What is Popping Boba and How is it Made?

Once in a while, there comes an food tech invention that is both useful and absolutely delicious, and innovative.

Yes, we are talking about popping boba! Their colorful exterior and more than mouth-watering taste make them the perfect toppings for desserts and beverages alike.

For all you Boba tea lovers, also check out How To Make Boba At Home.


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Popping Boba

What is popping boba? If you have ever wondered what popping bobas (or sometimes called bursting bobas) are, read on!

They are a unique type of boba pearls that pop in your mouth. Hence, they are also called “popping pearls.” Real fruit juice fills the inside of these pearls, making them delicious.

Popping boba has a thin gel-like exterior that easily pops. Bubble tea and yogurts, ice creams, and other juices increasingly use these tiny drops of heaven.

Common flavors of popping bobas include mango, strawberry, green tea, honey melon, pomegranate, and orange.

What is popping boba made of?

You can make popping bobas and normal bobas both, just with very different processes.

If you have ever wondered what popping boba is made of, sugar, water, fruit juice, calcium lactate, seaweed extract, malic acid, potassium sorbate, coloring, and fruit flavorings minus the tapioca is usually the answer.  Spherification usually occurs when fruit juice is mixed with sodium alginate and dripped drop by drop into a cold solution of calcium lactate.

This may be easier to imagine if you consider how water drops form small spheres in oil. The same thing happens here, except a reaction takes place that causes a thin gel-like outer covering to start on the spheres, making them take this shape permanently. These spheres are then simply removed from this solution and rinsed with distilled water. These are what you see all around!

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How to make Popping Boba?

Popping boba balls are made using a process called spherification. While making popping bobas may sound complicated, it is actually quite simple and requires just a few ingredients!

However, there is some trial and error involved with the process, so you may have to try these DIY popping bobas a few times before you can call yourself an expert.

Popping Boba Recipe


  • water
  • juice
  • sodium alginate
  • calcium lactate

To make popping boba balls using our recipe, simply follow these steps:

  1. Take two cups of water (tap water works fine!) and add in 2 teaspoons of calcium lactate.
  2. Mix it until the powder all dissolves to form a colorless solution.
  3. Next, take your fruit juice and add it to the blender. Add in the sodium alginate. The sodium alginate is supposed to be a 1% solution, so if you use 100ml of juice, that will lead you to use 1g of sodium alginate. Don’t worry though, a little bit extra won’t hurt you much!
  4. Blend the mixture until it is nice and combined
  5. Let the mixture sit for a few hours to let all the air bubbles in the mix disappear.
  6. Put the mixture in a dropper and slowly drip droplets of this into the calcium lactate solution that we made before.
  7. Keep making as many popping bobas as you like and once you are done, strain them out of the calcium lactate solution.
  8. Rinse your popping pearls with water to get rid of the calcium lactate residues.

Additional Tips:

These tips will make the popping boba recipe work perfectly for you.

  • Use fruit juice that does not contain calcium as calcium is what causes the spherification process. You do not want that when you mix fruit juice with sodium alginate.
  • Do not miss the blender step, as this ensures that the sodium alginate is spread evenly
  • Use cold juice for better results
  • Use juice with a pH that is greater than 3.6.
  • Store the boba in the same fluid that you used for its ingredients. This is because it is thin and absorbent and will lose flavor in other liquids

Best Popping Boba To Buy in 2023

We understand that you may not have the time to make popping boba at home. You may wonder where to buy popping boba. Therefore, we have listed the best popping boba varieties to buy on Amazon, Etsy and more!

Tea Zone Passion Fruit Popping Pearls (7 lbs)

If you are a fan of mango-flavored drinks or mango juices, you will absolutely love the Tea Zone Passion Fruit Popping Pearls. These boba-like pearls will give you a burst of satisfying fruity flavor when bitten into. You will absolutely fall in love with its flavor and its jelly-like texture. These are some of those boba pearls that keep making you come back for more.

However, the taste is probably not the only that you look for in your favorite boba pearls. They should look great on your desserts or your cold beverages as well. The bright yellow color of the boba pearls makes sure of it. It kind of brings a happy feel to your beverage. If we talk about its ingredients, it contains water, sugar, Passion Fruit Syrup, Starch, Calcium lactate, Seaweed extract, citric acid, flavor, FD&C Yellow No. 6, and Potassium sorbate.

Also, here is a cool recipe that you can try out with the Tea Zone Passion Fruit Popping Pearls.

  • 4 oz lemonade
  • ¾ oz Monin mojito mix syrup
  • 2 tablespoon Tea Zone Passion Fruit Puree
  • 4 oz club soda 
  • 1 scoop tea zone passion fruit popping pearls

Put lemonade, mojito mix, passion fruit puree, and ice into a shaker. Shake well for 15 seconds and then in a serving glass, add a scoop of passion fruit popping pearls and ice. After that, pour in the mixture and top it with a soda club. There you have it, a great popping beverage. 

