What Is Popping Boba?

Popping boba is a type of bubble tea pearl that has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you’re unfamiliar with bubble tea, it’s a sweetened beverage that typically contains tea, milk, and chewy tapioca balls.

While the classic version of bubble tea is delicious, popping boba takes things to the next level by adding fruit-flavored bubbles that “pop” in your mouth. Trust me; it’s even more delicious than it sounds!

But what is popping boba? Let’s find out!

What Is Popping Boba?

In the 1990s, the popularity of tapioca pearls skyrocketed in the US, creating a favorable environment for popping boba. Due to the rise of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok over the past year, popping boba’s popularity has risen even further.

While being similar, tapioca boba and popping boba should not be confused. Despite coming from the same area, they each have their unique characteristics.

Popping boba pearls are juicy pearls that explode when cut or bitten, while tapioca boba has a chewy texture and must be cooked. Popping boba doesn’t require any cooking at all!

Sodium alginate and calcium lactate are used to make popping boba. They help build the ideal exterior layer on boba before the tasty juices are ready to burst into your mouth.

They are fantastic extras for a drink or dessert, just in different ways!

What Is Popping Boba Made Of?

Generally, the bubbles in popping boba are made from fruit syrup or juice mixed with sodium alginate and calcium lactate.

However, there are some alternative ways of making popping boba, but they aren’t that common.

Popping boba can be made of fruit juice and gelatin. The fruit juice gives the boba its characteristic flavor and color. The gelatin provides the “pop” when you bite into the boba.

It can also be made of fruit juice, water, and tapioca starch, where the juice will get injected into the pearls. This way, popping boba does not have a characteristic color, and the flavor may also differ.

Calcium Lactate & Sodium Alginate

Calcium lactate is a food additive typically added to various foods to enhance their texture and flavor.
Sodium alginate is a thickening agent that is derived from seaweed. It helps to give the pearls their gelatinous texture.

How Is Popping Boba Made?

Popping boba is made by mixing the juice and sodium alginate and then dropped into a calcium lactate and water mixture.

  • Juice and sodium alginate mixture give popping boba its flavor and color.
  • Calcium lactate and water mixture help to get and keep the pearls’ shape.

There are different ways how to form these popping pearls. One way is to use a particular machine, where you pour the mixture, which automatically creates popping pearls.

But the story is different with household tools. You can drop little amounts of the mixture using a dropper or syringe. Or place the mixture into the small mold and freeze.

The bubbles are typically added last when you order a cup of popping boba tea. This ensures they are as fresh as possible and retain their “popping” texture.

Once they’re added to your drink, be sure to consume them quickly so that you can enjoy the full effect!

What Does Popping Boba Taste Like?

What Does Popping Boba Taste Like

Popping boba tastes like you would expect it to taste, exactly like the juice, syrup, or puree used in them. For example, if you order a mango popping boba, it tastes like mango juice when it pops.

Popping boba comes in various flavors, but the most popular ones are usually fruity. Some of my favorites are mango, strawberry, raspberry, lychee, and apple.

However, I’ve also seen some more unusual flavors, like rose, lavender, and even Earl Grey tea!

No matter what your preference is, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a flavor of popping boba that you love.

Fun Fact

Popping boba is also known by other names, such as bursting boba, bursting pearls, popping pearls, and popping bubbles.


If you’re looking for a delicious and unique way to enjoy bubble tea, look no further than popping boba! This twist on the classic beverage features fruit-flavored bubbles that “pop” in your mouth for an unforgettable experience.

Whether you prefer classic flavors like mango or strawberry or something more unique like rose, there’s sure to be a flavor of popping boba that you’ll love. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try today!

I hope you got all the information and know what is popping boba. If you loved what you read, you might like some of my other writings:

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