Boba Vs Tapioca – What’s The Difference?

What’s the difference between tapioca and boba? Tapioca can be described as an ingredient in the form of starch. It is used to create Boba balls. Similar to boba balls, they are tapioca crystals. The main difference between the two is that boba balls are sweetened by the syrup of brown sugar. In addition, brown sugar may be added when making the Boba balls.

You’ve probably heard of bubble tea and boba. If you’re like me, you’ve probably attempted to understand the meaning behind them and how they’re produced. If you are trying to understand Boba, you’ll be exposed to tapioca and that’s where the confusion gets started.

This article will help you know what boba is as well as tapioca and how they’re similar and distinct. Learn how tapioca and boba crystals are produced to comprehend the differences between them.

What Is Tapioca?

Tapioca is an ingredient in the form of starch that comes from the root of cassava. The latter was introduced to the market hundreds of years long ago in Brazil and then was introduced to other parts of South America.

To create tapioca the cassava root must be ground. The starchy liquid that flows from broken tapioca gets dried out and what remains is the tapioca powder.

Tapioca starch is used extensively in a variety of Asian as well as African countries. It is employed in baking as well as to thicken sauces and soups.

The two points to be aware of about starch from tapioca:

  • It doesn’t have any nutritional value.
  • The product is non-gluten-containing.

Tapioca is starch that is 100% carbohydrates. There is a small amount of fiber and protein in tapioca’s starch.

Being a good source of carbs, tapioca provides lots of energy, but no nutrients. The fact that it boosts energy is the reason why ancient civilizations like Aztec and Inca extensively used the roots of cassava.

Although tapioca is used extensively in baking, such as a gluten-free alternative in bread and desserts, it has been popular in recent years for the preparation of Boba.

The latter is also referred to by the name champagne tea. It’s made of sweetened tapioca pearls brewed tea, milk syrups condensed milk, ice, and more.

What Is Tapioca Pearls and How Do You Create Them?

Tapioca pearls often called the tapioca ball are crystal clear balls created from tapioca starch as well as water. They can be flavored or sweetened. But, by themselves, plain tapioca pearls do not possess much flavor.

Tapioca pearls can also be found in smaller sizes. The smaller-sized pearls are used in the making of the tapioca dessert.

To make tapioca pearls which you could later add other flavors or sweetness to, you’ll require two ingredients: the tapioca starch and water.

Add the starch from tapioca to boiling water. There aren’t any measurement guidelines. Add as much starch as you require until you have the dough-like texture.

When the dough is ready, begin to knead the dough. Make slim logs out of dough, and begin cutting them into smaller equal pieces. The pieces are then formed into balls.

Now you have the tapioca crystals. To cook, simmer the tapioca crystals for 5 to 8 mins.

Tapioca Crystals are chewy, and they taste similar to nothing So, it is recommended to add flavor to the crystals.

Store the balls of tapioca in simple syrup (water with sugar) and consume the syrup between 8 and the 10th day.

It is crucial to keep the crystals of tapioca in syrup to stop them from drying out, and to sweeten them.

Make use of the crystals from tapioca to make your favorite tea drink.

Different types of Tapioca Balls

Plain tapioca balls are transparent and do not have much flavor.

There are many varieties of crystals made from tapioca. There are tapioca balls with flavors and mini versions.

Boba pearls could be thought of as an assortment of tapioca crystals because they’re technically identical to them, but with the addition of brown sugar (as syrup or in the dough that makes Boba balls).

What Is Boba?

Boba is a form of crystal called tapioca. Boba pearls are made from three components:

  • Tapioca starch
  • Brown sugar
  • Water

The term “boba” itself can be confusing. Certain people make use of it to mean tapioca ball, while others prefer a beverage that has gained popularity in recent years, namely bubble tea.

Boba pearls add flavor to drinks that contain brewed tea and water, frozen cubes, and other ingredients to add flavor to the drink.

Another myth associated with Boba is that many people believe there is gelatin present in the boba. The pearls do have a chewy texture, they do not contain gelatin. is no gelatin to create Boba pearls.

