Tapioca pearls are made from, you guessed it tapioca, which has been processed from the bitter cassava (sometimes called manioc or yuca) plant.
Even though the cassava is a native of South America, it has been introduced to some Asian countries in the 19th century by some of their European conquerors. Its Asian counterpart quickly took hold of the Asian taste making it a staple food in some of the countries it has been given to; some say that Asia has a far more favorable disposition to Asia, making it a an all purposeful plant. The cassava plant and the starch it produces has many other uses, it can be turned to textile and other manufacturing needs.
Hard to believe, white or clear tapioca pearls are the traditional tapioca balls. Since boba pearls comes from cassava plant and caramel, this is the normal color for the tapioca pearls. It is can be turned to black because of the addition of brown sugar. The black tapioca pearl, which is the more popular of the two nowadays, gained its momentum thanks to the bubble milk tea craze.
Both the black and white tapioca has the same size, same texture, and come from the same plant, the only difference is, of course, the color and that the black boba pearls may be a bit sweeter than its clearer counterpart.
Clear white pearls are often applied as a thickening agent in sauces, soups, and pie fillings. Tapioca pearls assist these food items with its glossy sheen. Before you use them as a thickening agent, make sure to soak the white balls in water overnight.
Whether you be serving white or black tapioca pearls in your bubble milk tea shop, know first that tapioca pearls are sensitive to heat and humidity changes. Sometimes they sweat inside the bag. As long as there are no molds, the boba tea pearls are still good. After cooking, soak the tapioca pearls in water. They will need this process as they are made of starch. Expect first for the tapioca pearls to turn hard before it becomes the soft and mushy bubble tea pearl that you love.
For your tapioca pearls to be of highest quality, make sure that you keep your cooked boba tea pearls ina sugary syrup solution and stir regularly at least once an hour. This is to prevent lumping which a nature of starch.