Bubble tea, also known as boba tea or pearl milk tea, is a popular drink that originated in Taiwan in the 1980s. One of the defining features of bubble tea is the chewy tapioca pearls, or “boba,” added to the drink.
In addition to the tapioca pearls, a wide variety of toppings can be added to bubble tea to add flavor and texture. Keep reading to find out some popular bubble tea toppings.
Popular Bubble Tea Toppings
The most common topping for bubble tea is tapioca pearls, also known as boba pearls.
These small, chewy balls are often made from tapioca starch and are usually added to the bottom of the cup of bubble tea. They come in various sizes and can be flavored to complement the drink’s taste.
Tapioca pearls are considered the most popular bubble tea topping and a staple in classic bubble tea drinks.
A newer addition to the bubble tea scene, popping boba are small spheres filled with fruit juice that burst in your mouth when you bite into them.
They come in various flavors, such as strawberry, lychee, mango, peach, and blueberry, and they add a fun and interactive element to the drinking experience.
Popping bubbles are considered to be one of the best bubble tea toppings.
Crystal boba is a type of topping used in bubble tea drinks. It is made from different ingredients and has a unique translucent color and a soft, chewy texture.
Crystal boba is made from the konjac plant, which is an edible corm. It can also be made with Agar powder, a gelatin derived from red algae.
This gives the pearls a translucent color and a less gelatinous texture than regular boba. It can be used in a variety of beverages.
Jellies are a popular bubble tea topping that adds a burst of flavor and a chewy texture to the drink.
They can be made from various fruits in different shapes and sizes. Common jelly toppings include strawberry, kiwi, and mango.
A dark-colored jelly-like substance that is made from the leaves of the Mesona Chinensis plant and has a slightly bitter taste.
It is often used to add depth and complexity to the flavor of bubble tea drinks.
Puddings are another popular bubble tea topping that adds a creamy texture to the drink.
They can be made from various ingredients, such as coconut, chocolate, or matcha, and are often sweetened.
Custard pudding is another popular topping for bubble tea. It is usually made with whole milk, non-dairy creamer, lactose-free milk, and sugar.
It is usually paired with more specialty types of drinks, which are usually called pudding or custard, but they are the same.
Some bubble tea shops also offer fresh fruits as toppings, such as strawberries, kiwi, and mango.
Basil seeds or chia seeds are also popular toppings for bubble tea. These small seeds add a crunchy texture to the drink and are often used to complement the flavors of sweet and fruity bubble tea drinks.
Aloe vera is a common topping that adds a slightly sweet, refreshing flavor to bubble tea.
It can be served in strips or cubes and sometimes mixed with fruit or syrups.
Milk foam is another topping that is commonly used in bubble tea. A layer of frothy milk is placed on top of the drink to add a creamy texture and a rich, milky flavor.
To Sum It Up
These are some popular toppings, but new and creative ones are always being developed, and it also depends on the region where you’re ordering from.
Many bubble tea shops (for example, KungFuTea) will allow you to customize your drink by mixing and matching different teas, syrups, and toppings to suit your taste preferences.
A Few Last Words
Bubble tea toppings are essential to the bubble tea experience, adding flavor, texture, and fun to the drink.
From classic tapioca pearls to more unique toppings like popping bubbles and grass jelly, there’s something for every taste.
So next time you order bubble tea, don’t be afraid to experiment with different toppings to discover your new favorite.
If you like to know more about some of these toppings, here are some of my articles: