Ultimate Guide to the Most Popular Boba Toppings

Updated on: November 20, 2021
Author: Nick
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Boba Toppings - Bubble Tea Toppings

A few years back, the mere idea of having anything other than the traditional liquid in a cup of tea would turn heads and be put back by laughter. However, this is not the case now. 

If I talk facts, the Taiwanese people are known for many things, and one of them is drinking tea with tapioca pearls back in the 80s, which is called Bubble Tea today!

Now I don’t want you to go back to the 80s! Say thanks to boba shops for bringing the bubble tea to us (we’re highly grateful). 

With so many boba toppings, most of us have probably evolved to the art of chewing and drinking at the same time. If you are one of us, you know how difficult it is to choose among many options while ordering boba tea. But, this is why we put this guide together!

Just for you to learn about all the different Bubble Tea Toppings!

What are the Most Popular Boba Toppings?

If you live in Berkeley, you understand the love for Boba tea more than anyone else. Let’s just say it out loud; there is a boba tea shop at every corner. However, you have to be a die-hard fan of boba drinks to know some of the most popular boba toppings or add-ons. 

There are a lot of excellent boba tea flavor combinations that you can choose from, but unfortunately, it is not always easy. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most popular boba toppings, then try them out yourself and let us know your thoughts!

  1. Boba Pearls
  2. Egg Pudding
  3. Jelly
  4. Red Bean
  5. Cheese Foam
  6. Plus more...

1. Boba Pearls

Boba Pearls are the bubbles used in bubble tea! There are different types of boba pearls for you to choose from. These pearls are mostly made from tapioca starch.

If served alone, these tapioca pearls or balls are not very flavorful. However, when served with tea, these pearls seem to be a gift from heaven. 

Bubble Tea Toppings - Tapioca Pearls
  • Clear Tapioca: Just as the name suggests, these tapioca pearls are clear (just stating the obvious). The Clear Tapioca Balls contain water and starch, and as a result, they do not have much flavor. 

  • Black Boba Pearls: Unlike the clear ones, the black tapioca pearls are a little more flavored. Also, these pearls come with brown sugar syrup and caramel, hence the black color. 

  • Flavored Tapioca Pearls: There are many different flavored boba balls available in the market. Some of the prominent flavors are strawberry, mango, honey, and green tea. You can choose any flavor you wish or is available to your at boba shops. 

  • Popping Boba: Popping Boba is the most unique of them all. These balls are not even made from tapioca starch! They are filled with splash of flavor, mostly fruit juice. If you want, you can even learn how to make popping boba at home!

  • Crystal Boba: Another pearl that stands a little different from all the others is the Crystal Boba. Crystal Boba is made from konjac. Konjac is a plant that grows in the tropical regions of Eastern Asia. These beautiful translucent boba balls have a chewy gelatin texture and are lower in calories for those who are health conscious. 

2. Egg Pudding

Egg Pudding (Sago Custard pudding) is the next most popular boba topping that you must try. You will have to try this bubble tea topping if you are a fan of Gong Cha’s pudding milk tea.

Egg Pudding goes surprisingly well with bubble tea. It is a delicious, gelatin-style dessert that everybody loves. 

The custard-like flavor infused with the tea is divine. The closest thing that you can compare a pudding boba topping to is a very soft flan. The slight chew paired with creamier milk tea is all that you need on a relaxing day. 

Boba Tea Toppings - Pearl Milk Tea

3. Jelly

Many bubble tea lovers believe that, just like pudding, Jelly is also made out of gelatin. But, then who are we, if not someone who will debunk the myths? The jelly comes in different shapes and form and can be made from Konjac or coconut gel (nata de coco). 

There are so many different types of jelly available to add to your boba tea. Some of them are: 

  • Aloe Jelly
  • Fig Jelly
  • Lychee Jelly
  • Herbal Jelly
  • Grass Jelly
  • Coconut Jelly
  • Strawberry Jelly

In addition, you can even ask your local boba shop to make you a fresh jelly topping. If you are lucky, you might get to taste something amazing!  

Coconut Jelly - Fruit Tea

4. Red Bean

One of the most debatable boba toppings is Red Bean, also known as adzuki beans. Many people do not choose red bean as a preferred topping in their classic boba drink because of the added subtle sweetness and the powdery texture. However, the waxy layer of red beans can be a fun element. 

If you want to try red beans as the next topping, pair it with sweet drinks. Do not pair red beans with the more bitter and subtle classic milk tea.

Boba Tea Flavors - Red Bean

5. Cheese Foam

Unlike the other toppings on the list, Cheese foam is relatively new in the US. Cheese foam is made from milk foam, salt, cream cheese, and a little liquid cheesecake. 

If you are someone who loves the sweet-salty flavor, then this is the most appropriate topping for you. The tanginess of the cheese smoothly complements the different types of tea.

Brown Sugar Bubble Tea

6. Other Toppings

The five toppings mentioned above are not the only ones. There are many more for you to try. Some other boba toppings that are worth mentioning are: 

  • Ice cream 
  • Chia Seeds 
  • Oats Crushed 
  • Oreos 
  • Whipped Cream 
  • Salted Cream 
  • Rose petal 
  • Gold leaf (if you are rich, this does not add to the flavor…)
  • Fresh fruits or seasonal fruits
  • Taro balls 
  • Sweet potato balls


For milk based drinks, you can alwyas try asking for lactose free milk or a non dairy creamer, such as:

  • Almond Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Oat Milk (our favorite)
  • Coconut Water

Considerations When Choosing Your Boba Toppings

Mentioned below are some of the things that you must consider while choosing your boba topping. We hope that you will discover the perfect combination for yourself!

  1. Do not mix fruit add-ons with milk tea. 

  2. Milk tea and pudding are gateways to the stairs to Heaven.

  3. Always say a big yes to ice creams.

  4. Popping Boba will double the fun of the drink but it’s best paired with fruity drinks as their flavoring is usually of fruits. But if you prefer it to be not so sweet, then pair the popping bubbles with an unsweetened tea.

  5. Always pair fruit with fruit.

  6. Finally, make sure you bring your own Boba Cups to reduce waste!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the healthiest boba toppings?

The healthiest boba toppings are:

  • Crystal Boba
  • Aloe Vera
  • Herbal Jelly 
  • White pearls

Are tapioca pearls high in calories?

A ½ cup (76g) of Tapioca pearls have around 272 calories and they contain 2.5 grams of sugar in total. In comparison to Jelly, Tapioca pearls are not that high in calories. 

What toppings go well with milk tea?

The boba toppings that go well with milk tea are:

  • Pudding 
  • Jelly 
  • Sago
  • Foam 
  • Basil Seeds
  • Brown Sugar Boba Pearls
Popping Bubbles - Fruit Teas

Bottom Line 

This was the list of the most popular boba toppings that you must try in your bubble tea. We hope that you enjoyed this quick guide. Try these toppings out and let us know what you think. Or if you already have a favorite, then please share! 

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comment section below if we’re forgotten to mention any delicious bubble tea toppings.

Did you know that you can have vegan boba? Read more about it if you're vegan!

Happy Bubble Tea Tasting! 

Nick loves coffee... Actually, he NEEDS coffee! So, he has dedicated his time to learning all he can about this magical bean. He can make a mean latte, is obsessed with flat whites, and is always up for a cup of java!
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