Crystal boba, also referred to as white pearls, agar boba, or konjac boba, is a translucent gummy topping gaining popularity in bubble teas and Asian desserts.

Unlike traditional tapioca boba pearls, crystal boba has a smoother, more tender, and jelly-like texture when chewed. The pearls are made using agar agar, a vegan gelling agent derived from seaweed, rather than starchy tapioca. Or sometimes with konjac powder.

With its bright colors and glossy, translucent appearance, crystal boba is a visually striking addition to bubble teas, fruit slushes, desserts, and other chilled drinks

We will cover what is crystal boba, how it is made, the key ingredients, and how to use it. So let’s start and enjoy the new boba type.

what's crystal boba

Different types of boba pearls

Before we go furtuer to crystal boba, let’s have a basic background about different types of boba pearls- tapioca boba pearls, popping boba and crystal boba.

Traditional Tapioca Boba

The classic boba pearl that started it all is made from tapioca starch derived from cassava root. Authentic tapioca boba has a distinctive chewy, gummy texture and neutral flavor. The pearls are opaque and white/beige in color. Traditional boba offers the classic taste and mouthfeel that complements both fruit-flavored and creamy milk teas.

Popping Boba

Popping boba, also called bursting boba, contains juice inside each pearl which bursts and releases flavor when chewed. The pearl is made with alginate and calcium to create the special outer membrane. Common popping boba flavors are strawberry, mango, kiwi, passionfruit, peach and coconut. The texture is soft initially then explodes into liquid. You can check to see how to make popping boba at home.

Crystal boba

This translucent type of boba is made from sweetened fruit juices plus a gelling agent like agar or konjac powder rather than tapioca starch.

What is Crystal Boba made out of

Crystal boba (or crystal bubble) consists of small jelly-like balls made from fruit juice, sweetener, and gelling agents. The most two popular gelling agents for crystal boba are agar powder and konjac powder.

Agar agar powder– A gelatinous substance derived from algae that acts as the main gelling agent. It allows the boba to solidify into a soft, chewy jelly-like texture when fruit juice mixtures set.

Konjac powder – Made from the Konjac plant, this starchy powder helps provide even more gelatinization. It increases elasticity and chewiness.

We have tested both gelling agents. Although the results are similar, there are still some differences. Konjac crystal boba is more transparent in appearance and more crispy in taste. While agar crystal boba is a little bit firmer.

How Crystal Boba is Made

The process is simple and allows for limitless flavor and color combinations by using different fruit juices or juice blends in the mixture. Check the recipe card to see how to make crystal boba with agar powder.

agar boba|

How to make original crystal boba

You’re going to be so surprised when you see how easy it is to make crystal boba at home.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
cooling time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Calories: 114kcal


crystal agar boba

  • 300 ml water or coconut water
  • 6 g agar powder or 12 g konjac powder
  • 2 tbsp. sugar


Crystal boba

  • Combine agar powder (or konjac powder any type you have), sugar, and water in a measuring jug. Whisk ingredients together until the sugar dissolves and then pour the jug contents into a saucepan.
    agar boba|
  • Continue to whisk the mixture as it comes to a boil onto the stovetop for around 3-4 minutes to ensure all the agar powder is well dissloved.
    agar boba|
  • Pour the boiling mixture into a boba mold. Use a spatula to make sure every mold is filled, then set it aside for 15 minutes to cool down.
    agar boba|
  • 15 minutes later, the boba should be set. Place your hands under the mold to pop the pearls out and into a bowl of ice-cold water. Use a strainer to remove the ice from the water and then use it again to remove the pearls.
    agar boba|
  • Soak the crystal boba with slightly sweeted syrup liuqid.



Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 0.3mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 30g | Calcium: 0.3mg | Iron: 0.01mg
three types of agar boba with sprinkle water

If you don’t have the crystal boba tray, pour the mixture into a flat wide container. Set aside until gelled and then cut into small cubes with a knife.