Tea Zone Cherry Popping Pearls

If you are not a fan of citric popping bobas, here is another pristine quality popping boba pearls by Tea Zone but this time, it is the cherry flavored popping pearls. The cherry popping pearls are quite literally the cherry on top of your iced lattes, iced teas, lemonade, slushies, smoothies and more. It does not require any cooking and it is totally vegan as well. It is also gluten-free and dairy-free. If you are lactose or gluten intolerant, or a vegan, you can buy the Tea Zone Cherry Popping Pearls without a second thought.

If we talk about its ingredients, it contains water, fructose, cherry-flavored syrup, starch, seaweed extract, calcium lactate, flavor, malic acid, potassium sorbate. The ingredients are pretty much the same as the Tea Zone Passion Fruit Popping Pearls. These bold red popping pearls can add texture and flavor to your dessert, cocktails, and so much more. If we talk about the size of the package, it is the same as the Tea Zone Passion Popping Pearls. Moreover, the price tag is also the same as the Passion Fruit Popping Pearls.

Here is a cool recipe that you can try out with the Tea Zone Cherry Popping Pearls.


  • 1oz Torani Cherry lime syrup
  • Energy Drink like red bull or monster
  • Ice
  • Tea Zone Cherry Popping Pearls


Add ice and cherry popping pearls to the tall glass cup. After that, pour the syrup and liquid into the cup. Stir the mixture and enjoy.


Tea Zone Chocolate Popping Pearls (7 lbs)

Are you a chocolate lover? Of course, you are. Everyone loves chocolates. Well, now you can add the sweet flavor of chocolates and the juicy popping boba to your beverages and desserts. The popping bobas contain a deliciously rich flavor that will leave your mouth wanting for more whenever you bite into it. Each serving of popping boba contains 25 calories which are almost negligible so you can use these popping boba pearls even if you are diet conscious. Moreover, these popping boba pearls are also vegan and dairy-free.

The chocolate popping boba pearls are a trend among Europeans and Americans of all ages. In addition to that, they will add a more trendy look to your dessert or any kind of beverage. You do not need to worry about the freshness of the boba either because it has a decent shelf life. You can add the Tea Zone Chocolate Popping Pearls to all kinds of beverages like honeydew ice tea, cocktail juice, cocktail wine, and you can add these popping pearls to almost any cocktail without the need for cooking.

If we talk about its ingredients, it contains water, fructose, chocolate-flavored syrup, starch, calcium lactate, seaweed extract, flavor, malic acid, and potassium sorbate. The ingredients of this chocolate popping pearls by Tea Zone are also the same as other popping pearls by Tea Zone except for the flavor. We definitely recommend this product if you want the delicious taste of chocolate without adding a lot of calories to your beverage.

Bubble Blends Fruity Pearls Popping Boba

We love these popping boba teas for their variety of flavors. They have lychee, mango, peach, passion fruit, strawberry, and pomegranate. They offer a pack of three in which you can either get only a single flavor or all three different flavors. This ensures that you can stick to your favorite taste or keep it spiced up with variety.

The boba pearls are made of real fruit juice with no artificial coloring. Doesn’t that sound great for your health? Moreover, not only are they fat and gluten-free but also vegan! You can pop them in your drink without having to worry about anything else. The bobas are relatively small themselves and will easily pass through a wide diameter straw. All the more convenient!

Mayde Bursting Popping Boba Pearls

This delicious, juice-bursting boba pearls pack consists of three mouth-watering flavors: Strawberry, Blueberry, and Pomegranate. All of these are my personal favorites! You get one tub of each flavor in this pack which is excellent for those who get tired of the same old flavors.

Not only are the flavors delicious, but also utterly healthy as they are made with real fruit juice with no artificial flavorings. What adds to their health benefits is that they are entirely fat-free! They have about 26 calories per 30g serving which isn’t much in our opinion.

Read: Brands That Make Sugar Free Juice for Diabetics

Bursting Popping Boba Balls Single Pack

This company offers many flavors for you to enjoy, including Blueberry, Kiwi, Mango, Passion Fruit Pomegranate, and Strawberry. Let us tell you that all tastes have their own merits and are amazing! However, each flavor costs differently than the other.

The flavors are flavorful, and the bobas pop so quickly in the mouth. Moreover, delivery is reasonably quick, with the product usually carrying an expiration date of many months away. Again, these are made using real fruit juice, so you do not have to worry about unhealthy artificial substances creeping into your body. Some people do complain that the shipping left some of their bobas popped. However, we did not share the same experience.

