You will fall in love with boba toppings as they make every bubble tea experience unique. We are big fans of them because they add more excitement and variety to our drinks. Not to mention it can be customised to our preferences.
Of course, there is the traditional Taiwanese boba topping we all know and love - the iconic chewy tapioca pearls. However, most bubble tea shops now offer even more fascinating add-ons. All of these decadent additions are what help to define the bubble tea industry as we know it.
With so many new additions available, we love chewing and sipping simultaneously on these different textures.
So, we bring you our boba toppings list of all the best and most popular options to help make your pick. Although we have ranked them from 'worst' to best, they are all amazingly delicious. So, continue reading to unlock your new addiction.
Best Boba Toppings List
If you're new to the boba world, you must try these three different boba toppings.
First up, the classic tapioca pearls are a fun, sweet and chewy addition to your drink. Secondly, popping boba are little balls that burst with fruity flavour with every sip. Finally, the creamy and nutty taro balls are a must-try for anyone who loves taro or sweet potato.
Although there are many great boba flavours to choose from, we recommend getting black milk tea with tapioca pearls if you are a first-timer. However, if you are still unsure of what to get, you can try one of our best bubble tea kits to decide what flavour you vibe with the most beforehand.
- Best Boba Toppings List
- Pearl barley
- Lychee jelly
- Rainbow jelly
- Coconut jelly
- Taro paste
- Taro balls
- Salted cream
- Grass jelly
- Mung bean
- Aiyu jelly
- Egg Pudding
- Red bean
- Crushed Oreos
- Coffee Jelly
- Crystal boba
- Popping boba
- Tapioca Pearls
- List of Bubble Tea Toppings
- How To Order Bubble Tea?
- Boba Topping Calories Content
Despite its name, this boba milk tea topping has nothing to do with barley. It's a whole different plant known as Job's tears. Asian households commonly consume this grain as porridge or dessert. Because of its chewy texture and slight sweetness, pearl barley is an excellent choice for your bubble drink.
We recommend a creamy milk tea with tapioca pearls and grass jelly for the most incredible combo. The smooth, creamy milk mixed with chewy pearl barley provides a mouthfeel unlike any other bubbly beverage. In addition, it also has a very natural nutty flavour that complements fruity teas.
Lychee jelly is a soft, chewy, and translucent dessert with a sweet and floral flavour that pairs well with various drink flavours. The added lychee juice introduces a unique fruity taste. Moreover, chunks of this lychee dessert add a fun texture and are perfect for those who enjoy a bit of chewiness between each sip. The best bubble drink combination that goes well with lychee jelly is jasmine green tea.
Other boba tea toppings that go well with this tropical treat include aloe vera or coconut jelly. The only downside to lychee jelly is that its fruity taste often clashes with milk tea, which is why this drink component ranks low. Otherwise, it's a winner.
This fun, colourful treat is one of the best boba tea toppings because of its fruity flavour and gelatinous texture. This addition is made from various colours of fruit-flavoured coconut jelly. Furthermore, it has a distinct chewy texture with a bit of a bounce, making it an ideal match for almost anything.
Rainbow jelly goes particularly well with green or jasmine tea. Combining the tea and rainbow jelly results in a beautiful blend of floral and fruity flavours. Other components that go well with this colourful treat include honey or strawberry-popping boba.
Similarly to lychee jelly, this delightful addition brings a mild coconut flavour to your beverage. It's delicious when used in tropical beverages. Coconut jelly, also known as nata de coco, is coconut water that has been hardened with gelatin. The texture is crisp as opposed to chewy.
Moreover, this coconut-based topping best complements tropical fruit-based teas that do not contain milk. The combination of the fruit and the coconut jelly tastes like a tropical island in your mouth. Other components that also go well with it include aloe vera or lychee jelly. Overall, coconut jelly is one of the more healthy boba toppings for those looking for a lower-calorie, refreshing and unique add-on.
Taro paste as an add-on is unusual as you can also have a milk tea or smoothie with the same flavour. The paste has a nutty and earthy flavour with a hint of sweetness, which makes it an excellent addition to any bubble drink. We like it because it has a unique taste different from other components.
