Different Kinds of Boba Teas You Need to Try

Boba tea’s origin story dates back to Taiwan in the 1980s. Boba tea, also known as bubble tea, quickly became known as a refreshing treat to pick up after a hard day. Jelly and black tapioca balls line the bottom of the cup, giving it the name “boba.” In Taiwan, many boba tea stands and carts would eventually craft more variations of the classic drink.

Boba tea has become a popular drink in the U.S. over the years. It isn’t just photographed and admired for its unique look and color, but also appreciated for its deliciously distinctive taste.

If you have never tried boba teas and are interested in testing out new flavors, you’re in luck! There is a wide variety of boba teas out there to choose from. We’ve put together a list of combinations, flavor profiles, and the best boba tea flavors.

What is Boba Tea?

The basic elements of boba tea are its tea base, milk, and tapioca balls. Milk teas in Asia and Europe vary in technique, but the premise is to add a creamier taste to a strong flavor. Popular flavors include Thai tea boba, notable for its contrast to typically sweet and fruity flavors.

What Kinds of Boba Tea Is There?

Boba tea is one of the most versatile iced drinks as it offers many variations that cater to everyone. Of the many recipes for bubble tea, the basics can break it down into its three main customization options:


Depending on the tea shop you visit, the variety of teas will vary. Boba tea includes strong, favorable profiles as a base for the drink.

  • Black Tea – Translates to red tea in other East Asian languages and provides a more substantial, robust base for the drink, such as earl tea
  • Green Tea – Originating in China and spread throughout East Asia, green tea offers an earthy, bittersweet taste
  • Oolong Tea – Traditional Chinese tea is fruity and bitter and is often described as having a “grassy” taste and mouthfeel.
  • White Tea – Although not a popularly used tea base, white tea has a more mellow, refreshing flavor, often used with a more tart flavor

Dairy & Milk

Milk adds a smooth, complex flavor component to tea’s astringent, earthy taste. Once you pick your tea base, the milk will elevate its flavor.

  • Condensed Milk – Sweetened condensed milk can be added to most boba teas and works well with more robust flavors such as Thai tea boba
  • Whole Milk & 2% Milk – These are the standard kinds of milk used for boba tea
  • Non-Dairy Alternative – Almond milk is a popular alternative for those who enjoy the flavor or have dietary restrictions

Bubbles & Toppings

You can request that traditional tapioca bubbles (often made from tapioca powder) be added to the drink. There are a few options for boba bubbles:

  • Jelly – A fruity alternative to tapioca powder
  • Tapioca Pearls – Traditional boba pearls
  • Popping Bubbles – These bubbles pop in your mouth and make an excellent topping for fruity drinks

What are the Best Boba Flavors to Try?

As boba tea rose to popularity in American food culture, the variety of flavor combinations is endless. The refreshing drink has something for everyone–avid coffee drinkers, those who prefer tea, and the sweeter, fruity taste from added syrups and fruit purees.

Milk Tea

After choosing the tea base of your choice, you can add different types of dairy to the drink. Essentially, milk tea adds a rich, creamy sweetness to the stronger tea flavor. Some of the best milk tea flavors to try are:

  • Taro Milk Tea – This stunningly lavender taro milk tea features the starchy, purple potato-like taro root that adds a nutty, sweet flavor to your tea.
  • Thai Tea Boba and Thai Milk Tea – Thai tea boba milk tea has a beautifully distinct color and taste; like a spiced, creamy dessert
  • Brown Sugar Tea & Tiger Tea – A delightful choice that mixes caramelized brown sugar and milk


Sweet-tasting teas are less abrasive than regular sugary iced drinks. Boba and tea shops will most likely utilize fresh fruit in their drinks, a perfect combination in contrast to the robust flavor of black or green tees.

  • Honeydew Boba Tea – As refreshing as it sounds, honeydew melon offers a refreshing taste. If you’ve never tried honeydew boba tea before, it’s definitely one of our top recommendations
  • Mango Boba – Easily one of the most refreshing summer drinks, mango boba’s fruitiness is as sweet as it comes
  • Lychee Boba – This type of boba is fruity and fragrant, but is made from a milk tea base

Herbal & Earthy

Earthy flavor profiles are perfect for the avid tea drinker who wants to try a smoother alternative to their usual hot, black tea.

  • Jasmine Milk Tea – Lightly sweet and floral taste, but strong from the tea
  • Lavender Boba Tea – Using earl gray tea and infused lavender, this drink blends well with notes of honey, vanilla extract, or even brown sugar
  • Matcha Boba Tea or Matcha Milk Tea – On its own, matcha has an abrasively earthy flavor but becomes sweeter and creamier with milk


Coffee drinkers can love tea, too! These are some of the best boba tea flavors to try out while on your taste-testing search:

  • Coffee Milk Tea – This drink mixes espresso, black tea, and milk. What’s not to love?
  • Almond Milk Tea – Though not exactly coffee, almond is a reminiscent flavor that adds a sweet and intense flavor to your boba
  • Dalgona Milk Tea – Korean dalgona is the process of whipping the ingredients with coffee, creating a luscious taste in combination with milk and toppings

Like many food and beverage industry trends, we anticipate change and innovation. Boba was once just a common cultural beverage in Taiwan, but these days, boba and bubble tea have evolved into a drink craze. These customizable, tasty iced beverages will likely only continue to grow in popularity and flavor combinations. You may as well try now to decide if they’re right for you!

For more informational reviews, guides, and trends in the beverage industry, check out our other blogs on tea, coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, and more.

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