Its addictive texture and variety of flavors are why everyone loves Boba tea so much. There’s quite a bit of chewing involved, and everyone goes crazy over this Asian drink.
Boba tea (aka bubble tea or pearl milk tea) is a Taiwanese tea-based drink consisting of tea, milk, sugar, and pearls (a chewy tapioca ball) and is typically fruit-flavored. These teas can be served hot, but are mostly served cold or iced.
The most pleasurable part of boba tea is the pearls. Tapioca balls can range in size and flavor. They are usually black due to the brown sugar used to make them and basically flavorless. Some pearls are green and have a slight hint of green tea flavor and are chewier than most others.
Looking for color? Try taro boba tea. It has a purple color that makes this drink even more enjoyable and has a faint coconut flavor. If the balls are made from jelly, as opposed to tapioca, they will be in the shape of cubes, stars, or strips, and have a variety of flavors such as coconut, mango, or coffee.
Then there’s popping boba, which are spheres that contain fruit juices or syrups inside and are the most popular because they are fun to pop inside your mouth to get a rush of flavor. Sizes of pearls can vary from fat as marbles to small as peas.
Bubble teas can have many mix-ins ranging from ice to make it slushier (known as snow bubble) to actual fruit. Non-dairy alternatives are using coconut or almond milk instead of dairy milk. You can even get a tea made with cheese in some places! Yup, a powdered cheese mixed with whipping cream and milk form a foamy, tangy, layer on top of the tea.
What combination is your favorite?