Bubble tea is a tea-based drink that has gained a lot of popularity in recent times and has quickly spread past its native boundaries of Taiwan. Initially popular with Taiwanese schoolchildren, it is now becoming a favorite among adults for its sweet taste, unique ingredients, and for its huge range of flavors.
What is Bubble Tea?
Bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea, boba juice, boba tea, and bubble milk tea, is a Taiwanese tea-based drink. It is also called as tapioca tea, as tapioca balls are the main ingredient in this tea.
Bubble tea consists of a tea base (white, green or black) that is mixed or shaken with milk or other fruits, and fruit jelly or tapioca balls are added, which sink to the bottom. Ice is often blended into the mixture, which results in a slushy or smoothie consistency. There are different fruits and flavors that can be used in bubble tea and the most popular varieties are bubble milk tea and bubble milk green tea.
Combined with the variety of teas, the amount of milk, and the choice of fruit jelly or tapioca pearls, there are thousands of combinations of bubble tea. Each of these has different nutrient compositions, which offer excellent health benefits.
Types of Bubble Tea
- Fruit flavored teas: Widely available fruit-flavored bubble teas are prepared using fruits like strawberries, mangos, green apples, lychee, watermelons, grapes, pineapples, bananas, cantaloupes, kiwifruits, and jackfruits.
- Milk teas: Apart from milk, there are substitutes of milk used to make a healthier version of bubble tea. Condensed milk, non-dairy creamer, soy milk, low-fat milk, coconut milk, and almond milk are some of the tasty, yet healthy, milk substitutes that blend well into the bubble tea.
- Hybrid fruit milk teas: A combination of fruits, jellies, and milk is offered in hybrid bubble teas. This beverage-cum-dessert is one food you can customize and relish the way you wish to!
The sweet and original nature of this tea has brought it to more than 30 countries, as well as more than 800 tea stores in the United States alone. Before you dig into this growing trend of bubble tea, it’s important to understand everything about this tasty treat.
What Does Bubble Tea Taste Like?
The taste of bubble tea is completely dependent on the fruit flavors or syrups that you choose to include in your drink, as well as the base flavor of the tea and the fruit jellies you add in the bottom. The flavors can range from saccharine and sweet to earthy and nutty, with some varieties even being slightly bitter or sour.
Bubble Tea calories
Is Bubble Tea Good For You?
Bubble tea can be good for you if you choose the right ingredients and avoid adding excess sugar to the beverage. In an average tea store, it will often include condensed milk and additional sugar, boosting the overall calorie count of the drink and pushing it into the unhealthy realm. However, there are healthier ways to prepare this beverage, particularly if you are making it for yourself at home.
Benefits of Bubble tea
This exotic tea has many benefits that include the following:
Owing to the sugar in bubble tea, in addition to the caffeine that is found in black, white or green tea, this popular Taiwanese drink can provide a major boost in energy. While you don’t want to overdo this beverage, given its high calorie and sugar count, a healthier version with less sugar could still provide a kickstart to your metabolism.
Strengthens Immune System
Green tea, one of the most popular flavors of bubble tea, contains a wide range of antioxidants such as catechins and polyphenols, all of which can boost the immune system by preventing oxidative stress. Furthermore, if you choose fresh fruits in your tea such as mango, strawberry or kiwi, you will also get a dose of vitamin C in your tea, meaning even more of a boost to the immune system.
The polyphenols and epigallocatechin found in green bubble tea can have impressive effects on the free radicals floating around your body. These free radicals can cause mutation and lead to chronic diseases and cancer, so adding green tea your diet is always a good choice.
Protects Heart Health
A calorie and sugar-rich diet is not always good for your cardiovascular health, but in the case of bubble tea, if you prepare a healthy version, the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in the tea can protect the arteries from developing plaque, and also strengthen the blood vessel walls.
Note: These health benefits are largely negated when you drink a normal, sugar-rich and calorie-heavy bubble tea. Creating your own healthier versions at home is highly recommended if you want to enjoy any of these effects.
How to Make Bubble Tea?
If you want to make your own bubble tea at home and make it in a way that is better for your health. By preparing a homemade bubble tea, you will not only get the delicious taste but also the health benefits along.
- 1 cup of black tapioca pearls
- 3 black tea bags
- 2 cups of almond milk
- 1 cup of honey
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Step 1 – Bring a pot of water to boil and add the tapioca pearls.
- Step 2 – Occasionally stir the tapioca pearls while the water boils for roughly 15 minutes.
- Step 3 – Turn off the heat and cover the pot, allowing the pearls to steep for another 10 minutes.
- Step 4 – Add honey to 1 cup of water and slowly bring to a boil in order to create a simple syrup.
- Step 5 – Boil another small pot of water and steep the tea bags for approximately 5 minutes.
- Step 6 – Drain the tapioca pearls and then mix them into the simple syrup. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes.
- Step 7 – Put the syrup-soaked pearls into the bottom of a glass.
- Step 8 – Add the tea, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla extract to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.
- Step 9 – Pour the mixture into the glass with the tapioca balls and enjoy the bubble tea!
Tips for Healthy Bubble Tea
- Cut down on sugar
- Use fresh low-fat or skimmed milk for milk-based bubble tea
- Choose fruit-based bubble teas to achieve maximum benefits
- Use fresh fruits and avoid using flavored syrups to cut down on calories
- Substitute condensed milk with almond milk
- Cut down on the tapioca balls for limiting the caloric intake
Side Effects of Bubble Tea
Due to the ingredients and inherent nature of bubble tea, there are some side effects that people may want to avoid.
Weight Gain: Regular consumption of bubble tea, without adjustments in calorie intake in other areas, will result in weight gain. If you combine the fruit syrup, sweetened condensed milk and tapioca balls to a glass of bubble tea, the calorie count can often climb past 350 calories, which is on the higher side.
Diabetes: Due to the incredibly high levels of sugar and the fact that tapioca balls are basically simple carbohydrates, this beverage isn’t recommended for people who have diabetes or are at a high risk for developing that condition.