Is Bubble Tea Vegetarian And Vegan?

Is Bubble Tea Vegetarian And Vegan?
Is Bubble Tea Vegetarian And Vegan?

Is bubble tea vegetarian or vegan? The simple and precise response to that question: yes. Boba pearls are thought to be vegan since they are made from tapioca starch or flour. However, because of their inclusion in a variety of milk-based teas the quality of the bubble tea might be interpreted as non-vegan.

Boba tea is the perfect drink for any occasion – whether I’m looking for a quick pick-me-up or a leisurely drink to enjoy with friends. I always feel happy and satisfied after drinking boba tea especially when bubble tea can be made vegan and vegetarian friendly!

Also referred to as boba tea, it is the combination of any tea base and tapioca or Boba pearls.

Boba tea comes in various varieties. The pearls from tapioca are also made in a variety of ways but if we’re discussing specific dietary guidelines, then bubble tea can be vegan and non-vegan.

Find out more about the benefits of bubble tea as well as the reasons why boba is regarded as vegan and vegetarian, and then you can use the pearls to make vegan beverages!

What is Bubble Tea?

Bubble tea has been in use for a long time in the world of tea. Its origins date back to the past and today it is a standard across the globe with many varieties of it available at almost every coffee shop.

The question is, then, is bubble tea vegan or vegetarian? The answer is yes, it is both!

It is any drink that has boba pearls, but the pearls may be added to other drinks. The boba pearls by themselves are vegan as they’re made of tapioca starch and water.

Although there are many kinds like “popping boba” or “exploding/bursting boba” created using gelatin, it is possible to locate vegan-friendly varieties that make use of plant-based ingredients like Agar powder.

The issue begins as we segregate the boba tea from the tea boba.

Although Boba pearls are vegan the milk-based drinks that they’re usually used in aren’t!

Bubble tea comes in various varieties, such as milk tea, caramel milk tea, vanilla bubble tea, and more! All of these drinks contain the inclusion of boba pearls, but with a major limitation: All of them contain milk.

Are there alternatives to bubble tea that are vegan? Yes!

Vegan and Vegetarian Bubble Tea

Vegetarian Bubble tea is simple to locate and many coffee shops are training baristas to assist customers looking for alternatives to dairy.

Pure pearls of tapioca are thought to be vegan and vegetarian therefore you can simply purchase a non-dairy beverage and then add the pearls for a taste.

But, when you are looking for a vegan bubbly teas, you may need to think about certain aspects.

Although vegan bubble teas are growing in popularity throughout the years but you’ll need to confirm that the drink is truly vegan due the presence of so many flavors and ingredients.

The abandonment of dairy products when making of bubble tea has enabled coffeehouses to play with various ingredients combination, flavors, and combinations.

In many instances these changes are in line with vegetarianism however they may not be considered by the vegan community that tends to have stricter guidelines.

For example, the simple sparkling fruity tea with pop boba, made from vegan-friendly ingredients can be found nearly everywhere. However, some coffeehouses choose honey or maple syrup that is not vegan for the base of tea or the Boba pearls.

With a bit of understanding and curiosity there are similar fruity drinks with similar tastes that contain both tapioca Boba and pure-vegan tea!

Be aware that the majority of vegan bubble teas are typically vegan if you eliminate sweeteners like honey and other obvious dairy byproducts such as whipping cream.

Boba tea is a drink that can be tailored to meet your specific dietary requirements by speaking to the barista or making use of substitutes such as almond or oatmeal milk!

How to Determine If Your Bubble Tea is Vegan

The most effective way to determine the beverage you prefer will be vegan or not is to inquire with the barista. Many professional coffeehouses identify their drinks so that patrons can take pleasure in bubble tea without doubt.

However, some sellers may not properly identify the ingredients they use in their teas.

For instance for burst boba, certain brands might make use of non-vegan components instead of seaweed or other plant-based ingredients to create gelatinous Boba spheres.

Other people may also use sweeteners such as vegan maple syrup to enhance the flavor of the Boba pearls.