Taste and Flavors of Crystal boba

Here are some of the most in-demand pre-made crystal boba flavors you’ll find at specialty tea shops and Asian grocery stores:

  • Original crystal boba – white, transparent in color. This is the original and the most popular crystal boba. It contains water or coconut water, white sugar, and agar powder.
  • Strawberry crystal boba – An iconic flavor with sweet berry notes. Vibrant red color.
  • Mango – Lush tropical mango essence. Rich golden orange hue.
  • Lychee – Sweet floral lychee flavor. Pretty pinkish color.
  • Brown sugar crystal boba– combines water, brown sugar, and agar powder. It has a lovely amber color or dark brown color depending on how much sugar is added.
  • Peach – Juicy stone fruit flavor. Vivid orangey-pink color.
  • Matcha crystal boba – with a grassy and earthy matcha flower and a brilliant green color.
  • Berry crystal boba– Other berries like blueberry can also be used to make crystal boba.
  • Cherry blossom- using cherry flowers to add extra flowers and the color of crystal boba.
Cherry blossom crystal boba
cherry blossom crystal boba
Matcha crystal boba|
matcha crystal boba

Where to buy

If you want to make bubble tea with crystal boba, you can either choose to buy it or make it at home. If you plan to buy, here are some places to check.

  • Asian grocery stores – Many Asian supermarkets will have pre-made crystal boba.
  • Bubble tea shops – Most boba tea shops now offer crystal boba as a customizable add-in. You can select from their menu of flavors and they will prepare it fresh. Major chains like Gongcha, Sharetea, and Kung Fu Tea should have crystal boba.
  • Online stores – There are many online retailers selling pre-made crystal boba.

Nutrition Facts

The nutrition of crystal boba can vary based on the exact ingredients and fruit juices used in preparation. However, below is a general nutritional profile per 100g serving:

  • Calories: 250-300
  • Total Carbohydrates: 60-70g
  • Sugars: 50-60g
  • Protein: 2-3g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 1-2g
  • Vitamin C: 10-30% DV

When made with high-quality, real fruit juices, crystal boba can provide some nutritional value including the Vitamins and fiber from the fruits.

However, there are some potential drawbacks including the high content of sugar and artificial flavoring or coloring for store-bought crystal boba.

If you plan to make crystal boba at home, we can always make it healthier by choosing real fresh fruits to avoid any food coloring and controlling the amount of sugar.

agar boba|

How to use

No matter whether you make your own crystal boba pearls or buy from the store, let’s find out how to incorporate crystal boba into various drinks and dishes:

Bubble Tea Drinks

Crystal boba is most famously used in bubble tea drinks, as a replacement for classic boba tea. Following are some bubble tea recipes from us.

You can also use crystal boba as a topping for milkshakes, ice creams, and fruity tarts.

Sometimes, wrapping the crystal boba in mocha or pudding is another way of cooperating with desserts. If you have any extra inspiration, we love to hear from you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is crystal boba different from regular tapioca boba?

Crystal boba is made from fruit juice rather than tapioca starch. This gives it a smooth, gummy texture and fruit flavors rather than absorbing surrounding flavors. It also appears translucent rather than opaque.

Is Crystal Boba Healthier than Traditional Boba?

Crystal boba is a slightly healthier alternative than traditional milk tea boba, provided it uses real fruit juices without additives. The fruit content gives it more nutritional value. But crystal boba is still high in sugars with little protein, so enjoy it in moderation.

What is crystal boba made of?

The main ingredients are fruit juice, sugar, and agar powder or Konjac powder as a gelling agent. Plain white crystal boba can be made with coconut water.

What is the texture like when eating crystal boba?

Unlike tapioca boba’s chewy firmness, crystal boba has a soft, smooth, jelly-like texture.

How long does homemade crystal boba keep?

Store your homemade crystal boba in a slightly sweetened syrup up for 3 days.

Is Crystal Boba vegan?

Yes, since it is made with vegan gelling agents + sugar + fruit juice (or water), crystal boba is vegan-friendly.

Does Crystal Boba have gelatin?

No, crystal boba is not made with gelatin. Instead, it uses vegan-friendly agents like agar powder and konjac powder.

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