Originating in Taiwan, boba or bubble tea quickly became a beloved drink across the globe. Its basic components are milk, sweetener, tea, and chewy tapioca pearls. However, the drink’s possibilities are endless.
Boba tea comes in various combinations of flavors depending on which tea, milk, and sweetener you choose.
Even boba pearls come in different textures and consistencies aside from traditional tapioca, like jelly balls or juice-filled popping boba.
With seemingly endless bubble tea options, I and many others find it overwhelming to choose which flavor to buy or make at home.
That is why I gathered and ranked the 12 best boba flavors below, each with tasty descriptions that help you discover new milk tea drinks to enjoy.
Popular Boba Flavors
Check out our favorite bubble tea flavors and try them for yourself!
Black Milk Tea
Black milk tea is one of the most popular bubble tea drinks worldwide. After one sip, it is easy to understand why so many people love this beverage treat.
This bubble tea follows a classic recipe, combining black tea, milk, sweetener, and boba pearls.
Black tea is usually too bitter for my taste, but this drink has the perfect amount of sweet flavor to balance the spice.
Sometimes I even enjoy using honey instead of sugar in my black milk tea. Honey elevates this drink to another level.
One of the most exciting parts about black milk tea is the combination of different textures.
I love the creamy smoothness of the milk contrasted with the chewy tapioca pearls.
Honeydew Milk Tea
One of the most refreshing and unique milk teas I have ever tried is honeydew milk tea.
Even though it is called milk tea, the traditional recipe does not contain any tea. The beverage only contains honeydew, milk, and boba pearls.
If you want to add tea, add green tea. It complements the honeydew flavor and enhances the drink’s green color.
Instead of traditional tapioca pearls, I enjoy using brown sugar boba because it adds rich molasses notes.
There are three ways to add the honeydew flavor to the beverage: fresh melon, instant powder, or honeydew syrup.
My favorite method by far is blending fresh honeydew. The milk tea tastes fresher. I also get all the nutrients from the melon, making the drink more nutritious.
Matcha Milk Tea
Matcha milk tea is the perfect way to elevate a basic matcha drink. It looks and tastes like the earthier version of honeydew milk tea.
Make this beverage with matcha or green tea powder, hot water, milk, and boba pearls. I like my matcha a little sweeter, so I also add honey to mine.
If you add a sweetener, mix it in with your hot water. This way, the sugar or honey dissolves, and your drink is not grainy.
This delightful drink is creamy, rich, and less sweet than other milk teas. Use high-quality matcha powder for the best taste.
For a dairy-free version, use oat milk instead. Oat milk has a similar silky and creamy feel compared to regular milk.
Strawberry Milk Tea
Strawberry milk tea is light and refreshing with a subtle sweet taste.
If you prefer a strong tea flavor, brew the tea in less water. Using less water makes a more concentrated tea.
If you want a caffeine-free option, replace the tea with more milk for an extra creamy bubble tea.
Strawberry milk tea contains green tea, strawberry syrup, milk, and boba pearls. I make my own syrup with fresh strawberries.
This extra step elevates the drink. It adds a more authentic fruit flavor as opposed to artificial syrups.
To make your own strawberry syrup, heat sugar, strawberries, and water on the stove, stirring occasionally. When the strawberries break down, strain the pulp from the syrup.
Taro Milk Tea
Taro milk tea originates from Taiwan. This Taiwanese drink achieves a beautiful purple color from taro root.
A Taro root is a purple-hued vegetable that looks like a potato. Its delicate flavor is reminiscent of a sweet potato.
Make taro milk tea from home with taro powder or paste, jasmine tea, milk, and boba pearls. I prefer taro powder because it blends seamlessly into the hot jasmine tea.
I also love soaking my boba in brown sugar syrup for this particular drink. It adds a sweet molasses flavor which compliments the taro root well.
To make a brown sugar syrup, heat equal parts brown sugar and water on the stove until the sugar dissolves and the liquid looks glossy.
Thai Milk Tea
Thai milk tea is one of my favorite bubble teas. It has the perfect balance of sweetness, creaminess, and warmth from the tea spices. It is an excellent beverage for hot or cold weather.
Traditionally, Thai milk tea contains black tea, sweetener, condensed milk, star anise, crushed tamarind, cardamom, cinnamon, and other spices.
I do not usually have all these spices on hand, so I use chai instead. The flavor profiles are strikingly similar.