Make sure you check the label as well as the ingredients list before choosing a bubble tea. It is also possible to have the barista create an alternative that is vegan to their most popular drink, which is commonplace at many well-known coffeehouses.

Of course, the best method to make sure your Boba tea is vegan is to make your own vegan bubble tea at your home. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is!

Recipes for Vegan Bubble Tea Using Vegan Boba Pearls

Here are some fantastic recipes for bubble tea and Boba pearls!

Traditional Vegan Tea


  • Store-bought vegan boba/tapioca beads
  • Three cups of room temperature water
  • 2 tablespoons of a sweetener of your preference
  • 2 tea bags the size of a cup from black tea
  • Two cups of vegan milk of your choice (almond or Oat milk is great)


  1. In a small pan make sure to boil 3 cups water. Then add the tapioca balls into the pan. Continue cooking the pearls for about 8 minutes on low temperature. Follow the directions on the bottom of the package for better tasting pearls from boba.
  2. Mix the pearls frequently and cook them until they appear transparent and dark. Take a sample to test its consistency. It will be chewy and satisfying, but totally soft.
  3. In the large coffee mug make 2 tea bags and steep in 1-1.5 cup of boiling water. The tea bags should be left in for five minutes or more if prefer a more pronounced flavor. After that, take out the tea bags, and then store your mug inside the refrigerator until it cools.
  4. Take the pearls out of the tapioca and then transfer them to the bowl, which is filled with water that is cold. The pearls should be submerged otherwise they will dry out.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons. of sweetener into the bowl and allow them to rest for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. The fun begins! Create the bubble tea by pouring the pearls of tapioca and syrup mix into the inside of the bottom with frozen cubes of ice. Serve it with your preferred vegan milk, and sip!
  7. It is also possible to add sweetener like cinnamon, vanilla, or a pinch of cinnamon as a garnish to enhance the appearance and taste of your tea! Be sure to make sure to use a big straw to drink and enjoy the pearls of boba!

Dairy Free Fruity Bubble Tea

Here’s a great homemade vegan bubble tea recipe with fruity notes!


  • 1 cup of vegan tapioca pearls of your preference
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup black tea that has been brewed
  • 1 cup brewed matcha tea
  • 1 cup mango juice
  • 1 cup strawberries mixed with the vegan milk of your choice


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan prepare five cups of water a boil and then add the pearls of tapioca. Be sure the water is boiling and bubbling before adding the pearls as they may be lost in appearance.
  2. Make the pearls cook for around 5 minutes, or according to the instructions in the bottom of the packaging.
  3. Make sure you take out 1.5-2 tablespoons of tapioca liquid, then strain the pearls in order to eliminate all the water that is left. While you’re at it transfer the pearls to small bowls filled with sweetener, water and then add the liquid from tapioca to the bowl too.
  4. Then, you can assemble your tea, mixing matcha, black tea, mango juice and strawberry mixture , using the milk you prefer to be vegan! Sprinkle with a pinch of sweetener or fruit , and then enjoy with a big straw!

Other Questions Asked

After we’ve discussed the bubble tea, and whether it’s vegan and vegetarian, let’s take another look at some related questions about the topic!

Does it make sense to sweeten the pearls of tapioca?

No. You can add tapioca unsweetened pearls to any of the bubble teas. Typically, however the addition of a little herbal liquid sweetener can make the pearls and it’s base beverage a balanced in addition to a “fuller” flavor.

This can also make a significant change in the overall taste of the drink when you drink the boba pearls that are at in the middle of your glass.

What do tapioca pearls taste like?

Boba pearls lack flavor , but their texture does offer subtle flavors. It is best described as slightly sticky, nutty with a hint of earthiness.

Boba pearls with a sweetener are likely to have the same flavor, but with a touch of sweetness.

Are the two types of tea the same thing?

Yes, this is the most popular name for boba tea that is also referred to as tapioca tea, or Boba milk tea.

Each of these terms describes the same thing, but you could also encounter words such as “popping boba” or “bursting boba” which are slightly different from tapioca pearls.

Bursting boba is made of gelatin instead of dough, and has liquid juice unlike tapioca pearls.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.