Are Mochi and Boba the Same Thing?

Written by a few bubble tea addicts, on Jul 11, 2023

Are Mochi and Boba the Same Thing?

TLDR: Mochi is a snack eaten on it’s own, while boba is a topping included in boba tea (or bubble tea). They are often confused as they have similar colors and textures.

With the growing popularity of Asian culinary delights, many people have come to enjoy the unique and chewy textures of both mochi and boba. However, this has also led to some confusion about whether mochi and boba are the same thing.

The recent launch of boba-flavored mochi has further piqued people’s curiosity. In this article, we'll clarify the differences between mochi and boba, explore their distinct characteristics, and answer the question: Are mochi and boba the same thing?

Get up to Speed: Mochi and Boba

Boba in Boba Tea Graphic

What is Mochi?

Mochi is a traditional Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice that has been pounded into a soft and dough-like consistency. Mochi is known for its mildly sweet taste and delightfully chewy texture. It can be enjoyed in various forms, including mochi ice cream, traditional Japanese sweets (wagashi), and savory dishes.

What is boba?

Boba, also known as tapioca pearls, are small, chewy balls commonly used as a topping in boba tea (bubble tea) and other beverages. Originating from Taiwan, boba is made from tapioca starch and is often sweetened to enhance its flavor. Boba's signature chewy texture and ability to absorb flavors make it a beloved addition to drinks around the world.


The differences between Boba and Mochi

How they are consumed

While boba is typically consumed as a topping in beverages like boba tea, mochi is enjoyed as a standalone snack or dessert. Mochi can be filled with sweet or savory fillings, such as red bean paste or ice cream, while boba is often soaked in syrup and added to drinks for an extra burst of flavor and texture.

Taste and texture

Both mochi and boba are celebrated for their unique chewy textures. Mochi has a soft, dough-like texture and a mildly sweet taste. Boba, on the other hand, has a firmer, gelatinous texture and can be sweetened to varying degrees, depending on the preparation.


The key ingredient in mochi is glutinous rice, which gives it its characteristic chewiness. In contrast, boba is made from tapioca starch derived from the cassava root. The difference in ingredients contributes to the distinct textures of mochi and boba.

Cultural Significance

Mochi holds cultural importance in Japan and is often enjoyed during traditional celebrations and festivals. Boba, originating from Taiwan, has become a global phenomenon as a key ingredient in boba tea, leading to the rise of boba tea shops worldwide.

Boba Mochi

Wait, what is boba mochi?

Yup you heard that right! Boba mochi. The fusion of Japanese and Taiwanese flavors has given rise to boba-flavored mochi. It’s a creative snack that combines the flavors of boba tea with the soft and chewy texture of mochi. Boba mochi is simply a type of mochi flavor inspired by the popular boba tea. It offers a unique way to enjoy the essence of boba in the form of a delightful mochi treat.

Pearly Boba

Craving boba now?

This article was written by Pearly. We’re a DIY boba tea mix brand. We make it very easy to make delicious, high-quality boba tea at home in minutes! It’s super easy to make and a lot of fun. We have lots of beginner-friendly options you can browse here.