Toppings: The Secret to Better Drink & Desserts

By: Phyllis Yu


Toppings can act as aesthetic decor and also elevate the taste of your food! Many times they give your food the unique taste you are looking for. For instance Hawaiin pizza is known for being topped with pineapple, and by adding something sour like sour gummy worms to your frozen yogurt you will get a more tangy taste.

In a society that highly values aesthetics, people are demanding drinks that not only taste good, but are also visually appealing. Restaurants are now left with the task to innovate and develop menu items that satisfy both the consumer’s taste buds and eyes. For instance, recently colors have played an important factor in how well-received a drink is, as more and more drinks have layers of different colors. Then on top of that, they combine different toppings to create either cute shapes or designs that further up their drink game.

Toppings were made for the purpose of aesthetics and taste, so get creative and accessorize your sweet treats. Utilize different kinds to personalize your drinks or desserts and make it taste even better! Experiment with different kinds of textures and flavors, and create something that’ll satisfy your cravings.



Toppings Glossary


Aloe Vera

We all know that aloe vera is good for skin products, but have you ever tried them in drinks or desserts before? They have a jelly-like texture and are less sweet. They go really well with different tea drinks, or when you’re looking for something that is more refreshing and less heavy.


The most popular and widely known topping is probably Boba, also known as tapioca pearls. They are brown sugared, sweet, and chewy balls that people like to add into their milk tea and other everyday drinks. Before they only came in black, but now there are white ones, purple ones, pink ones, you name it! Boba is pretty much a universal add-on because it goes well with any drink or dessert.

Chocolate syrup / Strawberry syrup

Prep your cup with some chocolate or strawberry drizzle. Then top off your whip cream with some more drizzle. Depending on the flavor of your drink, switch up the flavor of your drizzle. Color coordinate your drink and make your drink picture perfect.

Mini mochi

Unlike other toppings, mini mochis can not be drunk through a straw. However, they go perfectly on top of either your drink and dessert. They are the statement piece that will upgrade your seemingly plain drink or dessert. For instance, add some mini mochi on your frozen yogurt, ice cream, or smoothie to obtain both a combo of chewy, creamy, and icy.

Popping Boba

The name may be deceiving because the texture of popping pearls is drastically different from regular boba. Instead of being chewy in general, popping bobas are more of an instant chomp of flavor. Just like what its name suggests, it actually does pop inside your mouth.They come in a variety of fruit and other flavors such as strawberry, passionfruit, kiwi, yogurt, and much more. They add both texture and extra flavor to your drink or dessert.


Who says you can only use one topping per drink! Pudding plus boba plus milk tea is a combo made in heaven. This pairing is definitely one that you should put on your to-try-list.

Red Beans

This is one of the most popular toppings for shaved ice. The already sweetened red bean that can be bought in cans or homemade adds the perfect amount of sweetness to your shaved ice. Even though it is not commonly seen in drinks, it matches well with any milk or milk alternative based drink, so give it a try next time.


This is another popular topping for shaved ice. Taro used for topping is usually sweetened beforehand because originally it is rather bland.


There are, in fact, only a few out of the hundreds of toppings different boba chains or dessert establishments have. So the next time you are feeling a bit adventurous, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and try one you’ve never had before. Maybe you’ll discover your next favorite drink combo. Shop all dessert and drink toppings here!