Black milk tea is best combined with taro paste. Combining the rich and creamy milk tea and the earthy flavour of the taro paste creates a delicious flavour emulsion. Different boba toppings that complement the nutty flavour of taro paste include red bean or grass jelly.
The starchy taro root has acquired popularity due to its attractive lavender hue. These chewy balls are unique because they have a milky, nutty and earthy flavour making them one of the best toppings for taro milk tea.
Furthermore, milk or taro milk tea and taro balls make the best bubble tea combo. The creamy milk tea combined with the nutty flavour of the taro balls yields a wonderfully comforting drink. Red bean or grass jelly are two other additions that work well with taro balls, giving the beverage a pleasant and textured mouthfeel.
Despite being a rare find in this boba toppings list, salted cream is a popular choice among bubble tea enthusiasts. It's a concoction of cream, salt, and sugar that produces a sweet and salty flavour. We particularly love its airy, mousse-like texture. Furthermore, the saltiness contrasts nicely with the milk tea's sweetness. The airiness of the cream introduces another tactile dimension to the drink.
Salted cream particularly goes well with black or green tea. Combining the tea and the salted cream creates a delicious and satisfying beverage that is not too sweet. Moreover, this creamy addition is an excellent twist on traditional sweet cream as it brings in salt to contrast the sweetness.
Grass jelly is prepared from the Chinese plant mesons. While its flavour isn't particularly distinct or strong, it is typically steeped in brown sugar. This creates a slightly sweet, herbaceous flavour with a hint of mint. This jelly has a thicker consistency than custard and comes sliced into cubes.
Grass jelly, also known as herbal jelly, keeps well in the fridge overnight and tastes like an earthy Jell-O version of boba. This earthy add-on is one of the best toppings for milk tea to add chewiness to your drink. Although there are various types of jelly add-ons to pick from, grass jelly is one of the most popular.
Mung bean is one of this list's less well-known healthy boba toppings. Mung bean, often known as green bean, has a texture and taste profile strikingly similar to red bean. These sweetened little green beans form a delectably sweet addition to drinks and desserts.
Aside from sweetness, this add-on offers earthy undertones to bubble teas. However, the texture of these green-sweetened beans makes them a dubious ingredient. We know a lot of people who think it's powdery and gritty.
Nevertheless, you might choose this add-on because they are healthier than some other options on this list. Furthermore, the nutty sweetness of mung beans particularly pairs well with the rich and malty flavour of black tea.
In addition, we think it is one of the best toppings for taro milk tea. So, if you've never tried mung bean on your bubbly beverage, we encourage you to do so.
For one of the many unique Taiwanese boba toppings, try Aiyu Jelly. It is made from the seeds of tropical-tasting fruit and is known for its slimy texture. In addition, it has a tinge of sweetness. As it is refreshing and not inherently sweet, we love to add sweeteners like sugar or honey to turn it into a wonderful summer treat.
Furthermore, Aiyu jelly pairs well with honey green tea as the sweetness of the honey complements its refreshing taste. Different types of boba toppings that go well with Aiyu Jelly include lychee and grass jelly because they add a chewy texture to the drink and complement the slimy texture of the refreshing add-on.
This pudding topping is made from eggs, milk, sugar, and sometimes gelatin, creating a smooth, custard-like dessert. You will often serve it in small cubes or squares and add it to beverages to incorporate a creamy, flavourful, and chewy texture. Unlike American-style custard with a Greek yoghurt consistency, the egg custard used in drinks has a thicker, almost flan-like texture.
Egg pudding is one of our favourite boba drink toppings for jasmine milk tea, but it works well with any tea. Furthermore, boba puddings can come in various flavours. Think matcha pudding, coffee-flavoured pudding, and so many more.
So, if you don't like the eggy taste of the plain version, you can try matcha pudding or any other flavoured option. The flavours mask the eggy flavour of the custard, which can be off-putting if it's too strong. Alternatively, why not add a bit of every variation to your cup for a blizzard of flavour?
