Sweetener Syrup Boba Tea

What Kind of Sweetener Do You Use in Boba Tea?

Looking for the best way to make Boba (bubble) tea? This guide will show you how to use different sweeteners and flavors, as well as provide instructions for preparing your favorite drinks. Whether you’re using artificial or natural sweeteners, this guide has you covered.

What Kind of Sweetener Do You Use in Boba Tea?

Sweeteners are responsible for enhancing the flavor profile of Boba tea (bubble tea) and ensuring that it is not overly bitter or bland. They add a touch of sweetness that complements the other ingredients, creating a harmonious and delicious drink. Without the right amount of sweetness, bubble tea can fall flat and lose its appeal.

Different Types of Sweeteners Used in Bubble Tea

1. Sugar

Sugar, in particular dark brown sugar, plays a key role in bubble tea, providing that distinct sweet and caramel-like flavor. It’s a primary ingredient in bubble tea recipes, like the popular Brown Sugar Syrup for Milk Tea and Boba.

Features of sugar as a sweetener:

  • Adds natural sweetness
  • Enhances flavors
  • Offers various options (white, brown, cane)


  1. Provides immediate sweetness
  2. Easy to use
  3. Affordable
  4. Readily available
  5. Adaptable to taste preference


  1. May add unwanted calories
  2. Doesn’t dissolve well in cold water
  3. Some variants (e.g., honey) may lack desired sweetness
  4. Not suitable for diabetics
  5. Can contribute to tooth decay.

Remember, the key is balancing sweetness to your taste!

2. Brown Sugar

Brown sugar, a distinctive sweetener with a strong caramel flavor, plays a pivotal role in enhancing the taste of your bubble tea. Here’s why brown sugar is a go-to choice:

  • It creates a rich, deeper flavor compared to regular sugar, making your bubble tea extra-special.
  • When mixed with boba pearls and rotated in a cup before adding milk, it results in attractive brown stripes known as tiger boba.
  • Its caramel overtones don’t overshadow the tea flavor, if present.
  • Despite being slightly less sweet than white sugar, it strikes a perfect balance between flavor presence and sweetness.

Remember to adjust your quantities as brown and cane sugar aren’t as sweet as white sugar. This sweetener is ideal if you prize sweetness over tea flavor in your bubble tea.

3. Golden Cane Syrup

Golden Cane Syrup is the under-the-radar sweetener your bubble tea might just need. With its distinctive buttery, caramel flavour, it could give your favourite beverage an exciting twist.

  • Offers a unique buttery, caramel flavour
  • Grants a delightful golden colour
  • Derived from refining sugarcane juices
  • Gives a thicker consistency than common syrups
  • Can be a fascinating combo with other sweeteners in a bubble tea recipe

Try using Golden Cane Syrup in a classic milk tea recipe for a delectable difference.

4. Honey

Honey is a fabulous sweetener for your bubble tea. Firstly, it adds a delightful flavor that pairs well with most tea bases. Secondly, it is a natural product rich in antioxidants, making it a healthier alternative to processed sugar. And, its sticky consistency can help to thicken your tea.

Honey as a sweetener

Key features of honey:

  • Natural sweetener
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Can improve the consistency of bubble tea

Now, let’s look at its pros/cons.


  1. Adds a unique flavor
  2. Healthy
  3. Easy to dissolve in hot water
  4. Pairs with many tea bases
  5. Can enhance tea’s thickness


  1. Not as sweet as sugar
  2. May need to be added in large quantity
  3. Can increase calorie intake

4. May not dissolve as well in cold liquids, potentially resulting in an inconsistent flavor.

  1. May alter the desired flavor
  2. Honey might have a strong taste that could overpower the tea’s natural flavors.
  3. Expensive: Compared to other sweeteners like white or brown sugar, honey can be costlier.

Despite these, the benefits of honey outweigh the negatives, as a well-prepared honey-sweetened bubble tea is absolutely tasty and nutritious! You may add honey when the tea is hot to ensure it dissolves well.