I like making this dairy-free using full-fat coconut milk instead of sweetened condensed milk. Coconut milk is an excellent substitute because of its thick and creamy consistency.
The added hint of coconut flavor tastes amazing with the warm spices.
If you like this flavor, check out other Thai cuisine you might enjoy!
Brown Sugar Tea
Brown sugar milk tea began in Taiwan as an indulgently sweet drink.
This drink is one of the few milk teas that do not contain any tea, but I like to add chai to mine when I make it at home. The spices and molasses brown sugar flavor taste incredible together.
Traditionally, brown sugar tea contains only three ingredients: milk, brown sugar syrup, and boba pearls.
The tapioca pearls cook in brown sugar syrup, so it absorbs all the delicious caramel flavor. Biting into boba from this drink is a burst of sweet flavor.
Recently this beverage skyrocketed in popularity in the U.S., and I definitely understand why.
Coffee Milk Tea
If you are not the biggest tea drinker, try coffee milk tea instead. It is exactly what you think it would be — milk tea and coffee together in one glass.
This drink contains black tea, milk, coffee, boba pearls, and your sweetener of choice. While it still includes tea, the coffee flavor is the star of the show.
Coffee milk tea tastes incredible as a hot drink or over ice. I prefer it with boba pearls soaked in brown sugar syrup. The syrup cuts the bitterness from the coffee.
Try brewing your tea into the milk and then adding the coffee. With this method, you do not water down your drink.
Here is another way to prevent watering down your milk tea — freeze coffee or milk and use this as ice cubes instead!
Lychee milk tea is delicious and fruity. Its fragrant flavor comes from the tropical lychee fruit. Lychee is sweet and a little floral. The taste reminds me of a strawberry or a pear.
Lychee milk tea contains lychee, boba pearls, milk, and black or green tea. Since I live in the U.S., I cannot easily access fresh lychee. I use canned lychee instead, which still tastes amazing.
If you manage to find lychee jelly online or at your local grocery store, use that instead of boba pearls for an extra blast of flavor.
I love juice-filled popping boba in this milk tea, too. They come in many fruit flavors, including lychee.
Pineapple Milk Tea
Pineapple is one of my favorite fruits, which is why I love making pineapple milk tea.
The base for this drink is pineapple juice, milk, boba pearls, and black or green tea.
Pineapple boba is one of my favorite bubble teas to customize. I like adding fresh or powdered ginger to add some spice.
I also like swapping regular milk for coconut milk. The combination of pineapple, ginger, and coconut tastes so tropical. It is an excellent refreshing summertime drink reminiscent of a Pina colada.
Red Bean Milk Tea
Red bean milk tea might not be as popular as the classic black milk tea, but its unique flavor is delicious and worth a try.
This drink calls for red bean paste. This paste has a distinct flavor profile. Red beans are creamy and earthy, tasting similar to a sweet potato.
The other ingredients include black tea, sweetened condensed milk, sweetener, and boba pearls.
Make your own red bean paste by mashing red beans with a fork until you reach the desired consistency.
You could also purchase it from your local grocery store or online. I like making my own because I get to control the texture.
Mango Milk Tea
Mango milk tea is a delicious and fruity beverage. This refreshing drink contains mangoes, milk, sweetener, green tea, and boba pearls.
I love it with regular tapioca boba or mango popping pearls, though they might be harder to find.
For the flavor, use mango juice from the store or juice your own at home. I also love using mango nectar instead of juice.
Mango nectar contains the fruit puree with a bit of sweetener. It is thicker than mango juice and produces a creamier drink. Coconut milk complements the mango flavor well, too.
Popular Boba Flavors
- Black Milk Tea
- Honeydew Milk Tea
- Matcha Milk Tea
- Strawberry Milk Tea
- Taro Milk Tea
- Thai Milk Tea
- Brown Sugar Tea
- Coffee Milk Tea
- Lychee Tea
- Pineapple Milk Tea
- Red Bean Milk Tea
- Mango Milk Tea
Drinking bubble tea is a flavorful and textural experience. When there are so many options, where do you start?
Whether you are new to boba or looking for something different from your usual order, use this list as a guide the next time you buy or make yourself a cup of boba tea.
Experience a variety of traditional and unique flavors suited for every season and taste palate.
Looking for a different cold treat? Check out the best frozen yogurt shops in America!
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