From my personal research I have found three main categories of bubble tea:
|SLUSH / SMOOTHIE|
Milk Tea - The most traditional of bubble teas. As the name suggests, this category of bubble tea is comprised mainly of milk and tea. Various teas are used such as black, green, and jasmine. Often different flavoring powders or sweeteners are added. Served cold over ice or hot.
(My Go To: honey jasmine milk tea)
Fruit Tea - Simply tea and various flavoring without milk. Usually different fruit syrups are used. Generally served cold over ice.
(My Go To: lilikoi (passion fruit) green tea)
Slush/Smoothie - This type of bubble tea can be made with the same ingredients as milk tea or fruit tea but it is blended with ice.
(My Go To: matcha green tea)
Because this bubble tea is blended, real fruit may be used to make a healthy beverage. I think real fruit is always better than flavored powders or syrups.
(My Real Fruit Go Tos: taro/coconut, papaya, or mango)
Balls and Jelly
|Boba with Jelly|
I have seen stores offering different flavored jellies and even pudding. These jellys come in a variety of flavors at some locations. Pearl Delights at the Pearl Harbor NEX mall in Hawaii has by far the most options I have ever seen. First off they call their jellys "fiber crystals." Supposedly they are healthy, I really can't attest to this but they are delicious. They have many rotating flavors including coconut, almond, Kona coffee, jasmine tea, strawberry, aloe.... They also have bursting boba, which are similar to regular tapioca but they come in a multiple flavors (yogurt, li hing mui ...) and are filled with a juicy center.
The different combinations are endless.