Crystal Boba: The Unique and Refreshing Topping for Bubble Tea

crystal boba

One of the most popular toppings for bubble tea is tapioca pearls, but have you heard of crystal boba? It’s jelly-like topping, which is both transparent and squishy, is all the rage at hip bubble tea bars throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. What is crystal boba? How is it made? How does it vary from conventional boba? In this post, we’ll address each and every one of your concerns.

What is Crystal Boba?

Crystal boba, or white pearls, is a popular topping for bubble tea that is made from the konjac plant, a tropical flower native to Southeast Asia. It is a unique way to enhance the texture and taste of the beverage. Unlike traditional tapioca pearls that are black and chewy in texture, IT is white and has a soft jelly-like consistency. The result is a unique texture and flavor that makes it a popular alternative to regular boba.

What is the difference between Crystal Boba and Regular Boba?

The primary difference between crystal boba and regular boba is the starch used to make them. Tapioca pearls are made with tapioca starch, while crystal boba is made with konjac starch. Tapioca pearls have a neutral taste and are chewy and spongy in texture. The ones used in bubble tea drinks are usually smaller and slightly softer compared to traditional tapioca pearls.

Crystal boba, on the other hand, is very soft and jelly-like. They also have a subtle citrus flavor thanks to the konjac plant used to make them. Additionally, white pearls retain their flavor upon storage or when added to a drink, while tapioca pearls firm up and begin to impart their flavor to the surrounding ingredients.

Regular boba is typically black in color, owing to the addition of caramel during its preparation. On the other hand, crystal boba, which is made from the konjac plant, is milky white and translucent in appearance, and its unique color is not common in tea shops in Western countries. When it is added to a drink, it tends to capture its focus, making it a popular choice for tea and a few other sparse desserts.

Can You Buy Crystal Boba?

Although white pearls or crystal boba can be found for purchase online, it is important to note that they are often packed in flavored syrup by manufacturers, which may limit the ability to customize them. To enjoy crystal boba in its purest form and ensure it is free of allergens, artificial flavors, and preservatives, making it at home is a recommended option. Moreover, making this drink at home is relatively easier, more cost-effective, and provides the added benefit of convenient storage.

Ingredients for Crystal Boba

Many crystal boba recipes are formulated with multiple additives and straightforward ingredients that are designed for use in industrial manufacturing settings. However, for the home cook, our recipe uses materials that can be ordered online or bought at various grocery stores. The ingredients for making it include:

  • Agar powder
  • Water
  • Coconut water
  • Sugar
  • Food coloring (optional)

How To Make Crystal Boba?

Maybe you’re wondering how to produce crystal boba at home now that you know what it is and how it varies from conventional boba tea. To prepare some crystal boba, do as follows:

  • Bring 1 liter of water to a boil in a pan and let it bubble for 10 minutes.
  • Mix in a half cup of sugar and whisk to dissolve.
  • Stir in some agar powder or another gelling ingredient and keep going until everything is combined. We’ll call this a “boba blend” from now on.
  • After 5 minutes of cooking, reduce heat to low and allow the boba mixture to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Put some ice cubes in a separate basin with some room-temperature water and stir. The ice bath would benefit from the addition of 2 teaspoons of neutral oil.
  • Fill an empty condiment bottle or dropper with the hot boba mix.
  • Drip the hot boba mix randomly over the cold water bath. The mixture will clump up and float at the surface of the water before sinking once it’s cooled, forming pearls.
  • Repeat step 7 until you’ve produced enough boba pearls.
  • Rinse the boba pearls under tap water to ensure they’re free of any oil or residue. You can store the pearls indefinitely by freezing them, or use them right away.
  • It’s worth noting that making it requires a bit more effort than traditional tapioca pearls. However, the process can be a fun and rewarding experience for those who enjoy making their own boba tea at home.

Can crystal boba be considered a healthier option compared to traditional tapioca pearls?

Let’s be honest, anything that is mass-produced with added preservatives cannot be classified as a “healthy” option. However, when comparing white crystal boba pearls to regular tapioca pearls, crystal boba is considered to be a better option.

From a weight loss perspective, crystal boba pearls contain only 70 calories per 100g serving. There is no fat content and most of the calories come from carbs. While ordinary tapioca pearls have zero fat, they are quite high in calories and carbs (358 and 83 grams per serving).

It’s easy to see, lighter and healthier choice when compared to the other options.

In addition, those with severe digestive difficulties may have trouble digesting the tapioca starch needed to make traditional boba pearls. In contrast, the brown sugar, water, and konjac flour used to create this facilitate digestion.

So, is crystal boba healthier? The answer is yes, it is a healthier option when compared to regular tapioca pearls. Please understand that we are not attempting to badmouth tapioca pearls or any other item. Milk tea with tapioca pearls is a completely acceptable treat once in a while.

Drinking to your heart’s content is fine so long as you set limits for yourself. Why not have a glass of milk tea with crystal boba right now? You won’t be sorry if you try this healthier and more flavorful alternative.


In conclusion, crystal boba is a unique and exciting alternative to traditional tapioca boba. It is made from agar, a natural gelatinous substance derived from algae, and has a firmer texture and milder taste. While it may not be considered “healthy” due to its production process, it is still a great option for those looking to switch up their boba experience or reduce their calorie intake. Making it at home is also a fun and easy DIY project that anyone can try. Whether you prefer it in your milk tea or as a topping for your dessert, It is a must-try for boba lovers and foodies alike.


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