Besides the original tapioca pearls that are commonly placed as an additive in bubble tea; there are many substitutes for them that are healthy; and they taste good. These toppings can spice up your drink when you’re ready for something else instead of regular tapioca.
All of these additions have been around for years, and have been incorporated into the boba tea beverage, coffees, desserts, and even pizza toppings. In fact, some of them can be added to pizza just like pineapples have.
These boba types can be eaten as a snack all by themselves as well. They are great for a vegan diet, and some can be used as toppings to flavor a keto diet meal or drink.
The reasons why someone would want to seek other boba types other than pearls, could be because of allergies, need of variety, the need of a perfect addition to their incomplete recipe, or no time for preparation to cook tapioca into chewy boba.
Sometimes no matter how good something is, the taste buds can get temporary boredom creating the sensation to try something a little different, but still the same.
All of the toppings listed are the best options as alternatives that can be instantly placed into boba tea so its ready to consume and enjoy. Feel free to add them to your icecream, foods, and other desserts! There are 30+ options and ideas.
Different Types of Boba
There are many different types and many of the types have a sub category with different flavors! Have fun finding the right type for your favorite boba drink! They are all quick additions with no cooking or preparation required:
1. Pudding Boba
Pudding is a mixture made from flavored powders that is added to the tea as the final step, as a topping. The Eggnog pudding mix (custard pudding) is one of the most popular besides the Taro pudding. There is a mango pudding as well as a milk pudding.
The mixtures are all very good, but the main one to focus on is the milk pudding. This one is like a key into opening up other flavors. Milk pudding can be created, and then other regular powder flavors or syrups can be added to change the flavor into chocolate or whatever is desired.
The pudding can be added to the cup before the rest of the bubble tea ingredients (recommended) or after, with or without tapioca pearls.
Checking out the powder flavors and syrups section is highly recommended.
Main Pudding Types:
- Taro Pudding
- Custard Pudding (Eggnog)
- Mango Pudding
- Milk Pudding
2. Canned Toppings
These canned toppings aren’t just anything you find in a can to place in your boba drink. They are specially made for boba tea beverages and desserts like shaved ice (crushed shavings of ice usually flavored with syrup).
The canned toppings are one of the healthiest choices, and idea for pairing with regular tea to create a V8 splash type of drink. This is a great mix for a vegan diet or fitness drink. The toppings can be used straight out of the can or cooked and mashed into a paste.
The Canned Toppings available are:
- Sweet Taro Lumps – Already cooked and sweetened with syrup for extra taste. Good for puddings, desserts, foods, and drinks.
- Natural Oats – Already cooked and ready to go; made as an addition to desserts and drinks. The ingredients are nothing more than Oats, Sugar, and Water.
- Red Beans – Sweetened with sugar and already cooked, sweet red beans are great for desserts, foods, and drinks. The ingredients are red beans, sugar, water, and salt.
- Green Beans – Regular cooked green beans for desserts, foods, and bubble tea.
- Sweet Peanuts – Add peanuts with sugar to the taste of your boba drink, desserts, or food.
3. Jelly Boba
Bubble Tea Jellies are another healthy substitute that comes in many fruit flavors with coconut as a main additive. Just as the name implies; it is an agar boba, but it is not made of gelatin.
Aloe Vera Jelly and Grass Jelly are popular choices, especially the aloe because of its skin and health benefits. The topping can go on desserts as well, but are also consumed by themselves.
Checking out the bubble tea jelly section is highly recommended for more details.
There are many different types:
- Aloe Vera Jelly
- Grass Jelly
- Coffee Jelly
- Rainbow Jelly
- Mango Jelly
- Strawberry Coconut
- Passion Fruit Coconut
- Lychee Coconut
- Mango Coconut
4. Exploding Boba
Exploding Boba is known as Popping Pearls and Bursting Boba. They are very similar to the original tapioca pearls in both size and shape, but not in texture and color. There is no cooking required and they are ready for consumption straight out of the pack.
They are placed into the boba drink the same way tapioca pearls are, except they are filled with juice instead of chewy textures.
The list includes:
- Rainbow (assorted flavors)
- Green Apple
- Passion Fruit
5. Mini Mochi
Mochi was already a popular Asian rice snack, so it has been added to the toppings list. Since mochi is pretty traditional and basic; there is the original mochi which tastes like marshmallows, and the mini rainbows that taste like blueberries, mango, honeydew, and strawberries.
One should take care not to leave mochi out uncovered for long periods of time, as they can become hard over time. The ordinary texture is chewy and a bit sticky.
- Mini Original Mochi
- Rainbow Mini Mochi
6. Crystal Boba
Crystal boba is another agar boba that looks similar to the original tapioca pearls, except for the color before, and after preparation and cooking. They are white beforehand, so it has adopted the name “White Tapioca”, and it is clear like crystal after it is cooked (crystal boba).
There are many reasons why crystal boba is chosen over the blacks pearls besides the texture looks.
For more information check the Crystal Boba section.