Categories
Drinks Restaurants Sweets The Katchup

As Boba Goes Mainstream, Dessert Innovators Get Creative With The Drink

As bubble tea, or boba, has continued to grow in popularity across the United States, many dessert shops have popped up that don’t just specialize in boba, but turn it into mind-boggling, delicious desserts.

Even while the rest of the industry, including fast food giants like Dunkin’, is just starting to catch on, many places are already taking boba to the next level.

Ty Tran, founder of Rice Feed and Asians Never Die, feels that the US is in a “boutique” phase of boba right now, even as mainstream chains start to catch on to the hype.

“They’re using natural products, good, high quality ingredients, and they’re also using boba made in the US,” he said on Foodbeast’s The Katchup podcast.

As boba sees both a growth in quality and distribution, it’s also finding its way out of the drink menu and into several tasty sweets. Below are just a few examples of the different tasty ways you can enjoy boba that restaurants are doing to get creative with the popular tapioca pearls.

Creme Brûlée Boba

Feng Cha, a fast-growing global teahouse with several US locations, adds the standard components of creme brûlée to the top of their boba drinks for a fun, interactive experience that adds a unique twist to their beverages.

Boba Stuffed Cream Puffs

While a few bakeries are starting to catch onto this trend, this particular version comes from Alimama in New York City. They stuff tapioca pearls into the cream filling for their choux buns, giving you multiple levels of textures in each bite of these tantalizing treats.

Boba-Stuffed Cake

The next iteration of lava cakes, this variation from Orange County’s Hok Tea unveils a motherlode of pearls when you split the cake open.

Gallon-Sized Boba Pouch

While this really is just a super-sized drink, with it comes 1) the ability to drink as much boba as you want and save some for later, and 2) get some nostalgia in with the juice pouch-shaped container this gallon of boba and milk tea comes in. Stock up on this one at Pulp Juice Bar in Orange, California.

Boba Toast

View this post on Instagram

Would you try this boba toast? . Today I’d like you to do some googling. Find out what the police budget is for the city you live in. Then find out what the budgets are for mental health, childcare, housing, and social programs. . You will likely find that there is a huge disparity in the budgets. Police brutality aside, how can we keep accepting budgets for all our social services being cut when police budgets keep going up? . . . 📸 @tainan_hsien #️⃣ Show your boba love with #bobalove . . . . . . . . . . . #bubbletea #subtleasiantraits #bubbles #matcha #bbt #bobatea #chatime #boba #bobalife #tapioca #bubbletealover #teatime #brownsugarboba #bobaislife #bobapearls #milktea #bobameup #bobawasted #milkteaaddict #kpop #greentea #bobalover #bobalovers

A post shared by BOBA LOVE (@boba_love) on

Both French Toast and regular toast forms of this exist, but in each case, the build is the same. Start with toasty bread, add on some custard/cream, and a layer of tapioca pearls for some extra texture. This particular version comes from Lang Lang Bie Ku (which means, Don’t Cry, Lang Lang) in Tainan.

Boba Egg Tarts

View this post on Instagram

吃不到肯德基!那麼就來吃吃台南超人氣蛋撻!任選三個只要100元!不用凌晨去排隊,好吃又好買~ – 主打每日現烤的葡式蛋塔、另外還有手工鮮奶布丁! 也提供宅配到府!外縣市的朋友要吃也可以~ 使高成本的初鹿牧場牛奶和藍絲可動物性鮮奶油、龍眼蜂蜜、土雞蛋!嚴選食材吃起來更安心!口味也超多選擇! 🔺推薦必吃原味蛋撻!經典永流傳,外酥香裡頭濃濃蛋奶餡,帶點焦糖香氣超迷人! 🔺人氣必買QQ波霸蛋塔!除了上頭的波霸,裡頭內餡也有Q彈的波霸口感!買回家加熱後一樣好吃! 🔺夏日清爽首推蜂蜜檸檬蛋塔,選用天然蜂蜜和新鮮檸檬搭配!口感酸香帶甜,吃起來更不膩口! 🔺喜歡甜香氣的推推香蕉巧克力和焦糖那提! – 🔺深藏原味布丁/ 巧克力布丁 純手工鮮奶製作!不加水奶香風味十足!口感綿密帶扎實的!原味濃濃的奶香和焦糖風味,喜歡巧克力的推推濃厚帶苦甜的巧克力! ——————————————————— 香蕉巧克力 $40 濃情巧克力 $40 QQ波霸蛋塔 $40 深藏原味蛋撻 $40 焦糖那提蛋塔 $40 蜂蜜檸檬蛋塔 $40 任選三入 $100 / 巧克力布丁 $40 深藏原味布丁 $40 ——————————————————— 🏠Mr.Z烘焙小棧海安店/波霸蛋塔/台南蛋塔/葡式蛋塔/手工鮮奶布丁/伴手禮 ☎️ 06-2919200 ⏰平日14:00-21:00 ⏰假日12:00-21:00 (週二公休) 🚗台南市中西區海安路二段118號 ——————————————————— #iseetaiwan#instameettaiwan#foodie #popyummy#yummyday#台南下午茶 #台南美食#台南甜點#高雄美食#烘焙小棧 #海安路#國華街美食#海安路美食#波霸蛋塔 #ミスタードーナツポケモン#ポンデリング #珍珠#珍珠蛋塔#台南伴手禮

