The unique experience of Taiwanese bubble tea has made its way into most of the US. The versatility of the boba drink makes it easy to customize. Naturally gluten-free, bubble tea is easy to make dairy-free if you need to avoid dairy products.
This recipe pairs green tea and coconut. Green tea contains beneficial antioxidants, while coconut brings healthy fats to nourish your skin. You can easily change both the tea flavor and the milk to flavors you prefer or have on hand.Print
What Is the Difference Between Dairy-Free and Vegan Bubble Tea?
A vegan product must be free of any animal products or by-products. Vegans don’t consume meat, eggs, honey, or milk from animals. So, to be vegan, bubble tea must be free from all of these products.
Dairy-free bubble tea means it has no animal milk or milk products. Cream cheese, sour cream, and coffee creamer all contain milk products, so to be dairy-free, bubble tea shouldn’t contain any of those products.
How Much Dairy Is in a Typical Boba Tea?
The typical boba tea has between 1/4 and 1/2 cups of dairy. Traditional boba is made with whole milk, creamer, or even sweetened condensed milk. The teas are made to order, even though the ingredients are prepped ahead of time.
Most bubble tea shops have plenty of dairy-free options, so it should be easy to substitute dairy milk for non-dairy milk when you place your order.
7 Non-dairy Milk Options for Boba Teas
There are numerous dairy-free milk options for boba teas. You can find unsweetened varieties, sweetened varieties, and even ones with added vanilla flavoring. Some choices include:
- Almond milk
- Cashew milk
- Coconut milk (canned or boxed)
- Oat milk
- Soy milk
- Rice milk
- Non-dairy creamer (read the ingredients to make sure there is no whey or casein)
You can even find dairy-free sweetened condensed milk. This sweetened condensed coconut milk from Amazon is delicious!
Do Any Bubble Tea Toppings Contain Dairy?
Some bubble tea toppings contain dairy.
- Custard or pudding topping is usually made with dairy milk, so if you are sensitive to dairy, stay away from this topping.
- Dairy cheese foam usually contains cream cheese, whipped cream, and milk.
- Some jellies, like coffee jelly, may contain dairy.
- Bubble tea topped with ice cream is not dairy-free.
If you need to avoid dairy, you still have plenty of options. Grass jelly, fruit jelly, popping boba, and tapioca pearls are all usually dairy-free.
Do Most Bubble Tea Shops Use Non-dairy Creamers?
Many boba shops use non-dairy creamers because they have a longer shelf life and are cheaper. Don’t be afraid to ask for an allergen menu if you have a specific allergy. If they don’t have one, ask to see the non-dairy creamer box or bottle and check the ingredients yourself.
Where to Find Dairy-Free Boba
You can find dairy-free boba just about anywhere. Your local bubble tea shop likely has several dairy-free boba varieties. It’s also possible that your local grocery store carries dairy-free boba. And, of course, you can always make homemade dairy-free boba drinks— follow the recipe above!