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee and 1 cup of water if you want it to be a little less strong.

RELATED: Brown Sugar Bubble Tea

Iced Coffee Boba with the milk swirling in the glass and the boba at the bottom.

Expert Tips

  • Tapioca balls can’t be made too much ahead of time since they’ll harden after 4 hours. They’re best when you cook and cool them a little, and then serve the drink right away.
  • Boba drinks are all served with an extra-wide straw so you get some of the boba with each sip of the drink. Regular straws are not wide enough and the boba will be stuck at the bottom of the glass.
  • Chew the tapioca balls instead of swallowing them whole.
  • This recipe makes a 16 ounces (2 cups) drink, so make sure your glass or cup is large enough.

RELATED: Taro Bubble Tea

Questions You May Have

Does this drink contain caffeine?

Yes, since there is brewed coffee in the drink, there is caffeine.

Can I make the boba a day ahead of time?

Unfortunately no. Boba is only good for just a handful of hours after cooking them. They should be prepared just before you want to make the drink.

Can I adjust the sweetness?

All the sweetness comes from the brown sugar syrup that the tapioca balls are cooked in so just add less of the brown sugar syrup if you want to cut down on the sugar.

Iced Coffee Boba fully assembled in a clear glass.

Related

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Iced Coffee Boba

Author: Jee Choe
Make delicious and easy iced coffee with boba at home with my step-by-step directions.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving (16 ounces)

INGREDIENTS
 

Tapioca Balls

Iced Coffee

  • ¾ cup strong brewed coffee (cooled)
  • ¾ cup half & half
  • ¼ cup ice

INSTRUCTIONS

COOK TAPIOCA BALLS

  • Boil water and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add tapioca balls.
    Combine brown sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. When you see big bubbles (2-4 minutes), add tapioca balls. Cook for another 8 minutes on medium-high heat. Cool slightly, until tapioca balls aren't too hot to eat, though they should still be very warm.

ASSEMBLE DRINK

  • Put warm tapioca balls in brown sugar syrup into a cup. Add ice, then the cooled down coffee. Top with half & half.
    Boba should be very warm but not too hot to eat. Coffee should be room temperature or cooler. Do not use hot coffee.
    Serve immediately and stir before drinking. Use an  to drink.

NOTES

  • Use 3 tablespoons of ground coffee and 1 cup of water to brew 3/4 cup of strong coffee. You can use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee and 1 cup of water if you want it to be a little less strong.
  • Tapioca balls that have cooled down just a bit so that they’re not too hot to eat but still very warm, have the perfect boba consistency where they’re soft and chewy.
  • The brown sugar and water creates a brown sugar syrup, that sweetens the drink and the tapioca balls. Adding brown sugar to just the coffee didn’t give the drink enough depth of flavor so I use this method so it’s tastier. 
  • If you don’t have a drip coffee machine, you can replace the coffee in this recipe with cold brew coffee. You can also use coffee made in a French press that has been cooled down. 
  • Tapioca balls can’t be made too much ahead of time since they’ll harden after 4 hours. They’re best when you cook and cool them a little, and then serve the drink right away.
  • Boba drinks are all served with an extra-wide straw so you get some of the boba with each sip of the drink. Regular straws are not wide enough and the boba will be stuck at the bottom of the glass.
  • Chew the tapioca balls instead of swallowing them whole.

NUTRITION

Calories: 329 | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 272mg | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 643IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 221mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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