5. Caramel Flavor

Caramel flavor can be a unique twist to sweeten your bubble tea. It’s different because it imparts a rich, buttery taste that no regular sweetener does. Here are its standout features:

  • Rich flavor
  • Creamy texture
  • Versatility

Now, let’s weigh in on its pros and cons.


  1. Adds depth to drinks
  2. Compatible with multiple flavors
  3. Easy to find


  1. May be too sweet for some
  2. Not calorie-free
  3. Contains artificial additives

For an enticing caramel bubble tea, try adding caramel syrup to black tea, milk, and boba pearls. This will leave you with a delicious, dessert-like beverage. Enjoy!

6. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup, a natural sweetener with a sweet, woody flavor, is derived from maple trees and can be used in bubble tea to enhance its taste. Here are some top features of maple syrup as a sweetener in bubble tea:

  • It adds a distinct, natural sweetness
  • It has a unique woody flavor profile
  • It offers a thick consistency

Pros of Maple Syrup:

  1. Provides natural sweetness
  2. Adds a unique flavor to the tea
  3. No artificial additives
  4. Adds thickness to the beverage
  5. Fits into a vegan diet
Maple Syrup

Cons of Maple Syrup:

  1. Can overpower the taste of tea
  2. More expensive than regular sugar
  3. May not dissolve entirely in cold drinks
  4. Contains more calories
  5. Might not be easily available

Maple syrup is an excellent sweetener choice for bubble tea thanks to its rich woody flavor and health properties. Here are its top features:

  • It’s a natural sweetener.
  • It’s rich in antioxidants.
  • It adds a unique flavor to your bubble tea.

Pros of using maple syrup in bubble tea:

  1. No artificial ingredients.
  2. Packed with health-boosting minerals.
  3. Freely available in stores.
  4. Easy to dissolve.
  5. More flavor options based on color and flavor intensity.

Cons of using Maple syrup:

  1. It can be expensive.
  2. High in sugar content.
  3. Not suitable for people allergic to maple.
  4. Dominant flavor may overshadow mild tea flavors.
  5. Not vegan-friendly.

To use, just pour 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup into your hot tea and stir until dissolved, then add your cooked boba. For a more intense flavor, you can simmer the syrup with the boba. Ensure to taste before adding more to avoid making your tea overly sweet.

7. Fruit Flavored Syrups

Looking to jazz up your bubble tea? Fruit flavored syrups offer a unique and flavorful alternative to the typical sweeteners. Here’s why:

  • They have a varied range of flavors like strawberry, mango, blueberry, and peach.
  • They enhance the taste and aroma of your tea.
  • They can create endless combinations for bubble tea flavors.


  1. Variety: Unlock a world of possibilities with countless flavors.
  2. Flexibility: Mix and match to make your perfect brew.
  3. Unique: Stand out with a distinct, fruity taste.
  4. Easy to use: Just add the syrup directly.
  5. Versatile: Suitable for both milk and fruit teas.


  1. Caloric Content: These syrups can have higher sugar content.
  2. Cost: Syrups can be pricier than plain sugar.
  3. Shelf-life: They don’t last as long once opened.
  4. Availability: Some flavors might be hard to find.
  5. Taste Preference: Too sweet for some palates.

Here’s a simple recipe. Brew tea, add ice, pour in Fanale Mango Concentrated Syrup, and throw in some boba. Enjoy!

8. Artificial Sweetener

Artificial sweeteners in your bubble tea? Yes, it’s common! These sugar substitutes provide a sweet taste without the extra calories. Instead of traditional sweeteners like cane sugar or honey, many shops use these to keep your drink light.

  • Calorie-free
  • Sweet without sugars
  • Long shelf-life

Let’s get into pros and cons of artificial sweeteners:


  1. Less sugars cutting down calories.
  2. Sweetness remains, taste isn’t compromised.
  3. Suitable for diabetics.
  4. Long shelf-life.
  5. Budget-friendly due to lesser usage.


