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Crystal Boba Guide: How These White Pearls Are Different Than Regular Boba

Crystal Boba

When it comes to bubble tea, you probably have heard about the crystal boba. However, you’re not quite sure what it is. 

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FanaleFanale Agar Crystal Tapioca Boba Jelly BallCheck Price on Amazon
GenericCrystal Boba, Agar agar boba, Aloe vera BobaCheck Price on Amazon
BossenBossen Original Crystal Boba, Agar agar bobaCheck Price on Amazon

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Is Crystal boba the same as regular boba? If not, then what’s the difference? What can be their similarities? What is crystal boba anyway?

These are some of the common questions you might have when it comes to crystal boba and by answering these questions, you’ll have a better idea of how to enjoy your bubble tea.

Crystal Boba Vs Regular Boba

So, if you want to know more about what crystal boba is and how it is different from the regular boba, you’ll surely be happy to continue reading this post.

Crystal Boba

Crystal Boba Pearls

What Are Crystal Boba Pearls?

Crystal boba is a type of boba pearls added to bubble tea. It is made of white agar powder, which is a gelling agent. Because of agar boba powder, the crystal boba looks white and has a gelatinous texture.

The white color of crystal boba allows you to you add whatever color you want to add. Thus, it’s like a clean canvas ready to be painted on by you, its master painter.

You can buy crystal boba in shops and markets. Nevertheless, it is also easy to prepare at home.

Regular Boba Pearls

What Are Regular Boba Pearls?

Regular boba pearls are usually the type of pearls used in boba tea. They are made of cassava roots. Tapioca starch is derived from cassava roots and is usually used to make boba pearls.

When commercially prepared, boba pearls are typically sweet and dark because of additional sweeteners. If you prepare boba pearls at home, you have more freedom on what end results you like.

How Are Crystal Boba Pearls Different From Regular Boba Pearls?

Since you have read a few things about crystal boba and regular boba pearls, you should already have an idea of their difference.

So, let’s take a deeper look at each one of them.

Ingredients for making crystal boba


The crystal boba pearl is made of agar powder. On the other hand, regular boba pearls are made of tapioca starch derived from cassava roots.


Because the main ingredient is different between the crystal boba and regular boba pearls, the preparation is also different.

For regular boba, the basic ingredients include tapioca starch, brown sugar, and other ingredients. These ingredients are mixed and kneaded into a dough.

The dough is cut and formed into small balls. This is then cooked to make the boba pearls.

On the other hand, there’s no need for kneading when it comes to crystal boba. The agar powder is mixed with water and white sugar (sometimes, a little amount of coconut water), boiled and turned into liquid, and made into pearls.

Once the liquid is totally homogenous, it is then cooled down. Coldwater is used to form the pearls. Oil is also added to prevent the pearl balls from sticking to each other.

Taste of crystal boba


The taste of crystal boba itself is not sweet. That’s the reason sugar or sweaters are added. Moreover, crystal boba comes with a subtle citrus flavor, a taste somewhat derived from the plant it is made from.

The regular boba pearls are sweet thanks to their sweeteners. Depending on how you prepare it, the traditional boba pearl can also have different flavors.

It’s interesting to note that crystal boba retains its flavor when added to your drinks or when you store them inside your fridge. This is not the case with regular boba, which releases its flavor when you mixed it up with your drinks.

Color Crystal Boba


Because white sugar is used to sweeten crystal boba, it turns white. This is different from the regular boba that looks dark brown to black because brown sugar is used. Some regular boba pearls also come with a deep, opaque black coloration.

Nevertheless, the crystal boba can take up any color you want to add to them. It depends on your preference. This is the reason crystal boba is sometimes preferred because it opens up a lot of possibilities.


The crystal boba feels like jelly. It is soft and easy to chew on. The regular boba pearls, on the other hand, come with a higher level of chewiness and sponginess.

How To Prepare Crystal Boba In Your Home

We have already discussed a little bit about how crystal boba is made. However, here’s a step-by-step instruction on how to make crystal boba even in the comfort of your home:

  1. Get a pan. Fill it with 1 liter of water.
  2. Boil the water for 10 minutes.
  3. Take ½ cup of white sugar and add it to the mix. Stir well so that the water completely dissolves the sugar.
Agar powder
4. Using Agar Powder To Make Crystal Boba

5. Add agar powder. In this case, any gelling ingredients can also be used.  Mix very well until the mix has a consistent texture. 

6. Once the mixture is completely homogenous, cook for about 5 minutes. Simmer for another five minutes. Afterward, turn the heat off.

7. Get a different large bowl. Take 2 liters of lukewarm water and fill the bowl with 1 liter of ice cubes. Add ⅓ cup of oil as well.

Empty ketchup bottle for making crystal boba.

8. Go back to your boba mix and put it inside a squeezing bottle. The bottle we are referring to is like the bottle of ketchup or mustard that you squeeze to let out the content.

Making crystal boba
  1. You can then squeeze the bottle into the cold mix of water. The cold temperature of the water will coagulate the boba mix, which in turn would become small balls.
  1. Once you see the balls have completely formed, rinse them with a colander. You can run water through the boba pearls to clean them thoroughly.
  2. You now have your own crystal boba pearls ready to be mixed with your favorite milk tea. You can store the pearls in the freezer if you intend to use them later.

If you want to further customize the result, there are optional steps you can take. For example, adding coloring agents would turn what is normally a white crystal boba to the color of your liking. You can even turn crystal boba into bursting boba pearls.

Additional gelling powder could make your boba more gelatinous and chewy. You can also change the size of the drop to the cold water to increase or decrease the size of your boba pearls.

Different Uses Of Crystal Boba

There are different applications of crystal boba. Since it is versatile and easy to use, you’ll find numerous suggestions on how to use it.

