Tapioca pearls, commonly known as Boba, are sweet little balls added to drinks like bubble tea, milk tea, smoothies, and iced coffee.
Made from tapioca starch from the cassava root, tapioca pearls are like little balls of jelly which hold different flavors. The gummy texture and the pop of flavor adds so much fun to a drink, and you can really get fancy with your flavor pairing.
Tapioca pearls need to be cooked, and you can often buy them uncooked to prepare yourself at home. You need to follow proper storage or else the tapioca pearls will lose their chewy texture and their great taste.
How Do You Store Uncooked Tapioca Pearls? Uncooked tapioca pearls need to be stored in a dry and cool area, packed in an airtight container. This allows them to retain their texture and flavor, and cook up to be the gummy little balls they’re known and loved by.
Below is everything you need to know about storing uncooked tapioca pearls, so none of yours ever goes to waste!
Proper Storage For Uncooked Tapioca Pearls
Uncooked tapioca pearls are fairly easy to store, but you just need to follow the proper steps to ensure that they are kept in a protected environment so that they do not lose any of their taste and texture.
Most of the time, tapioca pearls are sold in sealed bags, and you could either leave these unopened to store, or if opened, you will need to put them into new packaging.
Here is how to properly store unopened and opened tapioca pearls:
Unopened Tapioca Pearls
If you have not opened the uncooked tapioca pearls and they are still in sealed packaging, you can store them as-is.
You could place the unopened packet into a sealable plastic bag for added protection, but this isn’t necessary if the packaging is strong enough to protect the tapioca pearls until you cook them, and doesn’t let in any air or moisture.
Opened Tapioca Pearls
For storing opened uncooked tapioca pearls (or unopened pearls in subpar packaging), you will need to transfer them to a suitable container or packaging, like so:
- Remove the tapioca pearls from the opened packaging and place them in a new sealable container.
- Seal the container well, and if placing in a plastic seal bag, remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing.
- Write the date of packing on the top of the container or on the plastic seal bag to keep track of when you should use the tapioca pearls by.
- Place the packaging in a cool, dry area away from sunlight.
What’s The Best Container For Uncooked Tapioca Pearls?
When storing uncooked tapioca pearls, you should try to keep them in their original packaging if it has not been opened.
If the packaging has been opened, you should place the tapioca in an airtight container which can protect it from exposure to air and moisture. The best option for this would be a sealable plastic container.
Using a sealable plastic bag, you can squeeze any excess air out of the packaging before sealing it tight, so that the tapioca pearls are kept as protected as possible.
If you do not have a plastic sealable bag, you could place the tapioca pearls into an airtight plastic container. Make sure that it closes tightly and does not let any air or moisture in.
Try to use a container that is just the right size, so there is not a ton of excess air in the container.
Where To Store Tapioca Pearls
Tapioca pearls need to be stored in a dry, cool area away from sunlight.
The uncooked pearls will keep their taste and texture if stored properly in these conditions, but if exposed to heat, air, or moisture, they will lose their great quality.
A kitchen cupboard or pantry would be the best option, especially if you live in a humid area.
Should I Put Uncooked Tapioca Pearls In The Fridge?
No, you should not put uncooked tapioca pearls in the fridge when storing them. The only time you will need to place tapioca balls in the fridge is if you bought them from the refrigerated section in the grocery store.
Placing uncooked tapioca pearls in the fridge might ruin them. They could draw moisture from all the condensation in the fridge, which will ruin them before you can even cook them.
A dry, cool area such as a kitchen cupboard in a sealed container or plastic bag is best to protect them against moisture and air.
Can You Freeze Uncooked Tapioca Pearls?
Yes, you can freeze uncooked tapioca pearls, which is not surprising if you know you can freeze tapioca pudding.
This helps you keep them fresher for longer, especially if you do not plan on using them before they might lose their taste and texture.
Here is how to freeze uncooked tapioca pearls:
- Place the tapioca pearls onto a baking sheet, spreading them out so that they are not touching each other.
- Cover the tray and the tapioca pearls with plastic wrap.
- Place the baking sheet into the freezer, leaving for a few hours until the tapioca pearls have frozen.
- Remove the baking tray from the freezer, and put the tapioca pearls into a sealable plastic bag, and remove any air by squeezing before sealing. You could also place the tapioca pearls into an airtight plastic container.
Freezing the tapioca pearls on the baking sheet first allows them to freeze separately before placing them together in a container.
By doing this, the pearls will not freeze stuck together, and you can reach in and take out as many as you want to cook without having to defrost the whole bunch.
Another option would be to place the uncooked tapioca pearls into a vacuum bag and sealing them with a food saver machine. This vacuum bag can be placed in the freezer.
Tapioca pearls can be left in the freezer for up to 6 months. They might still be fine to use after this, but their quality will begin to decline and they will lose their taste and texture.
How Long Do Uncooked Tapioca Pearls Last?
How long uncooked tapioca pearls last will depend on whether or not the packaging has been opened.
If left unopened, tapioca pearls can last for months in the cupboard. They are dehydrated and will remain dehydrated and protected from moisture and air if left in their original packaging.
Once opened, you should try to use the leftover tapioca pearls within 3 days. After this, they will begin to decline in quality and will not be as great when cooked and added to your favorite tea.
The package of the tapioca pearls will have an expiration date, so make sure to check this to know when you should use the tapioca pearls by.
If the package has a best-by date, this indicates the period when the tapioca pearls have the best quality. They might still be fine to eat after this, but their quality will decline.
How Can You Tell If Tapioca Pearls Are Spoiled?
If kept in the right conditions, uncooked tapioca pearls in their original packaging can last for months. However, once this time has passed, you might be nervous as to whether or not the tapioca pearls have spoiled.
To be sure of whether the tapioca pearls have spoiled, you will need to open the packaging.
Look to see if the dehydrated tapioca pearls have discolored in any way. Also look for white spots of mold.
Next, you could smell the tapioca pearls to see if they have an off-odor. This is another good sign that they have spoiled.
If you notice any discoloration or any off-odors, you should discard of the tapioca pearls. It isn’t worth cooking them and having them be off.
Do I Need to Soak Uncooked Tapioca Pearls Before Cooking?
No, you do not need to wash, rinse or soak tapioca pearls before cooking.
The pearls need to go straight from the packaging into boiling water. Keep in mind that dehydrated or uncooked tapioca pearls absorb a lot of water, so you will need to use a lot of water when cooking them.
If you do not use enough water, they will become starchy and sticky, which is just not pleasant!
Can You Keep Bubble Tea in the Fridge?
Bubble tea can be kept in the fridge, however, it does not have a very long lifespan.
The tea will last about 1 or 2 days in the fridge, but the pearls will only keep their great texture for up to 6 hours. After this, they will break down and become soggy.
Are Tapioca Pearls Unhealthy?
Tapioca pearls contain a high amount of sugar and can be just as bad for you as regular candy. They should be consumed in moderation, no matter how addicted you are to them!
The chewy, gummy-like pearls should be a treat now and then in your bubble tea, and not consumed every day.
What is the Difference between Boba and Tapioca Pearls?
Boba and tapioca pearls are the same thing. Boba is the Chinese name for tapioca pearls. The most common type is black Boba, which is given its color from brown sugar and caramel.