1.     Overconsumption can lead to health challenges.

2.     May alter taste distinct from traditional sweeteners.

3.     Some may have aftertastes.

4.     Con: Possible allergic reactions.

5.     Con: Not natural, could be synthetic or processed.

Choose wisely, keeping your health and taste preference in check!

10. Agave syrup

Agave syrup, made from the sweet sap of the agave plant, is a natural sweetener alternative for your Bubble Tea. Here’s why:

  • It’s sweeter than sugar, so you need less.
  • It dissolves quickly in cold beverages.
  • It has a light, barely-there flavor.


  1. Sweeter: You’ll need less agave; it’s almost 1.5 times sweeter than sugar.
  2. Soluble: No need to heat; agave dissolves easily even in iced Bubble Tea.
  3. Healthier: Contains more fructose than regular sugar.


  1. Pricey: It’s more expensive than regular sugar.
  2. Availability: Not as widely available as other sweeteners.
  3. Taste: Can affect Bubble Tea’s authentic taste.

Pour in 1-2 teaspoons of agave syrup in your Bubble Tea and adjust according to your sweetness preference. Enjoy!

How to Choose the Right Sweetener for Bubble Tea

Step 1: Determine the Type of Sweetener You Use in Your Bubble Tea

Picking the right sweetener for your bubble tea is a breeze.

  • First, consider fructose – it’s inexpensive, possesses a high storage life and presents a sweeter taste than regular sugar
  • White sugar is also common, but works better after being converted into a simple syrup. This can keep up to 4 weeks in the fridge
  • If you prefer a natural sweetener, honey is your best bet. It offers unique taste and potential health benefits
  • Lastly, there’s Golden Cane syrup, a minimally-refined cane sugar variant.

The choice depends on your flavor preference and whether you prefer natural or synthetic sweeteners. Trying out different ones and experimenting is the key.

Step 2: Look for Tea Bags That Offer Different Kinds of Sweeteners

  • Start by considering your taste preference – options include honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup. Bear in mind, certain sweeteners like brown sugar and honey dissolve best in hot water.
  • Remember, though sugar-free bubble teas are rare, customization is often possible in larger brands.
  • For a wide range of flavors, consider purchasing from our selection of Bubble Tea Syrups and Sweeteners. Many options are vegan and gluten-free.
  • Be sure to experiment with flavors. Use syrups sparingly, combine with other ingredients for varied flavors, and go for natural and organic options when possible.
  • Lastly, it’s not just about tea but also the sweeteners that go into making your perfect bubble tea!

Step 3: Prepare the Brown Sugar Syrup and Boba Set

Making your own brown sugar syrup and boba is key to a perfect bubble tea. Follow these steps for a delicious, homemade experience:

  • Combine ½ cup packed dark or light brown sugar with ¼ cup water in a small pot.
  • Simmer on low heat, whisking occasionally, for 5-7 minutes until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens.
  • Tip: Watch your syrup! It shouldn’t boil or it’ll thicken too much and become caramel.
  • Pour the syrup into a heat-proof bowl and set aside. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of quick cooking black tapioca pearls as per package instructions.
  • Add the cooked boba to the brown sugar syrup and mix well to coat.
  • Your dreamy brown sugar boba is ready! Remember, adjust the sweetness to your taste with extra syrup. Enjoy!

Step 4: Make a Tryout with Some Different Sweeteners Before Using Them Regularly

  • Gather your sweeteners: white sugar, brown sugar, honey, simple syrup, and fructose. Remember, each adds a unique twist to the drink.
  • Begin with brewing your loose leaf tea. Add brown sugar or honey while it’s hot if that’s your choice.
  • Next, add a cup of tapioca pearls for added sweetness.
  • Hold back from immediately adding more sweetener if it’s not sweet enough.
  • Experiment with different syrup combinations while keeping in mind that less is more. Mixing with other ingredients can enhance the flavor.
  • Choose natural and organic syrups when possible, or try out simple fruit syrups.
  • Adjust the sweetness to your taste preference and enjoy your very own customised bubble tea. Remember, experimentation is key!