Some of the most common ways crystal boba is used are in black tea, green tea, mojitos, milk tea, cold coffees, and others. 

Here Are Some Of The Ways To Use Crystal Boba:

Raspberry Iced Tea

Raspberry iced tea with crystal boba

Raspberry iced tea is probably one of the exciting and delightful choices when it comes to a crystal boba recipe

To prepare raspberry iced tea, you simply need a cocktail shaker. Add in ice raspberry syrup. You can start with ½ cup of this syrup and 1 cup of brewed tea. You can adjust the amount depending on your preference.

Place the lid of the cocktail shaker. Shake for 10-15 seconds. In a serving glass, scoop your crystal boba and add it to a separate long glass. You can add as much as you want, but for a start, you can add crystal boba until you fill ¼ of the long glass. 

You can add ice up to 80 percent level of the long glass. Pour the raspberry ice tea. Add a boba straw. Serve and enjoy! 

Milk tea with crystal boba

Milk Tea

If you have tasted a nice milk tea drink before, you know how delicious and refreshing this is. So, it’s nice to know that you can also use crystal boba with milk tea.

  1. Get a cocktail shaker. Add in ice, sugar, brewed tea, and of course, milk. Place the lid and shake for 10-15 minutes. 

  2. Take a tall serving glass. You can then add the brown sugar crystal boba, ice, and milk tea. 

  3. Serve with a boba straw and enjoy!

How To Add Color To Crystal Boba Pearls

Since crystal boba pearls are white, they can take up any color. All you have to do is grab your crystal boba pearls, put them in a container, add water, and then the food color.

Preferably, your food coloring agent should be tasteless so that it won’t affect the flavor of your tea later on.

You can choose any color or you follow the usual color schemes. For example, if you’re preparing a mojito, the usual crystal boba color is green.

Can You Buy Crystal Boba?

While you have the option to make crystal boba in your home, you can definitely order it online for a quicker and more convenient way of getting your ingredient.

So, having said that, here are some crystal boba products you might want to check:

Fenale crystal boba

This is a delicious and edible replacement for tapioca pearls. It has a jelly-like texture. It is chewy with a little citrus flavor.

If you are interested in this product, click on Amazon

Generic Crystal boba

With a black sugar flavor, this crystal boba is ready in five minutes. Best for shaved ice, frozen yogurt, smoothies, bubble teas, and other drinks.

You can buy this now on Amazon

Bossen Crystal boba

Comes with a delicious, chewy, and crunchy flavor. The boba itself isn’t too sweet, but sweet enough to enjoy your tea.

Click Amazon to buy.

Should You Buy Or Make Crystal Boba?

When you want crystal boba, you have two options: buy them or make them.

Things to consider when buying crystal boba

Like what was mentioned above, you can buy crystal boba online and even in your local store.

There are a few advantages that you will enjoy when it comes to buying your boba pearls.

For one, there’s the convenience. You don’t need to go through all the trouble of gathering ingredients, mixing, boiling, and waiting.

Moreover, if you’re not sure about making boba pearls, you don’t have to stress yourself out and simply just buy them.

There are a few things to consider, though. Most manufacturers don’t pack crystal boba dry. They are packaged in flavored syrup. 

It’s good if you like the flavor already, but this takes away the freedom of modifying the flavor. So, it could be difficult to customize your crystal boba as well as your drinks to some extent.

Things to consider when making crystal boba

Now, if you wish to make your own crystal boba, then that’s also a good idea. For one, it gives you the freedom on how to exactly make them. You decide how many ingredients you use. 

Moreover, since you made your boba, you know what ingredients were used. You can avoid preservatives and unwanted additives.

Of course, making your own boba would take time and you also have to learn how to do it. If it is your first time making them, you might need a few tries before you can perfectly master the procedure.

Are Boba Pearls Vegan-Friendly?

The quick answer is yes. Vegans can enjoy eating boba pearls. Since they are just made with agar powder and tapioca starch, then they don’t include any meat product.

However, please note that there are certain manufacturers who use gelatin, which is made from animal collagen. So, that’s something you need to take note of. 

Since gelatin is cost-effective and makes products more delightful to the taste buds, some companies add them to boba pearls. Of course, this can be rare but Western manufacturers may consider adding gelatin.

Be sure to read the label.

Crystal Boba Pearl Healthy?

Are Crystal Boba Pearls Healthy?

Regrettably, they are not as healthy as much as you want them to be. Generally speaking, boba pearls are made with sweetened syrup encased in textured balls of pearls.

Thankfully, if you’re trying to cut down on your calories, you may want to choose crystal boba pearls compared to the regular boba pearl.

According to estimates, 100 grams of tapioca pearls contain 358 calories while crystal boba pearls only include 70 calories.

Of course, this number increases exponentially as you mixed them with your preferred milk tea.

Moreover, homemade boba pearls are considered healthier since you have the choice of how much sugar you want to add. 


Crystal boba is just one of the different types of boba pearls. It’s good that you have a better idea of what crystal boba is and how it differs from regular boba pearls.

With this knowledge, you’ll have a more improved way of knowing when to use crystal boba, how to make them, and most importantly, how to enjoy them with your favorite drinks and snacks.

YBM HOMEDeep Professional Quality Stainless Steel Mixing BowlCheck Price on Amazon
AOZITA24 oz Cocktail Shaker Set Bartender Kit by AozitaCheck Price on Amazon
FanaleFanale Agar Crystal Tapioca Boba Jelly BallCheck Price on Amazon
GenericCrystal Boba, Agar agar boba, Aloe vera BobaCheck Price on Amazon
BossenBossen Original Crystal Boba, Agar agar bobaCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

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