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Is Trader Joe’s Boba Kosher? (Answered)

is trader joes boba kosher

Over the last few years, boba tea (sometimes known as bubble tea) has become increasingly popular. People love the sweet mixture of tea, milk, a fruity flavor (sometimes), and small edible balls. Trader Joe’s stocks a great Boba kit, allowing people to make their own boba tea from scratch. Of course, Jewish people must know whether the Boba Kosher kit from Trader Joe’s meets kosher guidelines. So, is Trader Joe’s boba kosher?

Trader Joe’s Boba is kosher. One of the main rules of kosher is that you cannot mix meat-based products or anything that derives from an animal, with dairy. The balls inside of the bubble tea are made from tapioca, not gelatin as you would get with some other bubble teas. So, there are no kosher issues here. Boba can even be consumed during Passover.

Let’s give you a bit more information about why this is the case, shall we?

Overview of Trader Joe’s

Operating in about half the states in the US, Trader Joe’s is a major grocery store going through a period of massive growth. They have several hundred stores already, and it probably won’t be long until they have thousands of stores scattered throughout the country.

The reason why Trader Joe’s has been able to expand despite competition from massive stores like Walmart is that Trader Joe’s aims to be incredibly unique with the products it sells. It aims to have a unique customer experience.

Walk into a Trader Joe’s and you don’t feel as if you are walking around a soulless corporation. You feel that you are in a small community store. Hand painted signs show off the various offers. Staff are there to interact with their customers, and tons and tons of delicious products line the shelves.

One of the reasons Trader Joe’s has been able to become so successful is due to its unique way of doing business. Their stores are small, so they don’t have room to keep everything. Instead, they pick just a couple of awesome products that they can put on the shelves.

They always make sure that they choose the best products. Almost all of them will be branded with the Trader Joe’s logo.

So, there are things that you can pick up in Trader Joe’s that you can’t pick up from any other store. There is a reason so many people love shopping here. There is a reason so many people love their delicious products. 

Trader Joe’s Beverage Selection

One of the reasons why we love Trader Joe’s so much is because of their beverage selection. While they have a couple of staple flavors in stock (always under the TJ brand), they also have some rather unique products too.

The tea selection at Trader Joe’s is superb, with a plethora of flavors to enjoy. Same with the coffees (beans, instant, ground). They even offer kits to make your own delicious drinks (Chai tea kits). 

If you are into your Boba (bubble tea), then Trader Joe’s sells a great boba tea kit. It comes with everything that you need to make Boba tea, including the tapioca pearls and, we won’t lie. It tastes better than some of the Boba tea that you can pick up from the major coffee shops.

Unfortunately, they do not sell the ingredients separately i.e. you cannot buy the tapioca pearls without buying the kit, but the kit is cheap enough that this isn’t really a problem. 

Kosher Certification and Its Importance

Kosher is a religious dietary guideline followed by the Jewish, although Muslims follow very similar rules. Kosher is a set of guidelines found in the Torah. It stipulates what foods can and cannot be eaten, when they can be eaten, how they must be prepared before being eaten, etc.

For example, one restriction that may be relevant to Boba tea is the dairy and meat combination. In Kosher, dairy foods cannot be eaten with meat-based products.

Obviously, Boba involves dairy. A lot of people are concerned about the small balls inside the Boba tea.

They wonder if there is any meat-based product in there (some are made from gelatin, which would be wrong under Kosher).

Thankfully, the balls in Trader Joe’s Boba are tapioca. The rules are a bit more extensive than this, but we are sure you get the idea.

Because eating kosher is so important to Judaism, many products are certified by the OU Kosher certification agency, which checks all ingredients and production facilities to make sure that the products are actually kosher i.e. nothing from the production facilities making its way into the food that shouldn’t be. Although, it is not a requirement to get certified. 

Researching Trader Joe’s Boba Kosher Status

Trader Joe’s has a great website at www.traderjoes.com. If you head there, you can get a list of all ingredients in the Trader Joe’s boba kosher mix. If you know kosher rules, then you can easily tell whether the product is likely to be kosher.

It doesn’t tell you much about the production facilities for the Boba, but Trader Joe’s is concerned about dietary needs, and they often state if something doesn’t meet expected rules.

While Trader Joe’s Boba has not been certified kosher (at the time of writing), it probably doesn’t need to be. This is because the only major ingredient other than dairy is tapioca, and various Jewish groups have stated that tapioca needs no certification.

Still, if you are concerned, then you can talk to your local Rabbi or consult one of the various kosher certifying agencies e.g. OU Kosher. 

Results: Is Trader Joe’s Boba Kosher?

Trader Joe’s Boba does not have any certification. However, it doesn’t need one. The ingredients list is simple:

  • Water
  • Brown Sugar
  • Tapioca Starch
  • Caramel Color
  • Natural Flavor
  • Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose 

All of these ingredients are fine under Kosher guidelines. Although, do bear in mind that unless the factories have been inspected, you can never 100% guarantee that the food is 100% kosher.

However, based on what we know of the manufacturing principles behind each of these ingredients, you should be fine. 

Alternatives for Kosher Boba Purchase

Trader Joe’s Boba is always something that they have in stock. But, you can also look to various other stores. Plenty of stores online will sell Boba mixes. Walmart does too. However, you will need to check the ingredient list for the Boba.

If there is any hint of something that comes from meat, then it needs to be skipped. This is why we recommend Trader Joe’s. Their ingredient list is so simple.

Alternatively, you can head to a store that specializes in Jewish foods. While they may not have actual bubble tea kits in stock, they may sell tapioca balls. This way, you can make your own Boba.

Final Thoughts

While it is not certified, Trader Joe’s boba is probably kosher. There is no ingredient in here that stands out as breaking the rules.

If you are concerned about the kosher status, then you can ask one of the many kosher certifying agencies for guidance. Although, most will tell you that tapioca-based products are fine. 


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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