Tapioca-based pearls that are plain have a chewy feel. So, the distinctive texture is created not by gelatin, but by tapioca starch.
Boba pearls exhibit a distinctive brown color that they get after being cooked in water for approximately 20 minutes. The color is due to the brown sugar that is used to make Boba.

To get a darker black to brown shade, some choose to use artificial colors when making the dough to make boba balls.

I have written a more comprehensive guide you may find insightful on what crystal boba tea is and the differences between regular boba.

How To Create Boba From Scratch

Making your boba isn’t too difficult. It is possible to, of course, purchase tapioca ball mixes and cook them using brown sugar.
But, making Boba pearls by hand can be an enjoyable activity.

It might take several attempts and time to master it. However, you’ll eventually be able to make Boba Pearls from scratch in your own home.

Given the simple ingredients list, you should consider giving it a shot in case you love bubble tea.

  • Ingredients for Boba:
  • 45 G brown sugar
  • Tapioca starch
  • 60ml of water

Use these instructions to create the perfect boba ball:

  • Combine 60ml of water and the brown sugar of 45 grams in a hot pan.
  • Keep the heat on until the sugar begins to dissolve into a syrup.
  • Remove the heat from the stove and begin adding to the tapioca starch. Begin with a small quantity and mix well to stop the starch from creating lumps.
  • The heat should be turned on until the mixture of syrup and starch starts to thicken.
  • Incorporate more starch into the dough. Take it off the fire.
  • Begin kneading the dough, and add tapioca starch if necessary. Include starch in your work area to ensure that it won’t stick.
  • After the dough has formed, you can divide it into pieces and begin working. If you’re not working with the dough, you can wrap it in plastic wrap paper to keep drying.
  • Begin to form the Boba balls. Make logs that are 7mm thick and cut them into small, equal pieces.
  • Make the pieces shape into balls.

Pro Tip: Try shaping 3 crystals of boba at once by placing three pieces into the palms of your hands and creating balls using your other hand. This can speed up the process of molding crystals, and you’ll spend 3 more minutes!

Incorporate boba balls in the hot water. Allow sitting for 20 minutes, covering the pot. Stir to keep the pieces from getting stuck together.

Once you have removed the boba ball from the boiling water, let them cool before you begin to make a drink.

To make a simple, but delicious boba cocktail make sure you pour dairy, cream whipped, and ice on top of the pearls in lower levels of the glass. It is possible to add brown sugar syrup to add sweetness.

Is Boba the best choice for you?

Boba is generally consumed not because of the nutritional benefits (as there’s not enough to the stuff) but for the enjoyment it gives.

The chewy and sweet Boba crystals are fun to be able to see through the straw.

What you can get from boba are carbohydrates from tapioca starch as well as the sugar that adds sugar to crystals. Without added sugar, the flavor of boba is not like anything else.

Boba crystals are incorporated into the beverage to give an interesting contrast in texture, which makes drinking bubble tea enjoyable.

While drinking a glass of bubble tea occasionally will not hurt, it is important to limit your consumption.

Roundup: The Differences Between Boba and Tapioca

What is the difference between tapioca and boba? The distinction between them is hard to define because people employ these terms for a variety of things.

To avoid misunderstandings, it is important to be aware that tapioca is an ingredient in the production of crystals of tapioca, which include sugar-sweetened boba balls. Tapioca crystals, judging by their appearance, are like boba balls.

However, boba balls are typically brown, which results in the addition of brown sugar to the crystals of boba or after cooking the crystals of tapioca and then adding brown sugar syrup to them.

Boba, On the other hand, can make things even more confusing since people use the term to refer to both the crystals in themselves as well as to the bubble tea drink that is popular.

The texture of plain tapioca crystals is similar however, the boba crystals are sweet because of the addition of brown sugar.

Other Questions Asked

What’s the flavor of Tapioca Boba Tastes Like?

Tapioca Boba, if it is not sweetened, will be tasteless and have no flavor.

It is sweetened with brown sugar, either when making the boba crystals or by cooking the crystals of tapioca and then storing them in syrup, or by using honey.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.