The add-ins you can pair with your drink, referred to as “toppings” or “sinkers,” are the perfect way to explore a new dimension of flavors and textures. This summer, venture out of your comfort zone by putting a twist on your drink!
Appearance: Lots of small, translucent, white beads clumped together
What it actually is: Sago is a starch extracted from the pith of sago palm stems.
Taste: Almost tasteless with a soft, mushy texture, reminiscent of rice or tapioca pudding
Pairs well with: Thicker fruit-based drinks and smoothies
Personal Recommendation: Mango with Coconut Milk Smoothie from Sweetheart Cafe
Appearance: Translucent and dark brown/black in color, with texture similar to that of Jell-O
What it actually is: Grass jelly is not actually made from grass but from Mesona chinensis, an herb related to mint.
Taste: Mildly bitter with an herbal/medicinal aftertaste
Pairs well with: Coffee, chocolate or milk-based tea drinks; some may find it more refreshing with fruit-based drinks.
Personal Recommendation: Thai Milk Tea from Quickly
Appearance: Light yellow and soft
What it actually is: It’s a pudding made with eggs and milk, comparable to flan or Japanese purin.
Taste: Sweet and custard-like
Pairs well with: Taro or any kind of milk tea
Personal Recommendation: Matcha Green Milk Tea from Purple Kow
Appearance: Translucent white to almost clear, often cubed
What it actually is: Aloe vera is a stemless plant that has thick, fleshy leaves. The insides of the thick skin of the leaves are the succulent, juicy flesh that is consumed.
Taste: Similar to chopped-up watermelon
Pairs well with: Fruity drinks, especially citrus; also green tea
Personal Recommendation: Passion Fruit, Orange & Grapefruit Tea from Sharetea
Appearance: The thick layer of white, frothy cream that goes on top of your drink
Note: At Sharetea, they have a small plastic knife that you can use to slit open the covering to sip the creama and drink together like you would the foam on a cappuccino.
Taste: Rich and buttery, often with a sea salt taste
Pairs well with: Tea-based drinks without milk; if the drink itself is also milky, the creaminess may be overwhelming.
Personal Recommendation: Strawberry Black Tea Creama from Sharetea
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