Commonly known as adzuki bean, this sweet bean is often made into a sweet paste and has long served as a popular dessert in East Asia. We would describe red beans as having a gritty texture and a sweet, creamy, and earthy flavour. Despite being mashed to a near pulp, the slight chewiness of the beans gives the delightful sensation of biting into tapioca pearls.
Red beans should not be combined with the more bitter and subtle classic milk tea. Instead, its sweet earthy flavour compliments practically any sweet milk tea. Besides the health benefits of red beans, they are one of the few healthy boba toppings in stores as they include protein, calcium, and other minerals.
Aloe jelly is a delicious and hydrating addition to fruity or basic teas. It is made from aloe vera gel and has a jelly-like texture. Furthermore, it is sweet and chewy and introduces a refreshing taste. Additionally, it goes well with other jellies or chia seeds, given its subtle flavour.
We like it because it adds a unique texture to the drink. Moreover, aloe jelly is one of the healthier and lower-calorie boba drink toppings because it is extracted directly from the plant with minimum processing and additives. Aloe vera and jasmine green tea make the best combo, as the floral notes of jasmine complement the refreshing taste of aloe vera.
Sago is a small, spherical ball from the starch collected from the sago palm tree. They are used in several puddings and desserts and have flavour only if soaked in sugar syrup. While the starch used to manufacture pearl sago is similar to that used to make tapioca pearls, they are not as bouncy, are considerably smaller, and have a softer mouthfeel.
The texture of sago is unique and different from other additions, which makes it a great addition to any bubbly beverage. We like this boba milk tea topping because it adds a fun texture to the glass and is perfect for individuals who enjoy a bit of chewiness. The most complimentary drinks with sago are fruity teas such as passionfruit green tea. Other additions that go well with sago include lychee or peach jelly for some fruity fun.
Crushed Oreos are made from the iconic sweet and chocolatey Oreo cookies. Because Oreos are a classic and well-known flavour, they are an excellent alternative for those who enjoy bubble tea but do not want to spend much on extras. They have a lovely, delicate flavour that goes well with various flavours.
Oreo will give your drink an excellent and delightful taste, no matter which variation you choose. The best combination with Crushed Oreos is milk tea or chocolate milk tea. Furthermore, Oreos are easy to buy in stores, making them an ideal add-on for any bubble tea fan.
For a caffeine-infused gelatine add-on, try Coffee jelly. You'll go crazy for the refreshing taste of this beautiful Japanese treat after just one bite. The powerful aftertaste of caffeine will coat your tongue after it blooms into a puddle of sweetness in your mouth.
Finding this caffeinated addition in a bubble café is a bit of a unicorn. However, with large and varied menu selections, even the most obstinate coffee fan will be satisfied. We recommend that you add some coffee jelly if you're looking for the best boba toppings to go with a dirty chai or a coffee-tea mix like yuenyeung. Ultimately, coffee jelly tastes best with coffee, milk and plain tea. So if you're a caffeine addict, you should try this.
Crystal boba is popular in trendy boba stalls in the United States and the United Kingdom. In contrast to black tapioca pearls, it has a translucent white appearance and a soft jelly texture. It is also known as Agar balls or white pearls. These lovely fine balls have a chewy gelatin feel and are low in calories, making them one of the best boba toppings for health-conscious individuals.
The texture is provided by agar, a plant-based jelly-like substance derived from seaweed. Furthermore, this is an excellent substitute for gelatin if you are vegan or vegetarian. A rush of citrus will flow across your taste buds when you bite into its jelly-like texture. This is because they are soaked in citrus-flavoured syrup, which gives them their flavour. Moreover, Korean strawberry milk, mango and matcha milk tea are some of the best pairings to enjoy with crystal boba.
Popping, or bursting boba, has recently become popular for its explosive nature. Similarly to Gushers or juicy fruit treats, popping boba burst with flavoured fluids. You will be pleasantly surprised with a refreshing flavour spray when you pop one in your mouth.
