A Definitive Ranking of the 10 Best Boba Tea Flavors
Sweet, creamy, chewy and oh-so-satisfying are just a few words we can use to describe the uniquely sip-worthy treat that is boba tea.
Also known as bubble tea, this drink—which originated in Taiwan—is typically made from tea, some type of milk and the key ingredient that distinguishes boba from other types of milk tea: the tapioca balls, or pearls, found at the bottom. Other popular ingredients can include fruit jellies and red beans, slurped up using the classic extra-thick boba straw. Plus, you can usually customize the level of sweetness you want in your drink.
New to the boba tea game and not sure where to start when ordering? We can help. For a little bit of inspiration before you hit the counter at your local hot spot, we've created a definitive ranking of the best boba tea flavors. Let's kick off the list with:
10. Black Tea
An oldie but a goodie, black milk tea is a great introductory flavor to try if you've never tried boba tea before. It's a simple flavor that isn't anything too special, which is why it didn't come out higher on this list, but it's also pretty easy to customize it to your personal liking by selecting the level of sweetness, amount of milk and boba pearls you want.
9. Pumpkin Spice
Move over, pumpkin spice latte. A pumpkin spice boba tea, albeit more of a seasonal indulgence, definitely deserves a spot on this list of the best flavors. It's a match made in heaven, truly: cinnamon and spices plus brown sugar and aromatic tea (rather than espresso like your go-to PSL). The final touch is the tapioca pearls on the bottom, which make this treat the perfect combination of snack and drink.
8. Red Bean
If you're a red bean lover, there's a good chance you were hoping this boba tea flavor would come out a bit higher on our list of the best flavors. It's not hard to imagine why, especially considering the silky texture of the sweet red bean paste and the iconic mild tea flavor that isn't too heavy on sweetness. In fact, the only reason we didn't rank this flavor higher is because it can be a little divisive for less adventurous fans of boba. If you haven't given it a go just yet, we definitely recommend changing up your order next time to try it out.
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For fruit-tea lovers, there's simply nothing like lychee. Typically done without milk, this one is more on the refreshing side, making it the perfect choice for all your summer sipping. It's a subtle fruit to begin with, so don't expect a huge punch of flavor like you might get with a sweeter option like strawberry, but we promise it's worth it. Plus, it's usually paired with a fruit jelly at the bottom that is so much lighter than the typical tapioca pearls, so you won't feel as full or heavy after sucking one down on a hot day.
A fruity option that still has the creaminess of traditional boba tea, honeydew milk tea is a great option for those who want a little "best of both worlds" action. It's green, subtle and refreshing, but the milk blended in with it all lends a certain extra oomph to the drink that makes it hard to skip on the menu. Add in your tapioca pearls and enjoy a beautiful but delicious drink that doesn't go too hard on the sugar, either.
5. Brown Sugar
This one is a favorite of many boba tea fans, but for us it's just missing the added punch that some other flavors on this list have for it to come out any higher. However, that's not to say that brown sugar boba tea isn't worth a try—it's richer and more decadent than other options, but it's also photo-worthy and delectable. We'd treat it more as a dessert than a drink, almost like a milkshake, but it's unique tiger-striped finished look will look great on your Instagram without a doubt.
If you're a fan of a classic matcha latte from Starbucks or any other chain, you'll love how the boba tea version just seems to take it up a notch. Don't let the matcha haters get to you—it doesn't taste like grass. Sure, it's a little more earthy and herbal than some other classic tea flavors, but it also has a unique creaminess and gentle flavor that can't be missed.
Remember how we said earlier that brown sugar boba tea was just missing a punch? Well you can find that punch with a coffee boba tea. It's creamy and complex, combining that slight bitterness of coffee with the extra touch of tea, milk and boba. Yes, it's a bit sweeter than your average coffee shop order (unless you only order white chocolate mochas), but it's a great middle point for coffee lovers that also want to indulge in a good old fashioned boba tea once in a while.
2. Taro Tea
This pretty purple drink is a favorite of even the boba tea enthusiasts of the world, which helped it earn a high ranking on this list of the best flavors. Not only is it Instagram-worthy, but it actually lives up to its aesthetic hype with its unique key ingredient: taro (a type of purple sweet potato). Yes, it is indeed made with a vegetable, but this one isn't as hard to convince someone afraid of drinking their veggies as the red bean variety might be. It's slightly nutty, naturally sweet and packed with a unique flavor that can't be found elsewhere.
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1. Thai Tea
And finally, our pick for the best boba tea flavor is the classic Thai milk tea. This orange drink comes made with black tea, spices like star anise and cardamom and sweetened condensed milk. It's sweet, but you can usually ask for it with less extra sugar to bring it down a bit. The reason we rank this one on top of all the rest, though, is that it just brings such a delightful flavor combination to the table that it's something that only boba tea could do so well. Add in the chewy tapioca balls and you're set for an ultra-sweet afternoon.
Ready to order yet? If not, our definitive ranking of the best boba tea flavors will always be here for you when you do end up needing it.
If you happen to be a true boba connoisseur though, it may be time you try making it at home. Thankfully, we found something that can make it easier than ever, just click HERE to read about it.