Iced Latte with Boba

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Love bubble tea but wish it had coffee instead? Make this deliciously sweet, layered latte with boba! It’s easier than you think with my expert tips.

Iced latte coffee with boba in a clear glass with ice.

What is Boba?

Boba is the name for tapioca balls, which is made from tapioca starch taken from the cassava root. They’re chewy and soft when cooked.

Boba is also another name for bubble tea or milk tea, a drink usually made with tea, milk, and ice.

RELATED: Iced Coffee Boba

Recipe Highlights

  • This boba drink replaces the tea with espresso, creating an iced latte with boba.
  • Store-bought tapioca balls makes it easy to recreate this cafe-quality drink at home in just a few minutes.
  • An espresso machine or a Nespresso is necessary to make this drink at home.
  • My secret for making the best tasting boba is to assemble the drink while the tapioca balls are still quite warm.

RELATED: 9 Easy Bubble Tea (Boba Milk Tea) Recipes

Ingredient Notes

Iced latte with boba ingredients in measuring cups on a table.
  • Espresso
    Use an espresso machine or a Nespresso to make espresso. Any roast, light or dark, can be used.
  • Tapioca balls
    Store-bought are sold dry, so you just need to cook them in water to plump them up.
  • Brown sugar
    You can use white granulated sugar, but I like my iced coffee with brown sugar for a richer, caramel-like flavor.
  • Milk
    Use any kind of milk you like. I like it with oat milk or whole milk.
  • Water
    Use filtered water if possible, since it will make better tasting drink.
  • Ice
    Ice also tastes better when it’s made with filtered water.
My Nespresso Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

This Nespresso model is around $200 and it makes espresso and brewed coffee. Tip: Skip the Aeroccino.
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Step-by-Step Instructions

The four steps to making an iced latte with boba.

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

  1. Cook tapioca balls in brown sugar and water.
  2. Put tapioca balls in brown sugar syrup into a cup. Add ice.
  3. Pour in milk.
  4. Top with espresso.
    Serve immediately. Stir before drinking. Use an extra wide straw to drink. 

RELATED: Brown Sugar Bubble Tea (Brown Sugar Boba Milk)

Iced Latte with Boba in a large glass with an extra-wide straw.

Expert Tips

  • Extra warm tapioca balls makes a great boba drink. When they’re really warm (but not too hot that you’ll burn your mouth), tapioca balls have the perfect consistency.
  • Don’t make tapioca balls too far in advance because they’ll start to harden after about 4 hours. It’s best if you can cook them, cool them down a little, and serve the drink right away.
  • Sugar and ice are what helps to form the layers in the drink. The sweetest liquid should be at the bottom, followed by the next sweetest. The top layer should not have any sugar in it.
  • Boba drinks are served with an extra-wide straw to get some of the boba with the latte on each sip. A standard straw is too narrow.
  • Chew the tapioca balls as they’re not meant to be swallowed whole.
  • A trick to keeping each layer separated as you make the drink is to pour the liquid on top of the ice.
  • This recipe makes a 16 ounce (2 cups) drink, so make sure to have a large enough cup.

RELATED: Brown Sugar Iced Coffee

Iced Latte with Boba in a glass to clearly see the drink's layers.

Questions You May Have

Does this drink have caffeine?

Yes, there’s caffeine in this drink due to the espresso.

How can I adjust the sweetness?

To reduce the amount of sugar in the drink, strain the tapioca balls from the brown sugar simple syrup when assembling the drink. You can add in the brown sugar syrup to your liking.

How do I create the layers?

Layered drinks are made with the magic of ice and sugar. The bottom layer must have more sugar than the top layer, and ice helps keep the layers separated.

A layered iced latte with boba in a glass, served with an extra-wide straw.

Related

Did you make this and love it? Please leave a 5-star rating below or a review in the comments section.

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Iced Latte with Boba

Author: Jee Choe
Deliciously sweet and layered latte with boba!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving (16 ounces)

INGREDIENTS
 

Tapioca Balls

Iced Latte

  • 2 shots espresso
  • ¾ cup milk (any kind)
  • 1 cup ice

INSTRUCTIONS

COOK TAPIOCA BALLS

  • Boil water and 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. They should still be very warm.

ASSEMBLE DRINK

  • Put warm tapioca balls in brown sugar syrup into a cup. Add ice.
    Boba should be very warm but not hot to eat.
  • Pour in milk.
    Make sure to pour the milk directly onto the ice to keep the layers separated.
  • Top with espresso.
    Again, pour espresso directly onto ice instead of into the milk to keep the layers separated.

NOTES

  • Use an espresso machine or a Nespresso to make espresso. Any roast, light or dark, can be used.
  • You can use white granulated sugar, but I like my iced coffee with brown sugar for a richer, caramel-like flavor.
  • Use any kind of milk you like. I like it with oat milk or whole milk.
  • Extra warm tapioca balls makes a great boba drink. When they’re really warm (but not too hot that you’ll burn your mouth), tapioca balls have the perfect consistency.
  • Don’t make tapioca balls too far in advance because they’ll start to harden after about 4 hours. It’s best if you can cook them, cool them down a little, and serve the drink right away.
  • Sugar and ice are what helps to form the layers in the drink. The sweetest liquid should be at the bottom, followed by the next sweetest. The top layer should not have any sugar in it.
  • Boba drinks are served with an extra-wide straw to get some of the boba with the latte on each sip. A standard straw is too narrow.
  • Chew the tapioca balls as they’re not meant to be swallowed whole.
  • A trick to keeping each layer separated as you make the drink is to pour the liquid on top of the ice.
  • This recipe makes a 16 ounce (2 cups) drink, so make sure to have a large enough cup.

NUTRITION

Calories: 201 | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 306mg | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Calcium: 250mg | Iron: 1mg
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