Mango-popping boba and coffee-popping boba are two of the most popular variants. If you're curious, this addition has a distinct texture. This sweet alternative with artificial flavouring makes it a good choice for individuals who enjoy sweets. Generally, this boba topping goes well with light, fruity drinks.
These spongy black balls coated in syrup are the hallmark of the boba industry and are one of the best toppings for milk tea. It is also one of the most popular toppings for bubble tea as a whole. Boba, or tapioca pearls, are produced from cassava starch and sweetened with various sweeteners.
Sweeteners, like honey, black sugar, and brown sugar syrup, often give each form of the pearls its distinct flavour and name.
Due to the sugars and calorie-dense components, this is usually a higher-calorie add-on, ranging from 150 to 200 calories per serving. Milk tea and creamy dessert drinks make the best match with this component. Tapioca balls are at their most chewy and texture in the first few minutes to an hour after serving, so enjoy it immediately.
List of Bubble Tea Toppings
However, there are many more toppings that you can try. Here's the full list of bubble tea toppings.
- Tapioca pearls
- White tapioca pearls
- Brown sugar tapioca pearls
- Golden tapioca pearls
- Lychee tapioca pearls
- Green tea tapioca pearls
- Taro tapioca pearls
- Honey boba
- Custard pudding (egg pudding)
- Taro balls
- Sweet potato balls
- Red bean (adzuki beans)
- Mung bean
- Agar Agar pearls (Crystal boba)
- Popping Boba
- Mango Popping boba
- Strawberry Popping boba
- Green Tea Popping boba
- Honey Melon Popping boba
- Pomegranate Popping boba
- Blueberry Popping boba
- Kiwi Popping boba
- Fresh fruit
- Grass Jelly
- Coconut Jelly
- Coffee Jelly
- Aiyu Jelly (Fig)
- Lychee Jelly
- Strawberry Jelly
- Green apple star Jelly
- Rainbow Jelly
- Ice cream
- Chia Seeds
- Crushed Oreos
- Whipped Cream
- Salted Cream
- Rose petal
- Gold leaf (We’re not kidding!)
The list will only grow with vendors coming up with more creative toppings. In fact, we've already come up with ways to make rose-infused boba and blue tapioca pearls.
How To Order Bubble Tea?
Most shops will require you to pick your base boba flavour or drink first. Secondly, they will ask if you would like any customizations to the ice and sugar levels.
Ice level will refer to how much ice you want in your drink. Your choices are typically no ice, regular, or more ice. Meanwhile, sugar level refers to how sweet you would like your drink. Again, your choices are typically no sugar, less sugar, regular, and more sugar.
Typically a non-dairy creamer is used in different bubble tea flavours as the type of milk. If you have a preference for the kind of milk used in your drink, specify when you are ordering.
Most shops will have fresh milk, sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, and soy milk available. As plant-based milk is becoming more mainstream, you will also find oat milk and almond milk in some stores.
Once you have picked your base bubble tea flavour, and customized the sugar and ice level, it is time to move on to choosing your toppings. We prefer to add 1-3 additional toppings but there is often no limit.
Just remember that bubble tea shops charge an extra price for each additional bubble tea topping. So the more toppings that fill the cup, the less of the drink there will be too.
Boba Topping Calories Content
Overall, these add-ons can be pretty calorie-dense, so it's a good idea to be mindful of how much you consume. They are often high in calories due to their high sugar content. However, there are also some healthy options available.
The famous tapioca pearls itself is a high-calorie option. A low-calorie alternative is aloe vera, which has only 5-10 calories per serving. Alternatively, red beans are tasty but nutritious and naturally contain protein, calcium, and other minerals.
The table below shows the boba topping calories of the different types of boba toppings in a single serving of 350ml. Remember that these are only approximates, as serving sizes vary depending on the shop. Additionally, some stores may use more or less sugar, significantly affecting the calorie count.
|Tapioca pearls||140 kcal|
|Coconut jelly||50 kcal|
|Grass jelly||15 kcal|
|Red bean||90 kcal|
|Taro balls||125 kcal|
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