Boba Buddha’s Coffee Jelly for Boba Tea Recipe

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Who says you can’t mix tea and coffee? Coffee jelly is a delicious addition to boba milk teas and adds a soft textural component, different from the typical chewy tapioca pearls. Follow this recipe to make homemade coffee jelly to enjoy with your favorite boba tea flavors.

Don’t let your leftover coffee go to waste. Mix it with gelatin and sweetener to make this simple coffee jelly recipe. If you’re a black coffee drinker, you’ll love it as-is; however, I prefer to enjoy it with a drizzle of condensed milk or add it to milk tea.

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Coffee Jelly for Boba Tea

  • Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x


Move over boba pearls; there’s a new topping in town. Add coffee jelly to boba drinks, ice cream, or other desserts.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups of brewed strong coffee, cooled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin


  1. Combine the water and gelatin in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside for 3-4 minutes while the gelatin activates.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the coffee and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Just before it boils, remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Add the gelatin and whisk until the gelatin dissolves.
  5. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a refrigerator-safe dish, ideally an 8 or 9-inch square pan, so the mixture is thin.
  7. Place the container in the fridge for about 5 hours until the coffee jelly is set.
  8. Cut into 1/2-inch squares.
  9. Serve in your favorite milk tea with a boba straw.
SEE ALSO:  Boba Buddha’s Taro Balls Recipe


Use espresso or cold brew for a more robust coffee flavor. You can also experiment with your favorite flavored coffee or even use extra-strong instant coffee. Use decaf coffee if you are sensitive to caffeine.

Instead of milk tea, serve coffee jelly cubes with whipped cream, or use it as a topping for your favorite dessert.

To make this coffee jelly recipe vegetarian, use two teaspoons of agar agar in place of the gelatin.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours

What Does Coffee Jelly Taste Like?

Coffee jelly tastes like strong, sweet coffee. Coffee jelly has a jello-like texture because of the gelatin. Unflavored gelatin won’t affect the flavor of the coffee—it simply thickens the coffee and turns it into jelly.

Does Coffee Jelly for Boba Tea Have Any Health Benefits?

Coffee jelly has health benefits from the gelatin and the coffee. Gelatin is made from collagen, a protein crucial for tissue and muscle function. Gelatin is also high in glycine, which may improve brain function. Gelatin may also:

  • Aid in treating joint and bone problems
  • Help skin and hair health
  • Support good gut health

Coffee can also be beneficial. Coffee can improve focus, support brain health, boost energy levels, and may help support the liver. Remember that adding coffee jelly to sugary desserts or drinks will lessen the health benefits of coffee and gelatin.

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Coffee jelly

Does Coffee Jelly Have Caffeine?

Yes, coffee jelly contains caffeine. Brewed coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine per cup. A 1/4 cup of coffee jelly contains approximately 24 mg of caffeine.

Instant coffee contains less caffeine—about 16 mg per 1/4 cup. Decaf coffee has only 3 mg of caffeine per cup. One serving of coffee jelly made with decaf coffee has less than 1 mg of caffeine.

Which Boba Tea Flavors Are Best With Coffee Jelly?

Milk tea drinks work best with coffee jelly. Coffee jelly is not ideal in fruit teas or matcha boba tea. Try coffee jelly with:

How to Eat Coffee Jelly Without Bubble Tea

In Japan, many cafés serve a variety of coffee jelly desserts. Enjoy this jelly with the following:

  • Ice cream
  • Iced coffee
  • Milkshakes
  • Sweetened heavy cream
  • Coconut milk
  • Whipped cream


Sarah loves indulging in bubble tea near her home in southern Indiana. She constantly experiments with flavor combinations, but her favorite flavor is passion fruit. She enjoys experimenting in her home kitchen and hopes to one day be a pro at making her own bubble tea.

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