The tea base for boba drinks is usually black or green tea and can be customized with an array of syrups like peach, strawberry, and lychee. Milk can also be added to teas, transforming them to milk teas, and making for a much creamier, indulgent drink. The classic “boba milk tea” order is a black tea with milk and boba.
Some drinks, however, stray away from the conventional green and black tea base. Taro milk tea, another popular choice, is made from the tropical taro root. Refreshing fruit teas, often with fresh fruit slices mixed right in, are usually available and often caffeine-free. Bright orange Thai tea also makes an appearance on most boba menus, and coffee milk tea is a choice for coffee enthusiasts who want the best of both worlds. There are also oolong, matcha, and white teas to pick from.
Beyond teas, most boba shops also have slushies and milk drinks available too. Slushies are typically made from tea and syrups that are thrown in a blender and blended with ice, resulting in a sweet and icy treat. Milk drinks have milk as a base and are usually sweetened with honey or brown sugar syrup -- a beverage that would not sit well for the lactose intolerant.
That being said, lots of boba shops offer milk alternatives -- like soy, almond, and lactose-free milk -- which nicely accommodates the “30 million to 50 million Americans [who] are lactose intolerant.”
Half the fun of going out for a boba, which is both a beverage and a snack rolled in one, is customizing it perfectly to your tastes. Almost all boba shops give you the option to adjust the sweetness of your drink, change how much ice you want, and even have hot and cold options (for when you need your boba fix but it’s freezing outside).