Health considerations when choosing sweeteners

When choosing a sweetener for your bubble tea, it is important to consider your health goals and dietary restrictions. Traditional cane sugar provides a familiar taste but should be consumed in moderation due to its high calorie content. If you are looking for a healthier option, honey or agave syrup can be a good choice, as they offer natural sweetness and additional health benefits.

On the other hand, if you are watching your sugar intake or have specific dietary requirements, artificial sweeteners may be more suitable. However, it is worth noting that some artificial sweeteners have been linked to potential health concerns, and moderation is key when consuming them.

1. How to adjust sweetness in bubble tea

  1. Start with the basic components of your bubble tea, which typically includes tea, milk, syrup, and tapioca pearls(boba).
  2. Once you’ve prepared your bubble tea, taste to gauge the initial sweetness level. Remember, the sugar from the boba pearls will also contribute to the overall sweetness of your drink.
  3. To adjust the sweetness, experiment with the amount of syrup or brown sugar used in the recipe. Decrease the amount if it’s too sweet, or add more for extra sweetness.
  4. Feel free to customize the sweetener in your drink. Honey, agave, and brown sugar are good alternatives to traditional white sugar. Be cautious when using these alternatives as they can impact the beverage’s overall taste.
  5. Another method to enrich and at the same time adjust the sweetness is by slow-braising the cooked tapioca balls (boba pearls) in the brown sugar caramel or leave them for 30 minutes for an infusion of flavor.
  6. Lastly, remember that the boba pearls will add sweetness as they steep in the drink, so refrain from adding extra sweetener too quickly.

2. Sweeteners: Nutrition

Choosing the right sweeteners for your bubble tea not only affects taste, but also nutritional value. Here are some factors you should consider:

  • Sugar content: Some sweeteners are high in sugars, adding to the calorie count
  • Natural vs. artificial: Natural sweeteners like honey tend to have more nutritional benefits
  • Storage life: Certain sweeteners like fructose have good shelf life
  • Taste: Sweeteners like fructose have strong sweetness even in small amounts
  • Dissolvability: Granulated sugar and honey only dissolve well in hot water

Top sweeteners include:

  1. Fructose: Pros are low cost and great storage life. Cons are its high sugar content.
  2. White sugar: Pro is easy to dissolve in hot water. Con is the high calorie content.
  3. Honey: Pros are nutritional benefits and natural source. Con is sometimes less sweet.
  4. Brown sugar: Pro is the molasses flavor. Cons are high calories and less solubleness.
  5. Maple syrup: Pro is its unique flavor. Con is that it can be expensive.

DIY sweetener recipes for bubble tea

1. Brown Sugar

Why is brown sugar all the rage in bubble tea? Well, it adds a unique caramel flavor, creating a satisfying blend of sweetness, unobtrusive enough to not steal the limelight from your tea. Here’s how to whip up a sweet brown sugar syrup:

  • Add 1 cup of cold water and 2 cups of dark brown sugar to a saucepan.
  • Stir over low heat till sugar dissolves.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat until thick.
  • Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Quick tip: For added depth of flavor, consider adding a cinnamon stick or a dash of vanilla extract during the simmering process. Happy brewing!

2. White Sugar

White sugar is a great alternative for sweetening your bubble tea as it extensively intensifies its sweetness, more than brown or cane sugar, without affecting the flavor of the tea. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Prepare your bubble tea by brewing and cooling your favorite tea.
  2. While tea is cooling, create a simple syrup: add 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of water into a saucepan.
  3. Gently heat until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  4. Allow the simple syrup to cool.
  5. Add the sweet syrup and the tea to your glass, stir well.
  6. Lastly, mix in the cooked tapioca pearls at the bottom.

Expert tip: Adjust the syrup quantity to suit your sweetness preference. For a lighter sweetness, start with 1/2 cup of white sugar.

