How to Customize Your Bubble Tea

Bubble tea is like the “Choose your own adventure” of the beverage world. You know it’ll be exciting; you know it’ll be satisfying; you just don’t know exactly how it’s going to turn out. It’s up to you to steer the proverbial ship toward a conclusion.

And like all the best choose-your-own-adventures, bubble tea rewards you for being you. The more personalized you make it – by selecting your favourite ingredients, tweaking your ideal ratios and pouring your heart into every last decision – the more incredible it will be.

In this article, we’ve compiled a rough guide to customizing your perfect bubble tea, from bases and toppings to tweaks and adjustments. Remember, it’s up to you to make the final calls. We’re merely supplying you with the know-how to make your best choices.

The Basics: Bubble Tea Bases and Toppings

When bubble tea was first invented roughly 35 years ago in Taiwan, it was synonymous with milk tea. Now, innovative bubble tea brands like Chatime have widened the scope, making the drink more inclusive, forward-thinking and endlessly customizable. As such, you’ll find several bases to choose from at a bubble tea store, including but not limited to:

  • Milk tea: As mentioned, this is the classic, a comforting combo of earthy black tea, rich dairy and just the right amount of sweetness.
  • Green tea: A serious contender for bubble tea supremacy, green tea is a popular alternative to milk tea. You’ll often find various green teas available, like floral jasmine or nutty matcha.
  • Fruit tea: The ultra-refreshing cousin of traditional bubble tea, fruit tea boba consists of (you guessed it) a fruit-forward base like lychee, mango, passionfruit or peach.

Next, it’s time to choose one of several exciting flavours, like:

  • Zippy passion fruit
  • Earthy matcha
  • Refreshing peach
  • Comforting strawberry
  • And nutty taro

Next, it’s time to “load the bases” with several toppings to choose from. These include (but certainly aren’t limited to):

  • Tapioca: Along with milk tea, tapioca pearls comprise the classic bubble tea, the quintessential boba. They’re slightly chewy and springy, and sliding them up that wide straw is like a treasure hunt!
  • Grass jelly: Slippery and satisfying, these jellies are made with a Chinese herb akin to mint. They’re a refreshing accompaniment to a fruit or green tea, but you might also enjoy them in a milk tea.
  • Brown sugar pearls: All the caramelly goodness of brown sugar in a taut, chewy sphere. What’s not to like? These are often served simply alongside a milk product, but you can try them with other bases.

If you want a complete peek at the wide world of bubble tea bases, feel free to peruse the menu at (the brand offers literally hundreds of combinations).

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Perfect Bubble Tea

Having trouble picturing your ideal bubble tea? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how your perfect boba comes together!

  • Step 1: Choose your base drink (milk tea, green tea, fruit tea)
  • Step 2: Choose your flavour (roasted milk tea, jasmine green tea, lychee fruit tea)
  • Step 3: Choose your topping (boba/pearls, jelly, pudding, sea salt crema)
  • Step 4: Customize further (milk, sugar, ice levels)

Tweaking Your Masterpiece

At this point, you can set aside the decision-making process and dig into your masterpiece. Or you can take it a step further. Since the best bubble tea is made to order, take this opportunity to tweak the sweetness (“half-sweet,” for instance), swap the milk product (oat milk instead of dairy, e.g.) or even skip the caffeine (making it kid-friendly). Here are a few examples of customized bubble tea orders:

  • Large Thai milk tea with oat milk, tapioca, less ice and 50% sugar
  • Regular grass jelly roasted milk tea, no ice, 30% sugar
  • Large QQ grapefruit juice, less ice, 50% honey substitution

If you’ve followed your heart and palate in the steps above, you should be staring down at your perfect beverage – a bubble tea as unique as you.



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