Food Industry News

Try before Die: Top 10 Bubble/Boba Tea Types

You may have heard of bubble tea (also called boba tea) but you may not yet have tried it. Bubble tea was a traditional drink in Taiwan before it became hugely popular in Asia and all over the world. It now comes in many different flavors and forms, offering a taste sensation you can’t afford to not try.

Here are two bubble tea basics to get you started:

  • Bubble tea usually consists of four elements: a freshly brewed tea (often black tea), milk, a sweetener/flavor such as sugar and “toppings” that are found on the bottom of the drink and give it texture. The “chew balls” add the fun to the drink.
  • Any of the four traditional ingredients may be swapped out with others and others such as shaved ice, cream, fresh fruit, soy milk, green tea and various syrups are now often found in these teas.  It becomes a “bubble tea” when it’s shaken with ice in a cocktail shaker making a bubbling froth on top A fat straw is used to drink this bubble tea.

Here are 10 popular flavors that bubble tea drinkers enjoy, the first two of which are probably best to order if you haven’t tasted bubble tea before. Fruity, creamy flavors are often the most popular.

1. Classic Pearl Milk Tea

Classic milk tea is the most traditional type of bubble tea and is still the most popular. It is a black tea that contains milk powder and sugar. Many people like to drink this milk tea with tapioca as a “topping”. Tapioca comes from the cassava root and the starch is rolled into balls, cooked and flavored with sugars or syrups. Many people are addicted to the texture of these little tapioca pearls and their quality is often a sign of a good bubble tea – they should not be too chewy or too soft.

2. Fruit Bubble Tea

Iced tea is probably the safest option for someone who has never tasted a bubble tea before. It can be made from any kind of tea. It contains fruit flavors, such as passion fruit, mango, kiwi, green apple, pineapple, and grape rather than milk and is particularly popular in the United States.

3. Matcha Boba

This is one of the healthiest forms of the 10 Bubble Tea Types types as Matcha, a very potent form of green tea, has numerous health benefits. It can be ordered with without sugar and with almond milk and topped with chia seeds for extra health benefits.

4. Thai Bubble Tea

A twist on Thailand’s favorite tea, this one is made with evaporated milk and is traditionally very sweet.  Thai tea has an orange look to it and a vanilla-like taste.

5. Winter Melon Boba Tea

The flavor and taste of winter melon is quite confusing for some people who confuse it with watermelon which has a very different flavor.  Winter melon is a traditional Chinese melon that caramelizes when cooked and gives this drink its caramel flavor.

6. Popcorn Tea (Genamaicha Or Japanese Green Tea)

This mildly sweet and savory tea is made from green tea and toasted rice. The toasted rice gives it the popcorn-like flavor.

7. Taro Boba Tea

Taro milk tea is a favorite with Boba tea lovers. Don’t let the name taro prevent you from ordering this delicious purple tea. It is made with taro root and tastes creamy but not too sweet.  Many people swear it tastes just like cookies and cream.

8. Honeydew Boba Tea

One of the most popular flavors worldwide is honeydew. Honeydew flavor may be mixed with tea and cream to make a hot drink or blended with ice in a blender to make an ice drink.

9. Coconut Bubble Tea

Pure coconut water or Coconut milk with a little fruit nectar added and some “toppings” can make a delicious and healthy drink.

10. Mousse Boba Tea

This is a really different flavor and will probably appeal to those with more adventurous tastes. It contains different types of tea at the bottom with some sugar and is topped off with a savory mousse.

“Toppings” that give texture

Many different sizes of tapioca are now served in these teas and they also come in different colors from the traditional brownish-black such as white, yellow, pink or green with just a hint of flavor.  Other sources of texture in bubble tea come from including ingredients such as sago starch pearls or jellies made from ingredients like coconut or aloe vera.

Popping boba tea is also used which are filled with a fruit juice. They are made by dropping the acidic juice into a special solution that causes a skin to form around the juice.

Unique Variations

When Boba tea turned into such a hit on the Asian market, vendors started trying to outdo one another with their unique recipes, including using different techniques and ingredients. They began adding fruit flavored powers, fruit pulp or juice, serving beverages hot or cold, using different types of teas, changing from using milk powder to milk and changing the way drinks were sweetened.

Many vendors are working to change a perception that bubble tea is unhealthy by offering healthier, more natural options. They are brewing the tea freshly and using less sugar or substituting sugar with honey or agave. You are likely to find a bubble tea you can enjoy today, even if you want a healthy drink or have certain dietary requirements.

We hope you enjoyed reading our article on 10 Bubble Tea Types You Must Taste.