3. Caramel Flavor Syrup

Caramel syrup is a perfect, indulgent sweetener for bubble tea. Here’s how you can brew it at home:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Remember, practice enhances perfection. Enjoy this syrup in your homemade bubble tea!

4. Agave Nectar

Are you thinking about sweetening your bubble tea differently? Have you considered Agave Nectar? It’s a naturally sweet option you might love. Let’s dig into Agave Nectar’s features and examine some pros and cons.

Top features:

  • Derived from the juice of agave plant
  • Lower in glycemic index than sugar
  • Sweeter than everyday sweeteners


  1. Gives a natural sweetness
  2. Lower in sugar, beneficial for health
  3. Tastes better than artificial sweeteners
  4. Vegan-friendly
  5. Easily dissolves in liquids


  1. Provides very few nutrients
  2. More expensive than regular sugars
  3. Over-consumption can lead to weight gain
  4. Not suitable for baking
  5. May affect blood sugar levels if consumed in large quantities

5. Honey

Honey is an excellent alternative sweetener for your bubble tea!

  • It adds a subtle natural flavor
  • It provides antioxidants
  • It might even boost your immunity

But what are the pros and cons?


  1. Honey is healthier than refined sugar.
  2. Adds nuanced taste.
  3. Dissolves well in hot tea.
  4. Rich in essential nutrients.
  5. Provides a natural sweetness.


  1. Isn’t as sweet as sugar.
  2. Requires a large amount for the same sweetness.
  3. Can increase calorie intake.
  4. Not ideal for cold drinks.
  5. Might not complement certain tea flavors.

Here’s how to sweeten your tea with honey:

  1. Brew your tea hot.
  2. Stir in honey till it dissolves.
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Enjoy your healthier, sweet treat!

7. Coconut Sugar

Choosing coconut sugar as a sweetener for your boba tea is a smart, alternative move. Its unique features offer a different take on the typical boba experience, so let’s dive in:

  • Low glycaemic index
  • Mild yet distinctive flavor
  • Natural, less processed


  1. It’s organic.
  2. It adds a light caramel flavor.
  3. Contains trace nutrients.


  1. Less sweet than cane sugar.
  2. Might alter tea’s original taste.
  3. Higher cost.

Steps for usage:

  • Dissolve 1-2 tablespoons in warm water.
  • Pour it into your prepared tea.
  • Stir, add boba and milk and you’re done.

Try it out for a fresh twist on your favorite bubble tea.

8. Muscovado Sugar

Muscovado sugar, also known as “moist sugar,” is a great alternative sweetener for your boba tea, with its rich, almost toffee-like flavor. Here are its top features:

  • Offers a deep, robust flavor that can enhance your bubble tea.
  • Less processed than other sugars, retaining more natural molasses.
  • Creates a richer syrup that infuses bubble tea with a deliciously distinctive taste.

For a quick bubble tea recipe: dissolve 50g of dark brown Muscovado sugar in ¼ cup of filtered water, add 1 cup of tapioca pearls, and your choice of tea. Voila, an exciting twist on your usual boba.

9. Fruits

Ditch traditional sweeteners and opt for fruits as a natural sweetener in your boba tea. They’re not just healthy but also bring in a range of fun flavors.

  • Strawberry
  • Mango
  • Grapefruit
  • Peach
  • Raspberry
  • Lychee

Here’s how to use them: mix your favorite fruit concentrated syrup with cooked tapioca pearls and let them soak for an hour. Now, prepare a cup of loose leaf tea. Combine the fruit-infused pearls, tea, and milk of choice for a delightful bubble tea divinity. Remember, more the syrup, sweeter the tea. You could always adjust as per your liking. Enjoy!

Conclusion: Finding your perfect sweetener in bubble tea

In conclusion, the sweetness of boba tea plays a vital role in its overall enjoyment. The choice of sweetener can greatly impact the taste, texture, and health implications of the drink. Whether you prefer traditional cane sugar, natural alternatives like honey or agave syrup, or zero-calorie options such as artificial sweeteners, there are plenty of choices available to suit your preferences and dietary needs.

Scroll to Top