What Is Coconut Jelly Bubble Tea?

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Coconut jelly bubble tea is any boba beverage topped with coconut jelly. This white topping almost looks like tofu but has a bouncier texture. Pairing this topping with creamy and rich bubble tea creates a harmony of flavors distinct from the usual best-selling tapioca pearls variant.

What Is Coconut Jelly?

Coconut jelly is a sweet and tropical dessert made from agar-agar powder, coconut water, sugar, and milk. This dessert is a popular topping for desserts in East and Southeast Asia, including the widely-beloved bubble tea. It can also be served on its own with fruits, nuts, pudding, shaved ice, and even ice cream.

What Is the Taste and Texture of Coconut Jelly?

The texture of coconut jelly is silky, smooth, and almost jelly-like. What sets it apart from jello is how the coconut jelly has a slightly chewier and firmer texture. It’s more similar to tofu than jello in that regard.

Flavorwise, the jelly has subtle notes of coconut and a lovely sweetness. Coconut jelly can be refreshingly light or quite sugary, depending on the sugar level.

Many boba drinkers enjoy mixing coconut jelly with other toppings, such as grass jelly, tapioca pearls, and popping pearls.

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Coconut jelly

Coconut Jelly vs. Nata de Coco

Coconut jelly and nata de coco may appear similar but differ subtly in taste, preparation, and texture.

Nata de coco is a chewy Filipino jelly-like topping made from fermented coconut water and a bacteria known as Acetobacter xylinum. It’s pale yellow or white and has a neutral taste profile.

Coconut jelly, on the other hand, is cooked with agar-agar powder and coconut water. It has a silkier texture than nata de coco and a sweeter taste due to added sugar. The usual coconut jelly topping is also typically white and opaque.

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How to Make Bubble Tea With Coconut Jelly

Creating coconut jelly milk tea is not vastly different from making regular bubble tea. If you’re already knowledgeable about making bubble tea, simply swap out brown sugar tapioca pearls for coconut jelly.

For complete beginners, here’s a step-by-step guideline on how to make this lustrous drink:

  1. Steep the tea base and leave it to cool until it reaches room temperature.
  2. Mix the tea base with your choice of milk and a sweetener like brown sugar syrup.
  3. Add the cooked coconut jelly and ice to the bottom of the serving cup.
  4. Pour the milk tea mixture onto the serving cup.
  5. Sip and add sugar to taste.

What Is the Difference Between Coconut Jelly and Tapioca Pearls?

Coconut jelly and tapioca pearls are both fantastic additions to your boba tea drink.

ToppingCoconut JellyTapioca Pearls
OriginUnknown, possibly the PhilippinesTaiwan
ShapeSquares or shreddedRound
Main ingredientCoconutTapioca starch
FlavorSweet and tropicalNeutral-sweet
TextureFirm, yet silkyChewy

Coconut jelly is a superior option if you want to drink boba without constantly having to chew as much. The jelly still pairs well with the creamy and rich taste of milk tea, creating a lovely harmony of flavors distinct from the usual tapioca pearls.

Healthwise, both toppings have plenty of added sugar, but coconut jelly has fewer calories and carbohydrates than tapioca pearls.

Can You Put Coconut Jelly in Hot Boba Tea?

Yes, you can put coconut jelly in hot boba tea. Coconut jelly is relatively heat-resistant and won’t melt quickly.

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Like other ingredients, we recommend waiting for the tea to cool down for a few minutes before adding the coconut jelly. This will prevent the coconut jelly from cooking too quickly and losing its texture.

Which Milk Tea Flavors Are Good With Coconut Jelly?

Many milk tea flavors go splendidly well with coconut jelly. Here are some of our favorite milk tea and boba tea flavors that pair well with coconut jelly:

Among the boba beverages listed above, taro milk tea is the top milk tea flavor to go with coconut jelly. The earthy, thick, and creamy taste of taro pairs exceptionally well with the delicate sweetness of coconut jelly.

Where to Buy Coconut Jelly

If you’re not planning to make a homemade version of coconut jelly, you can always proceed to checkout for it online or in physical stores.

Coconut jelly is not as commonly found in grocery stores as other bubble tea ingredients like tapioca pearls or brown sugar syrup, but it’s not impossible to find.

Here are some places you can find this ingredient:

  • The Asian aisle in supermarkets
  • Amazon or large online retailers
  • Taiwan or international Boba tea suppliers

If you want to buy this ingredient in bulk, you can also ask your local boba barista where they get their coconut jelly. You may also ask them for a bubble tea kit that includes straws and related products.


Joshua always had a sweet tooth, but he could never stand the fizziness of soft drinks. So when he was first introduced to milk tea, he fell in love with its creamy sweetness and lack of carbonation. Now, Joshua is constantly on the lookout for new and interesting milk tea flavors to try. His favorite flavor is Cheesecake, but he also enjoys Wintermelon, Taro, and Matcha.

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