If you love boba, then you've probably heard of crystal boba jelly before.
And unlike its regular jet-black tapioca counterpart, it’s all the rage now. It was just another trendy beverage ingredient years ago. Until it's not.
Now, though, you can find it everywhere. From juice stands to coffee shops and bars, there’s not a place where you can’t find it now. But for the uninitiated, do you know what it really is, what it’s made of, or how healthy it is?
Well, fret not. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about crystal boba so you can learn more about this amazing beverage ingredient. Let’s delve in, shall we?
What is crystal boba?
Clearly named after its translucent appearance, crystal boba is a gelatin-like, ready-to-eat chewy pearl that is added to milk teas or flavored ice teas. It even comes in various flavors! Crystal boba is made from the konjac plant.
What is crystal boba made of?
As mentioned, crystal boba is made with konjac. It is an East Asian plant that grows in tropical areas of the region. While this root has very little taste, it comes packed with many health benefits.
Some of them include diabetes management, weight management, and improved skin health. This kind of specialty boba is not only translucent and beautiful but also has a chewy gelatin-like texture. They have a unique milky, iridescent white color that is rarely seen in tea shops in the West.
What does crystal boba taste like?
Now, the konjac root itself is almost tasteless. But it does come with a bit of flavor. When you bite into the pearls, there is a very light explosion of citrus flavor.
And while this may not sound like much, combine this burst of citrus with a refreshing tea under the hot summer sun, and you get a match made in heaven.
What is the difference between regular boba and crystal boba?
Of course, with any new kid on the block, people are going to make comparisons with the counterpart they are most familiar with. Black tapioca boba pearls.
Regular boba is made of tapioca that comes from the cassava root. Meanwhile, crystal boba is made with konjac.
2) Taste, texture, and appearance
The regular boba pearls are larger and chewier. However, if you are a regular drinker of boba tea, you’ll notice that the pearls tend to firm up very quickly. They also tend to slightly alter the flavor of the drink after sitting in it for a while.
While they seem to have a slightly sweet flavor, this actually comes from the caramel added when you prepare them. And it’s this same caramel that gives the pearls the dark color we all know and love.
Crystal boba pearls, on the other hand, are less chewy and smaller. They are naturally white in color and stay white even after you finish cooking them. They are also less likely to influence the flavor of the beverage they are sitting in.
Is crystal boba healthier?
Let’s not kid ourselves. Anything that is mass-produced with preservatives added is not typically considered to be ‘healthy’. That said, white crystal boba pearls are considered to be a lot healthier than regular tapioca ones.
Simply from a weight loss perspective, 100g of crystal boba contains 70 calories. Most of which are carbohydrates and no fat. Regular boba is fat-free but has 358 calories and 83 grams of carbohydrates. You do the math.
Furthermore, tapioca starch can be a little bit more difficult to digest for those with severe digestion issues.
Get your milk tea with crystal boba today!
And there you have it! Here’s everything you need to know about crystal boba.
Again, we want to reiterate that we are not trying to demonize any ingredient here. There is nothing inherently wrong with indulging in milk tea with tapioca pearls every once in a while. As long as you do not overdo it, you’re good.
If you have yet to try it, what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a cup of milk tea with crystal boba today!