Bobalife Bubble Tea Kit – Mix Of The Month Selection

This boba tea kit can make the perfect gift for your tea-loving family and friends. Each of these gift boxes contains three drinks of the premium flavors of Taro, Taiwanese Milk, Mango, and Peach, 6 Bobalife Branded cups, 6 Jumbo Bamboo drinking straws, twelve Teabags of premium teas, and Tapioca and fruit-flavored popping boba pearls. It is absolutely everything you need to make every boba drink.

For anyone who likes boba tea, this is going to be heaven. All the teas are incredibly flavorful and robust, and the popping boba balls were our absolute favorite. They were easily popped in the mouth with natural fruit flavors. The delivery was pretty quick, and the packaging was perfect too!

Bolle Popping Boba Balls Pearls

This is one of the best popping pearls for the price. The quantity you get is much more than what you pay for. This is available in the delicious Strawberry, Mango, Lychee, and Passion Fruit flavors that will shift take any beverage to the next level. Due to its delicious and tasteful flavors, everyone is bound to love these.

They are very high quality, and the juice inside these popping bobas feels like real fruit juice. For a serving size of 100g, it has about 100 calories which is not much. It is also wholly fat-free! These also have Vitamin C that is bound to help your beverages be healthier.

Popping Lychee Boba by Buddha Bubbles Boba

This has to be one of the most popular lychee popping bobas at Etsy right now. It has tons and tons of people vouching for its fantastic quality; We share the same opinion! The boba was highly flavorful and delicious. They popped right into our mouth as soon as we applied even a little pressure.

Their outer covering was also edible and did not feel plasticky. The seller provided excellent service, with the shipping being quick. The seller also offers many different bubble tea flavors to pair with these bobas and have the drink of your dreams at affordable prices.

Tapioca Boba VS. Popping Boba

Well, you may be familiar with the traditional Tapioca Bobas. They are chewy solids that are artificially sweetened using sugar and honey. This is because they naturally have little to no flavor. Hence, the taste is largely dependent on the production process of these chewy little balls.

Boba is infamous for being added to Milk Tea, Smoothies, and Frozen Drinks. Despite its aesthetic, many may not like tapioca boba simply because of the lack of flavor or the taste of too many artificial flavors.

Which one is better?

Even though it still largely depends on personal preference, popping bobas have been gaining more popularity. This may be simply because of the wide variety of flavors available. They also have fewer artificial flavorings and hence may taste better. Some people also do not like the chewy texture of tapioca pearls.

Storage and Production

If we look at storage and production, popping bobas still wins. You have to make tapioca pearls keenly, or they won’t turn out how you want them. On the other hand, popping bobas involve you and a dropper, just dropping away! Although, you do have to be careful with the sizing of these. You have to make Tapioca pearls right before serving, or else they get hard. However, if appropriately refrigerated, popping pearls can last you for up to a year!


The texture of these two varieties is perhaps what sets them apart the most. Tapioca pearls are chewy and soft, while popping bobas just pop in your mouth and are gone. It greatly depends on which texture you want to go for. If you like smooth, chewy treats that may leave you with a delicious honey aftertaste, then the tapioca boba variety will satisfy you.

On the other hand, if you love the thrill of the bobas popping in your mouth adding to your beverage’s flavor, then popping pearls are the way to go! Children usually also prefer the excitement that comes along with popping boba pearls. However, it just comes down to personal preference.

Temperature of Usage

Both Tapioca and popping boba pearls act differently under varying temperatures. Let us first look into tapioca pearls. Tapioca pearls are best for hot drinks. They presume a soft and pleasantly chewy nature in hot beverages. Even when added to cold drinks, they are still soft. However, if they are popped into iced teas, frozen yogurt, or smoothies, they may become cold and hard to chew with time. Therefore, they may not be an excellent fit for the cold.

Popping boba pearls, on the other hand, are pretty adaptable to temperature. They do really well in hot beverages and do not pop on their own. However, their texture may become somewhat liquid as time runs on. When served in iced drinks or frozen yogurt, they have no issue. They do not become hard to pop at all, so you have nothing to worry about!


Tapioca boba has a delightful taste when sweetened with honey or sugar. It will just add a little more something to your drinks. There is no risk of any flavors crashing or overpowering when it comes to these neutral little balls. You can add them to anything you can think of! For most people who like a single flavor but still enjoy the texture of bobas, this is the choice!

Popping Bobas come in a wide variety of flavors. Some will pair well with some drinks while others will not. There are so many options to choose from, which may be exciting. However, this is a difficult choice to make, especially when you haven’t tried out many different flavor combinations in your life. It will take some hit and trial to find the combos you find pleasing. When you do, it will be 100% worth it!


So here’s all you need to know about popping bobas, how to make them and where to buy them. We hope you find your perfect fit, whether it is whipping up your popping bobas or getting them online. Let us know in the comments which one you prefer!


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