Vietnamese Coffee Boba

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
JUMP TO RECIPE

This refreshing and delicious recipe for Vietnamese coffee boba is strong, smooth, and rich. Follow these quick and easy steps to make coffee bubble tea at home.

Iced Vietnamese Coffee Boba in a clear glass.

Homemade Vietnamese Coffee Boba

Vietnamese coffee boba is a refreshing drink that combines coffee, sweetened condensed milk, ice, and tapioca balls (boba).

Tapioca balls are chewy and soft little balls made from tapioca starch. The trick to making boba drinks at home is to use store-bought tapioca balls, which are packaged dry but turns plump when boiled in water.

The coffee is quick and easy to brew at home using a phin filter, a traditional Vietnamese coffee maker that slowly drips hot water through the coffee grind to develop a deep flavor.

Boba can refer to the tapioca balls or the drink (bubble tea). This recipe is a coffee spin on bubble tea, using Vietnamese iced coffee instead of tea.

RELATED: Homemade Vietnamese Coffee

Recipe Highlights

  • This recipe combines traditional Vietnamese iced coffee with tapioca pearls to make a boba drink.
  • You can find store-bought tapioca balls online or in Asian markets. They’re the fastest and easiest way to recreate boba at home in just a few minutes.
  • Tapioca balls need to be cooked in water until soft. The best boba is made fresh before added to drinks so that the texture is perfectly soft and chewy.
  • This recipe makes 1 serving of Vietnamese coffee boba, or 16 ounces (2 cups).

RELATED: Iced Latte with Boba

Ingredient Notes

The ingredients to make Vietnamese Coffee Boba.
  • Ground CoffeeCafe Du Monde is typically used to make Vietnamese coffee but any dark roast ground coffee work.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – A traditional ingredient, this adds both sweetness and creaminess to the coffee.
  • Tapioca Balls – These are sold dry and need to be boiled in water for a few minutes to soften.
  • Water – Use hot filtered water.
  • Ice – Use ice made with filtered water for the best taste.

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

Step-by-Step Instructions

Straining cooked tapioca pearls above white pot.

Step 1: Boil tapioca balls in water and strain.

Pouring condensed milk into a glass on top of tapioca pearls.

Step 2: Add tapioca balls and sweetened condensed milk to a glass.

Placing coffee into phin filter over cup with tapioca pearls and condensed milk.

Step 3: Set the phin filter on top of the glass. Add the ground coffee. Place the gravity insert (flat disc with holes) down on top of the coffee. Press down to even out the grind.

Pouring water into phin filter over cup with tapioca pearls and condensed milk.

Step 4: Add a little hot water first to allow the coffee to “bloom” for about 30 seconds. (Blooming releases gas from coffee beans.)

Slowly pour the rest of the water into the phin.

Phin dripping coffee into cup with tapioca pearls and condensed milk.

Step 5: Cover the phin. Let the rest of the coffee drip until it stops.

Vietnamese Coffee Boba in clear cup.

Step 6: Remove the phin and add ice. Serve immediately with a extra wide straw. Stir before drinking.

My Phin Filter Pick
An 8 ounce traditional phin filter in stainless steel.
SHOP NOW

How to Drink Bubble Tea

Drink bubble tea with a wide straw so you can get both the drink and tapioca pearls in the same sip. The pearls should be chewed and not swallowed whole.

Recipe Notes

Cook the boba right before the drink.

Tapioca pearls start to harden as they cool, so it’s best to make them fresh right before you enjoy them.

Finely ground coffee works best.

Any dark roast ground coffee will work. You can also grind whole coffee beans at home using a coffee grinder until the texture of the grind is like sand.

Adjust the strength and sweetness.

Use less or more water, coffee grind, sweetened condensed milk, tapioca pearls, and ice based on your personal preferences.

Don’t skip blooming the coffee.

Blooming allows the coffee to release gas that has built up from the roasting process. If you add a little hot water and wait 20 seconds before pouring in all of the hot water, it allows the coffee to de-gas.

Skipping this step may result in a sour-tasting coffee.

RELATED: How to Make Iced Coffee

Expert Tips

  • The best boba has a bouncy consistency and is served while it’s still warm, but not hot enough to burn your mouth.
  • Always use a wide straw to drink bubble tea. This allows you to get a few tapioca balls with each sip.
  • Use an 8-ounce phin filter and tall glass that can hold up to 16 ounces. Make sure the glass is wide enough for the phin to fit on top.
  • Keep in mind that adding more ice will water down your coffee when it melts.
  • To make a smoother version of this recipe that tastes like a creamy latte, try adding 1/3 cup of whole milk and less ice.

Questions You May Have

What does Vietnamese coffee boba taste like?

Vietnamese coffee boba can taste strong because of the dark roast robusta beans that are traditionally used. Sweetened condensed milk adds a sweet and creamy flavor to balance the bitterness.

What makes Vietnamese coffee boba different than regular Vietnamese coffee?

Vietnamese coffee boba has tapioca pearls. The pearls turn the beverage into a boba drink.

Do I need to use a phin filter to make Vietnamese coffee boba?

Yes, you must use a phin filter to make Vietnamese coffee the traditional way. They are easy to find online or in Asian stores. If you don’t have a phin available, you can also use a French press.

How long does it take to cook boba?

It takes 8-10 minutes to cook the boba to the perfect soft and chewy texture.

A clear glass of Vietnamese Coffee Boba.

More Iced Coffee Recipes

If you tried this Homemade Vietnamese Coffee Boba recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ star rating and let me know how you like it in the comments below.

Vietnamese Coffee Boba

Author: Jee Choe
Follow these quick and easy steps to make Vietnamese coffee bubble tea at home in 15 minutes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Brew Time 2 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Drinks
Yield1 (16 ounces)

INGREDIENTS
 

Tapioca Balls

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Strain tapioca balls after boiling them in water. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. When you see big bubbles (2-4 minutes), add tapioca balls. Cook for another 8 minutes on medium-high heat until they are soft and chewy.
  • Add tapioca balls and sweetened condensed milk to a glass.
  • Set the phin filter on top of the glass.
    Add the ground coffee. Place the gravity insert down. Press it on top of the coffee to even out the grind.
  • Add 1 ounce hot water and wait 20 seconds to let the coffee bloom. Slowly pour in the rest of the hot water.
    If you're using an electric kettle to boil water, set the temperature to 200°F.
  • Cover the filter.
    Let the rest of the coffee drip into the glass until it stops.
  • Remove the phin. Add ice.
    Serve immediately with a wide straw. Stir before drinking.

EQUIPMENT

NOTES

  • Tapioca balls are sold dry, like pasta, and are easy to find online or in Asian stores.
  • Tapioca pearls start to harden as they cool, so it’s best to make them fresh right before you enjoy them.
  • Use filtered water to brew the coffee and make the ice for the best taste.
  • Any ground coffee, like Cafe Du Monde, will work. You can also grind whole dark roast coffee beans at home using a coffee grinder until the texture of the grind is like sand.
  • Vietnamese coffee traditionally uses sweetened condensed milk to make the coffee sweet and creamy.
  • Use less or more water, coffee, sweetened condensed milk, tapioca pearls, and ice based on your personal preferences.
  • Bloom your coffee by adding a little hot water before pouring all your hot water. If you skip this step, your coffee may taste sour.
  • To make a smoother version of this recipe that tastes like a creamy latte, try adding 1/3 cup of whole milk and less ice.

NUTRITION

Calories: 128 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 148mg | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 107IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Leave a Comment

RATE THE RECIPE: