Ever wondered what can be used in bubble tea instead of tapioca? Let me tell you tapioca pearls substitutes that will not only enhance the drink but, act as a yummy fill-in so you won’t miss the pearls. Still not sure? Let’s learn about my list of 27 yummy proxies that can be used instead of the pearl milk tea.
I am a passionate Tea-blogger who also runs a tea cafe in Kolkata city. We, tea enthusiasts, are always looking for ways to enhance the drink. But, one comment “Wish the bubble tea pearls could be replaced too?” made me put on my thinking cap. So, here I am with my list of 27 yummy fill-ins that can be used instead of tapioca.
What Can Be Used In Bubble Tea Instead Of Tapioca- 27 Amazing Options To Choose From
Has the thought of replacing the pearls in tapioca tea ever crossed your mind or maybe you aren’t aware that the pearls can be replaced too? I have the answer right here for you. Let us read my list of 19 yummy fill-ins that will wow! you each time. Let’s learn about them.
1. Blueberries Act As A Tasty Yet Perfect Substitute For The Milk Tea Pearls
Did you know that blueberries, when added to bubble tea, make for a yummy substitute and at the same time the combination of sweet and sour will pack in a flavor punch that is guaranteed to make your taste buds wanting more? They are pretty simple to prepare too.
For this, you simply need a handful of blueberries, any sweetener of your choice & a large yet thick straw that will help you in sucking the blueberries.
Just take a handful of the berries and add them to your drink. If the taste is too tart add any liquid sweetener as that will give you a uniform taste. Stir well and enjoy yummy boba with blueberries as a tasty alternative to the pearls.
2. Try Popping Boba Instead Of Tapioca Pearls In Your Bubble Tea
Popping boba is made using seaweed and fruit extracts. Since it doesn’t have any gelatin it makes it ideal for vegans.
Since popping boba is naturally sweet hence there is no need to add additional sugar. However, if you desire more sweetness then honey, nectar, sugar-free, and maple syrup are some sweeteners that I highly recommend.
Just pour 1-2 teaspoons of the chosen sweetener and stir well.
3. Try Pearls Made From Balsamic Vinegar For A Flavor Explosion In Your Boba Tea
Balsamic vinegar is a dark flavored vinegar that is made from grapes. Having grapes as the prime ingredient, it is blessed with an abundance of sweetness, and I can only fathom the magic it will create when used as a pearl milk tea substitute.
The process is quite simple. In a saucepan combine the balsamic vinegar with agar-agar and bring to a boil.
Drizzle cold olive oil as this will help convert the droplets into spheres even before they reach the bottom of the glass. Rinse off excess balsamic vinegar and add it to your drink.
4. Ever Thought Of Using Sweet Potatoes In Place Of Tapioca Pearls?
Did you ever think that a tuberous vegetable like sweet potato can be used instead of boba pearls? Well, let me tell you that not only do they taste yum but, also pack in goodness with each sip. I reckon the best way around would be to make them into a size that is ideal to be sucked by a straw just like one would do while drinking bubble tea.
Bring water to a boil and boil the potatoes for 15 minutes. Take off heat and allow time for the potatoes to cool and mash well once they are cool making sure there are no lumps or big pieces. Now, take some tapioca flour, water and combine them with the potatoes. Knead till a smooth dough is formed and roll the dough to make it resemble a log that has been cut into small round pieces.
Place a saucepan over medium heat, bring water to a boil and add the pearls. Take off heat and let them come to room temperature. Shake off the excess flour and add to boba tea. Enjoy cold.
5. Mouthwatering Strawberries Can Be Used In Bubble Tea As A Yummier Option For The Pearls
Strawberry as a fruit needs no introduction. Let me tell you that the goodness of the fruit can now be used to make boba pearls.
The method is quite simple and hassle-free. Cut the fruits into small pieces & blend in a mixer with water. Add enough tapioca flour to the liquid so that you can easily knead it into a dough. Now, cut them into small round pieces, and in a saucepan that has been placed over medium heat bring water to a boil gently add the strawberry pearls.
Take off heat when they are soft. Let the balls cool down(room temperature) and add them to your drink.
6. Yummy Mangoes To Work Their Magic Each Time You Use Them Instead Of Tapioca Pearls
Mangoes are delectable fruits and the name is enough to make one’s mouth water. However, the option to use them instead of the pearls is a thought that will not occur to many. Let me tell you that now is the time to consider this a yummy and refreshing way to enjoy summers.
The method is just as simple as the fruit itself. Unpeel the mangoes and cut them into small pieces. Blend in a mixer with water. Combine the liquid into a dough and divide the dough into equal halves. Now, taking one half cut them into small even pieces. Roll gently till they are round in shape. Add to boiling water over a medium flame and cook till soft.
Allow them to reach room temperature and add to bubble tea. The drink is best enjoyed cold.
7. Taro To Add A Flavor Sensation To Bubble Tea That Will Want You Longing For More
Taro is another root vegetable and which when rolled to resemble tapioca milk bubbles will not increase the appeal but you will not miss out on the pearls. Let us learn how we can incorporate taro as a proxy for the pearls.
Cut the potatoes into small cubes and steam over high flame for 20-30 minutes approximately or until soft. Add some sugar when the taro is still hot. Now, knead till a soft dough and divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Cut small dices. Take some flour and sprinkle on top. Roll them into round balls. Then drop them into boiling water again so that they are cooked.
Take out from hot water once they are soft and dip them in brown sugar or any sweetener of your choice. Let them soak in the sugar and add to the drink.
8. Feel An Instant Connection With Mother Earth When You Opt-In For Butterfly Pea Boba
The butterfly pea flower is a purple color flower that is used to make a type of herbal tea. The name has been taken after the source ” Butterfly Pea Tea”.The taste is described as woody and earthy with a sweet aroma.
Did you know that you can infuse it with bubble tea as a yummy alternative to bubble tea pearls? You simply need just 3 ingredients, tapioca flour, sugar, and fresh butterfly pea plant. Wash the leaves and in a jar combine with boiling water. Let it sit inside the closed jar till the water is blue in color.
Now, boil the water with the sugar and pour some tapioca flour. Knead into a dough. Make small round balls and boil for 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water to avoid the pearls from sticking together and now, mix the pearls with sugar or a sweetener of your choice. Let the pearls absorb the sugar. The bubble tea is now ready.
9. Lychee Can Be Easily Shaped Into Bubble Tea Pearls For An Irresistible Flavor
Lychee is a fruit that can be enjoyed as a juice, or eaten raw. Maybe you might want to use it as jam/marmalade instead. However, did you know that the fruit or the pulp can be used as a yummy fill-in for the pearls? Let’s read about it.
Let’s begin by peeling the fruit and taking its seeds out. Cut it into small pieces and blend in a mixer with water. Add tapioca flour. once the mixture is cool enough and knead into a smooth dough. Now, cut into small round dices and heat on a medium flame till the balls are cooked. Dust off excess flour.
You can add a sweetener if you wish. Add to the glass before mixing with the drink. Stir well before drinking.
10. Dragon Fruit Should Be On The Proxy List Of Substituting Bubble Tea Pearls
Dragon fruit resembles kiwi and pear in terms of flavor and taste. Let us see how we can use this fruit to make boba pearls.
Remove the skin and chop into small pieces or for fast results blend in a mixer. Then in a pot combine the chopped fruit, hot water, tapioca flour, and a sweetener(of your choice). Place on low to medium heat and keep stirring so as to avoid burning. Cook till they form a sticky dough and turn off the heat. Cut into even slices and add them to boiling water.
Cook for 10 minutes till they are soft & then take off the heat and let them come to room temperature before adding them to your drink. Add in a sweetener if you wish end enjoy. The drink tastes best when enjoyed cold.
11. Use Grass Jelly In Place Of Boba Pearls To Uplift The Taste
Grass jelly is a jelly-like dessert that has a minty taste and is now being used widely in bubble tea instead of tapioca pearls. Let us see how we too can incorporate it instead of the pearls and be at par with the world. Let me also tell you that your favorite grass jelly is vegan friendly too.
Take the canned jar of grass jelly and empty the jar carefully on a chopping board, ensuring that the jelly doesn’t fall. Combine water and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a low flame so that a thick syrup starts to form.
Now add the brown sugar and mix well. Pour the jelly in a glass along with some brown sugar and ice cubes(optional). Your drink is ready.
12. Kiwi Will Add A Level Of Tartness & Sweetness In Tapioca Balls
Kiwi is known to be a sweet and sour fruit and is best enjoyed raw. However, the growing demand for bubble tea and the need to experiment has given rise to the fruit being incorporated in the drink as a substitute for the pearls. Let us see how we can use this to our advantage.
Firstly, we need to get rid of the skin and then cut them into small pieces fit enough to be blended in a blender. Now, combine tapioca flour, and water in a saucepan. Place on low to medium heat and keep stirring.
Cook till a sticky dough is formed and turn off the heat. Add the remaining tapioca flour and roll into elongated strips. Cut even slices and add the uncooked tapioca to boiling water. Once the balls are cooked evenly throughout allow them to cool down before adding to cold pearl milk tea. I hope you enjoy this yummy drink minus the pearls.
13. Coffee Jelly Will Ensure You Get A Taste Of Coffee When Used As Bubble Tea Pearls Substitute
Coffee jelly is a dessert that is flavored with sugar and coffee. Use the jelly instead of bubble tea pearls that will leave you craving for more. Let us see how we can use it in boba tea.
Jellies are slimy and can fall easily. Hence, we need to gently place them on a chopping board. Next, we combine water, brown sugar,& bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low flame so that a thick syrup starts to form. Take off heat and allow to cool.
Now add the brown sugar (optional) and mix well. Pour the jelly in a glass along with some more brown sugar. Your drink is ready.
14. Decadent Chocolate Instead Of Tapioca Pearls Is Surely Un Putdownable Substitute
Chocolates makes the world go round and taste great with any food and beverage. So, why not have the best of both worlds ie, combine chocolate and bubble tea together by using it as a substitute for the pearls?
The best way to incorporate chocolate is that you make them from scratch. Mix tapioca starch with liquid chocolate and make the pearls using this dough. Add ice if you want.
Trust me, you will absolutely love the flavor combination. Let me warn you that you will want to gulp down glass after glass for this as many would agree is by far the yummiest tapioca balls proxy and is also easy to make.
15. Rainbow Pearls Will Add Myriad Colors And Flavors In Bubble Tea
Rainbow pearls are simply gummy bears used instead of boba pearls to make your taste buds explode with a variety of flavors and elevate the drink.
Let me tell you a simple process here and which I follow when making rainbow boba.
I simply buy a pack of gummy bears(known as jellies too). Then I empty the contents into a bowl. I prefer separating them according to shape and flavors. Then mix them together and cut them into small thin slices. Mix well with the milk and you have yourself a great tasting boba tea.
16. Raspberry For A Fruity Element In Your Boba Instead Of The Pearls
Raspberries can be sweet and sour depending on the plucking time and when mixed in bubble tea instead of the pearls will not only make the drink tastier but, your taste buds will want more each time.
The method is quite simple too. Just cut the fruit into small pieces and blend well. Now, add tapioca starch and bring to a boil. Once a sticky yet thick paste is formed take off the heat and let cool. Then knead into a smooth dough and cut into small dices.
Roll into small spheres and boil on a medium flame till they are soft. Take off heat and once the balls have reached room temperature mix it with the bubble tea. Your bubble tea with raspberry boba is ready to be consumed.
17. Ever Thought Of Using Matcha Powder Balls In Boba Instead Of Tapioca Pearls?
Matcha powder is known for its slight bitter yet sweet after-taste. The powder has taken the world by storm and is being used across industries(food and beverage, beauty) to name a few. So, we should be bubble tea fanatics fall behind? Let us see how we can incorporate matcha into bubble tea by shaping them into small balls fit enough to fill in as tapioca pearls substitute.
Take matcha powder and tapioca flour. Knead into a smooth dough and then dividing the dough into four equal portions roll them into an elongated(log-like)shape. Cut into small dices and roll into perfect small round balls.
Now, add to boiling water till they become soft and are evenly cooked. Take off heat and allow to cool. Add a sweetener of your choice and then, allow them to slide to the bottom of the glass. Pour in the bubble tea and experience a flavor punch.
18. Cute Little Jelly Beans When Used As Tapioca Substitute Will Make Your Taste Buds Scream Wow!
Jelly beans are assorted sugary confectionaries that come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and flavors. They are easily available and go a long way in enhancing the flavor of the food they are added to. Now let us see how we can use them instead of milk tea pearls.
Take a handful of jelly beans and cut them into small pieces. Now, carefully spoon in the cut pieces and give them a good stir so that they settle well at the bottom. Next, pour in cold milk and stir the contents well. Since jelly beans are high in sugar you can easily skip adding a sweet element.
So, wasn’t that simple. I am sure that this will act as an incentive and you will want to use it instead of the pearls as a yummy substitute. I reckon mixing various flavors together so that your taste buds explode with a flavor sensation.
19. If A Herbal Flavor With A Hint Of Mint Is Your Calling Opt-In For Glass Jelly As A Substitute For The Pearls
Glass jelly is a preferred addition to drinks and foods nowadays as it doesn’t interfere with the natural taste of the food or drink it is incorporated with. On the contrary, it offers a herbal taste with a hint of lemon, and when paired with honey or any natural sweetener only raises the taste quotient. Let us see how we can use it as a tasty substitute for the pearls in tapioca milk tea.
Take 4-5 tablespoons of glass jelly and crush it into small pieces in a grinder. Now, pour generously in a glass giving it a shake. Combine brown sugar and milk and shake well so that you get an even taste in the milk. Now, pour the content into the glass to which you’ve added the glass jelly and mix well.
The drink with glass jelly as a yummy tapioca substitute is now ready to make your taste buds explode with a flavor sensation.
20. Ever Thought That Refreshing Cucumber Can Be Used As A Yummy Fill In For Bubble Tea Pearls?
Cucumbers are known for their high water content and this attribute can be used in bubble tea to replace the chewy pearls. Let us see how we can do it below.
Firstly peel the cucumber and then cut off the edges. Rub well till the fruit is free of the white liquid. Then cut it into small pieces so you can blend it in a mixer. Then, pass the liquid through a sieve. Add some tapioca flour to the liquid & knead well. Then make small balls and cook them in hot water till the balls are soft enough.
Take off the heat and allow the pearls some time to cool down before adding them to the drink. If you wish to sweeten your drink add sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. By the way, I have also written a blog on 31 delectable ways to sweeten the pearls. Do give it a read and feel free to reach out to me in case you have any questions.
21. Try Coconut Meat For A Nutty Flavor In Boba Tea
Coconut as a fruit is known for its tender meat(the white part) which has a nutty taste to it. This nutty texture helps in balancing the sweetness in food and this is one reason why we should inculcate the fruit in bubble tea and use it instead of the pearls. Let us see how we can do it.
Crack the fruit open and cut the tender white flesh into small pieces. Now, add a sweetener(you can add any sweetening agent of your choice) the cut pieces, and coconut milk in a blender and grind till a smooth paste. Let the mixture cool down. Then take a handful of the cool paste and roll it into small balls. Now, boil the pearls till they are soft and add to your boba drink after the pearls have cooled down.
Since coconut is known for its overpowering taste using it in moderation is of the essence and to help break the nutty and oily flavor, a sweetening agent is a good idea. I reckon using syrups like maple, honey, nectar for the purpose.
22. Substitute The Pearls With Yummy Grapes For A Lip Smacking Flavor
Grapes can be sweet and acidic in taste. Who doesn’t love to pop them in the mouth and feel the juices flowing? But, have you ever thought of substituting the pearls with succulent grapes? Let us see how.
For this, you just need a handful of grapes, water, and a sweetener of your choice. Now, just take a handful of grapes and add to the glass to which bubble tea(without the pearls). Stir well and add a sweetener if the taste is too tart or you desire your drink to be sweeter.
I reckon using liquid sweeteners as they blend well and you get a uniform taste in your drink that enhances the flavor.
23. Consider Avocado As A Power-Packed Substitute For The Pearls
Avocados are green seeded fruit that has become popular for being a versatile fruit and also, for its many benefits. Let me ask you if you have considered replacing the pearls of bubble tea with avocado? Let us see how below.
Take out the seed and then make it into a paste. Now, add some tapioca flour and knead it into a dough. Then, cut into small pieces and roll into small balls. Now, boil them till they are soft, and after they have cooled down add them to the drink and stir well.
You can add a sweetener of your choice if you feel it lacks a sweet flavor.
24. Raspberry Will Ensure You A Mixed Taste Of Sweet & Sour When Used To Substitute The Pearls
Raspberries are a popular fruit that is a combination of sweet and sour. One can only imagine the flavor derived when added to food and beverages. Don’t you think it is a good idea to ditch bubble tea pearls & replace them with yummy raspberries? Let us see how.
Just take a handful of the fruit and add it to the glass to which the bubble tea has already been added. Add a sweetener if you desire and stir well.
Oh! By the way, don’t forget to add a straw thick enough to help you suck up the fruit.
25. Juicy Apples Will Act As Yummy Alternative To The Pearls
Apples are yummy juicy fruits that need no introduction. I mean just the mention makes you want to grab one & sink your teeth into it. However, can the fruit be used in bubble tea and that too as a replacement to the pearls is a question that might make you think? Well, let me tell you that yes, the fruit can be used in bubble tea and is a very innovative idea at that.
Just peel the fruit and then cut it into small pieces. Next, combine with bubble tea and mix well. Apples are known to be sweet fruits(though not very high on sugar) and you can skip the sugar.
Your juicy bubble tea with apple pieces to wow! you with each sip is now ready.
26. Try Replacing The Pearls With Blackcurrants For A Mild Sweet & Tart Taste In Boba
Blackcurrants are juicy fruits that are known for their tart flavor with a hint of sweetness. Like blackberries or grapes, they too can be popped in the mouth and enjoyed. Let us see how we can use them to replace the milk tea pearls.
You just need a glass of prepared tea, a straw big enough to suck the fruit, and a sweetener(if the acidic flavor is too much to handle). Now, once you have washed the fruit just take a handful and gently pop in the prepared boba. Stir in well and if you have added any sweetener make sure it has blended well with the drink.
27. Chia Seeds Will Add A Mild Nutty Flavor To Boba When Used As A Substitute For The Pearls
Chia seeds have a mild nutty flavor and this attribute helps to strike a perfect balance between sweet and sour. Having said this, have you ever thought that the pearls can be replaced by chia seeds? If not, read my blog and see how you can use them to your advantage.
Just take 1-2 teaspoons of the seeds and add to the bubble tea mix prepared beforehand. You may want to add a sweetener. Stir the drink well. Add ice and a large straw.
Wasn’t that easy?
This concludes my blog. I have just written about a few ways by which the pearls can be replaced. You are free to try your versions and if you think you have any questions for me feel free to ask them in the comments section below. I will be happy to answer them. I also hope that you will try some of the ways mentioned. Please do share your experience with me.
Hi. I’m Sneha. Each day, I brew, relish, study and sell tea in my Cafe based out of Kolkata, India. My current blog, ‘Sipper Sneha’ is an expansion of my real life love for tea into an online space for all dedicated Tea enthusiasts.