It’s impossible to miss these oversized edible pearls at the bottom of your milk tea. They’re so distinct that people even call the drink “boba tea” after the name of the pearls themselves! What does boba taste like? Does boba have the flavor?
This food guide will discuss everything you need to know about these tapioca pearls. Read on and discover their taste, appearance, and more.
Boba or boba pearl is a ball of tapioca starch. Tapioca is the processed root of the cassava plant. For this reason, most people also call them tapioca pearls.
Manufacturers combine tapioca flour, boiling water, and black food coloring to make boba. Mixing these ingredients yields a dough-like mixture they knead and form into balls.
Boba makers then dry, pack, and sell them as boba pearls. Depending on their needs, boba tea sellers cook these pearls per batch. After all, cooked boba pearls only stay at their best texture for 4-6 hours.
Like any other food, the taste of boba depends on its ingredients. Most people add sugar to their tapioca flour and water mixture to make boba. If this is the case, boba tastes sweet.
On the other hand, if you make or buy boba with just tapioca flour and water, it won’t have a flavor. After all, tapioca flour is tasteless, and so is water.
You can still make your boba taste sweet if you buy or make it unsweetened. Soak the cooked boba pearls in sugar syrup, and they’ll be sweet!
In general, boba pearls are round and usually either brown or black. They’re brown if they have brown sugar and black if manufacturers use black dye to make them. Plus, raw and cooked boba have different appearances.
When uncooked, boba pearls look like dusty rough marbles. Loosely packed ones have a perfectly round shape. Meanwhile, some pearls can develop rough edges if they are tightly packed.
When cooked, boba pearls are shiny, reminiscent of translucent marbles. They look like round jellies that jiggle when you move their container.
Whether boba tastes good or not boils down to personal preference. Since boba pearls are sweet, they taste good for people with a sweet tooth. But boba might be less appealing for those who aren’t fans of sweets.
Many people love boba pearls because of their chewy texture. But you should know they’ll not be as chewy if you don’t cook the pearls properly. And, if you overcook boba pearls, they can even disintegrate!
Boba tea is a tea that has boba pearls either as a topping or a sinker. Often, the word “boba” also refers to boba tea.
Boba tea originated in Taiwan when an entrepreneur decided to put boba pearls into tea. Its base is usually black or green tea. Most recipes call for additional flavorings, such as fruit-flavored syrups and milk.
Boba tea is known for its unique, sweet flavor. The best thing about boba tea or bubble tea is that you can pick what goes in it. You can choose which toppings or sinkers to include and even how much or what sugar to use.
Most boba shops allow you to choose regular milk alternatives, such as non-fat or soy milk. Almond milk is also a popular option. Some will give you the freedom to pick between honey, sugar, and stevia for your sweetener.
What characterizes this tea is boba pearls, so no matter what is in it, as long as it has boba pears, it is boba tea.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of boba flavors. People have come up with variations by combining different ingredients. Here are the most popular flavors of boba tea you should give a try:
Also called black milk tea, this boba is a classic due to its simple ingredients. As the name implies, black milk tea has black tea as its base, a splash of milk, and the usual boba pearls.
With some sugar or honey, this type of boba hits the perfect spot between bitter and sweet.
Taro milk tea usually has jasmine green tea as its base and taro powder as its main flavoring. Its lovely milky purple hue is definitely Instagrammable. But, what takes the cake is its distinct taste.
Taro has a flavor reminiscent of vanilla and nuts. When this blends with milk and green tea, the result is a decadent, creamy, and flavorful drink.
Another well-loved boba milk tea variation is matcha milk tea. With the health benefits and vibrant green hue of matcha, it’s no wonder it has made its way to the world of boba tea!
Matcha powder and milk make matcha boba tea a nutritious and delicious beverage worth a try.
For people who love coffee and tea, coffee milk tea is a match made in heaven. This boba tea is easy to recreate. All you need to do is combine ground coffee, brewed tea, sugar, and milk.
Try making one at home and be pleasantly surprised with this creamy drink!
People make brown sugar boba with just three ingredients. These are milk, caramelized brown sugar, and boba pearls. It is one of the most popular kinds that do not contain tea.
Because of this, it is caffeine-free and suitable for people of all ages, including kids.
Thai milk tea is an orange-hued boba tea. It most commonly uses a base of either Ceylon or Indian Assam tea, as these are abundant in Thailand.
What makes Thai tea different is that it contains spices such as star anise and cardamom. For a more tropical touch, coconut milk is also often used in this boba drink.
Making boba tea from scratch is a worthwhile culinary undertaking. Preparing the ingredients requires effort and will take time. But the result is worth it.
Popping boba is a pearl with a flexible skin made of seaweed extracts. Inside these pearls are fruit juices. Since its skin is transparent, popping boba can be any color. People call them popping boba because they pop in your mouth, giving you a delightful burst of flavor.
You can keep uncooked boba pearls in an airtight container. Place the container in a cool, dry place, and the pearls will stay good for up to 6 months. Cooked pearls, on the other hand, do not have a long shelf life. Completely submerged in sugar syrup and refrigerated, they’ll stay good for 72 hours. Keep in mind, though, that the longer you keep them, the more their texture deteriorates.
Since the base of boba tea is often made with either green or black tea, it has some antioxidant properties. But you should know that boba tea is also full of sugar.
So, what does boba taste like? On their own, boba pearls do not have a distinct taste. But they get sweet when you buy the sweetened version or let them soak in sugar after cooking. Do note that boba is pearl, and boba tea is bubble tea. But due to their association with each other, bubble tea itself is sometimes called “boba.”
In this case, “boba” have different flavors due to its varying ingredients. It tastes like the flavorings you put into it, plus the sweeteners and milk of your choice. Adding toppings and sinkers makes bubble tea taste better. Pick among the plethora of options available and make your boba tea truly your own.