What Is Rainbow Jelly In Bubble Tea? Easy Recipe

You can choose different toppings, but what is rainbow jelly in bubble tea? We’ve gathered everything you need to know about this fun bubble tea topping!

What is rainbow jelly in bubble tea?
Made up of different colors of jelly

Bubble teas have various kinds of toppings; one jelly topping is rainbow themed. Bubble tea is a nice gift too.

Bubble tea is traditionally made from fruity or milky tea and black tapioca pearls. However, as bubble tea has grown in popularity, so too have the options. There are dozens of kinds of teas to choose from, with different types of milk and various toppings like diced dried fruit, popping fruit balls, and now, rainbow jelly.

If you’re wondering, “What is rainbow jelly?” It’s a vegetarian-friendly substance made from coconut. It’s also often made up of different colors of jelly pearls and used to garnish desserts like ice cream and frozen yogurt or in drinks like bubble tea.

What Is Rainbow Jelly?

Rainbow jelly comes in lots of different colors, but each one tastes slightly coconutty. The different colors usually have an underlying fruit flavor to correspond with the hue.

Some bubble tea shops have fruit-flavored jellies, like mango jellies, they add to their bubble tea, but this isn’t the same as rainbow jelly. The whole point of a rainbow jelly is to get all the colors at once. So, if you want a bubble tea with a particular fruit flavor jelly, then you’ll have to ask for that specifically – if it’s on the menu, that is.

What is Rainbow Jelly Boba Made Of?

Despite what the name might suggest, rainbow jelly is not made from gelatin-based jelly. Generally, standard rainbow jelly comes from coconut meat which has been colored and flavored with fruit juice.

However, some commercial brands or your local bubble teashops use rainbow jelly more akin to standard jelly. This rainbow jelly is a combination of ingredients such as fructose, sugar, konjac powder, locust bean gum, agar, and more. So, this kind of rainbow jelly will taste and feel different.

What Is Rainbow Jelly In Bubble Tea Taste Like?

What is rainbow jelly in bubble tea taste like?
They’re all different colors and have been flavored with fruit juice based on their color

Rainbow boba made from coconut meat will naturally have a soft coconut flavor. Since they’re all different colors, they might have been flavored with fruit juice based on their color. For example, a blue piece of rainbow boba may have a hint of blueberry flavor, an orange piece like mango or a red piece will taste a little like cherries or strawberries. 

Rainbow boba made from the ingredients mentioned above, like fructose and locust bean gum, will lack the coconut flavor. Many boba fans love the coconut rainbow jelly because the fruit flavors are mild. This type of rainbow boba is much sweeter and fruitier.

How Is Rainbow Jelly Different From Tapioca Pearls?

Rainbow jelly is entirely different from tapioca pearls. Rainbow jelly usually has a softer consistency. Rainbow jelly is usually somewhat chewier too.

The tapioca is made from tapioca starch, which is derived from the cassava root. The other ingredients in tapioca pearls are usually water, sugar, fruit juice, and alginic acid. If you love bubble tea, you might enjoy our guide on if crystal boba is better than regular boba.

How To Make Rainbow Jelly Boba Tea

Rainbow Jelly Recipe

Time to make 1 hour 5 minutes


  • Bowl


  • 2-3 tbsp coconut chunks
  • 1-2 drops food coloring
  • 2/3 cup fruit juice of choice
  • 1 tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Cut a coconut into chunks, or buy pre-diced coconut. Ensure the shell is completely removed.
  • Put the coconut in a bowl filled with cold water. Allow it to soften for up to a minute.
  • Add the sweeteners, food coloring, and fruit juice to the bowl and stir. If you would like a rainbow effect, you will have to prepare each color individually.
  • Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Add the jelly to your boba and enjoy!

If you don’t have time to make rainbow jelly from scratch, you can purchase pre-made rainbow jelly online to add to your milk tea or fruit tea. You can also mix and match different types of boba pearls to achieve the rainbow effect in your boba drink.

How Is Rainbow Jelly Different?

Bubble tea may contain different types of chewy jellies. The colors and flavors are endless.

One of the most popular jellies is lychee. Lychee jelly is made from a plant called konjac and sweetened with lychee-flavored syrup.

Coffee jelly is popular in bubble tea too. It is made from agar-agar and coffee flavoring. The difference between these jellies and rainbow jellies is that they are all one uniform color and taste; coffee jelly is usually all brown, while lychee jelly is transparent.

Coffee jelly in a cup
Coffee jelly is made from agar-agar and coffee flavoring

Individual fruit jellies are common, too, like red-colored cherry jellies. Ingredients for the fruit jellies seem to vary. Some are made from tapioca, while others are made from coconut meat.

Grass jelly is made from Chinese mesona, while aloe vera jelly is usually made from real aloe vera and sweeteners. Again, these will all be uniform in color and taste, unlike rainbow jelly. If you liked this post, you might also be interested in our guide on coffee jelly dessert.

What About Rainbow Popping Boba?

Popping boba is very popular in bubble tea. These are jellies you bite into that release a burst of juice. There are usually fruity and sold together as one flavor.

For example, you can add cherry-popping boba to a drink or strawberry-popping boba. Popping pearls are usually made from seaweed extract and have fruit juice inside. Some establishments have started selling rainbow-popping boba. So instead of this being solid and chewy like regular rainbow boba, their thin skin will pop in your mouth.

Despite the different colors, unlike regular rainbow jelly, rainbow-popping boba usually gives off the same taste when bitten, like a burst of apple flavor. So, a red-popping rainbow jelly and a blue-popping rainbow jelly will probably taste the same.


If you like this article, read our guide on Brazilian coffee vs. Columbian coffee. In this article, we cover what Pacamera coffee is.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.