A post shared by 愛食。 比多。台南美食/高雄美食/台中美食/台北美食 (@tainan_hsien) on

With Taiwan being the epicenter of boba, it’s no surprise that more than a few creative concoctions come from there. A personal favorite of mine would be this Boba Egg Tart from Mr. Z’s Egg Tarts in Tainan. The combo of crisp pastry, sweet eggy custard, and chewy tapioca pearls sounds like a match made in dessert heaven.

Brown Sugar Boba Ice Cream Bars

Ever since these were spotted in 99 Ranch markets late last year, Asian-American communities in the United States (including the popular group Subtle Asian Traits) have been going nuts for these ice cream bars. There are now a few variations you can find in several Asian grocers, as well as flavors like melon or ube that go beyond the brown sugar milk tea these pops are inspired by.

Boba Souffle Pancakes

View this post on Instagram

Social distance may not be your cup of (boba) tea, but dumpling a grump! Spread your fluff and positivi-tea to those around you, especially during these crazy times! ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Bookmark this for later when it’s all over! After all, who can say no to fluffy boba #soufflepancake, brown sugar boba and matcha, and freshly wrappped #dumplings? 🥟 Most people want the pancakes at @cloud9cafe_hi, but I say, you can’t leave without ordering a plate (or two) of the dumplings! 😋⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ 🍽Brown Sugar Boba Soufflé Pancake, Pork Dumplings⁣⁣ 🥛Brown Sugar Boba Milk, Matcha Milk with Brown Sugar Boba⁣⁣ 📍Cloud 9 Cafe⁣⁣ Honolulu, Hawaii⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣_____________________________________⁣ #catsdietplan #soufflepancakes #dumplingsfordays #dumplinglove #brownsugarbobamilk #yelphawaii #bobapancake #hawaiieats #catsdietoahu

A post shared by Cat | Food Travel Lifestyle (@chatwithcat) on

Fluffy Japanese souffle pancakes are another wildly popular dish right now. Combining the Japanese dish with the flavors of Taiwanese pearl milk tea adds levels of sugary taste and texture that will leave any sweet tooth satisfied. For this exact version, head to Cloud Nine Cafe in Hawaii.

Boba Basque Burnt Cheesecake

View this post on Instagram

So happy to be able to try this amazing basque burnt cheesecake @dabobamelbourne It was a limited item on Queen’s Birthday, so I rushed there to get my hands on one!🏃🏻‍♀️ . DABOBA BASQUE BURNT CHEESECAKE Basque burnt cheesecake with the choice of cheese, Daboba pearls and Oreo toppings. . Strong smoky, caramelised and sweet cream cheese flavour. The cheesecake was soft and spongy in the centre. The cheese foam was salty and cheesy, with a runny consistency. The boba pearls were soft and chewy, and the chocolaty Oreo crumbs added a crunchy texture. All the toppings goes well with the cheesecake. 😋👍🏻 . Price: $7.00 (+$1.00 for cheese and boba; +$1.00 for Oreo) . Rating: . Appearance: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 (The cheesecake looked great, but maybe not with the Oreo pieces.🤔) . Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 (Sooo good! Small but perfect size!) . . My first time trying a basque burnt cheesecake, and I think it’s one of my new favourite desserts.🥰 Thank you #dabobamelbourne for such a delicious treat.💕 Will review their drinks soon! So 👀 out! . . . #daboba #daboba熊黑堂 #melbournebubbletea #bubbleteamelbourne #melbourneboba #boba #bubbletea #bobatea #basquecheesecake #basqueburntcheesecake #brownsugarboba #foodie #melbournefoodie #melbournefoodies #foodiemelbourne #melbournedessert #melbournefoodblogger #desserts #bobadessert #bobacake #cheesecake #foodiegram #foodporn #instafood #bobaaddict #melbfood #melbournefood #dessert #dessertpics

A post shared by Boba/BubbleTea Addict (@melbourneboba) on

Basque Burnt Cheesecake is a variety on the classic dessert invented in Spain roughly 30 years ago. In 2020, it’s become a quarantine cooking favorite, but has also made it’s way to dessert menus. As that has coincided with boba-themed treats, it was only a matter of time until someone made a boba-topped Basque Burnt Cheesecake. Find this variety at Daboba in Melbourne, Australia.

By Constantine Spyrou

Constantine's life revolves around eating, studying, and talking about food. He's obsessed with eggs, gyros, and the future of food.