Everything You Need to Know About Bubble Tea

Glasses with bubble tea

September 12, 2021

Bubble tea, which is also known as boba tea, pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea or tapioca milk tea, refers to a range of sweet and pleasant flavored beverages that are served with cold or hot chewy tapioca pearls. These delicious beverages originated in Taiwan. The recipe entails mixing several components and adding the distinctive “bubbles,” which are tapioca pearls or balls that sit at the bottom of the drink. People nickname this drink bubble tea because of the tapioca balls and bubbles that form when you aggressively shake the drink to combine all ingredients. Boba is an essential component in bubble or pearl milk tea drinks. Some of the most common names or titles for the drink Boba tea include Boba, Bubble, Pearl Milk Tea, Pearl Tea, and Tapioca Tea.

History of Origin

The Tea became known as Boba since the phrase is Chinese slang for breasts (a reference to the spherical shape of the tapioca balls). There is no historical documentation of the origin of Boba Tea, but like with many teas, there is a tale behind it. According to rumors, the mix originally arrived in Asia in the 1980s. The milk tea was already well-known in Taiwan, as tea drinking was a popular activity in East Asia. Both shaved ice and tapioca balls were popular treats at the time. Someone had the bright idea to combine three popular ingredients into one beverage: tapioca balls on the bottom, a layer of shaved ice on top, and milk tea to fill out the remainder of the drink.

As Boba became increasingly popular in Taiwan, stall owners began introducing fruit boba, utilizing fruit powders and syrups instead of the actual fruit, which was too costly and soon went terribly. Beyond tapioca balls, the topping options included grass jelly, almond jelly, egg pudding, and red beans. Even in traditional Boba, the milk in the milk tea was replaced with non-dairy creamer, and as a result, the drink became recognized for its extraordinarily sweet, creamy flavor.

How to make Bubble Tea?

The trickiest and most essential step of making Boba is preparing the tapioca balls. Natural tapioca pearls, which are usually black but can sometimes be translucent or white, are boiled in boiling water for 30 minutes. The pearls are then stored in a simple syrup combination until ready for use, where they become sweet and chewy. Boba is defined by the texture of his tapioca balls. In Chinese, such ideal consistency is referred to as “QQ,” which means chewy. If your tapioca balls are too mushy, they will all cling together in the cup. They’ll be impossible to chew if they’re too firm.

The cooked pearls are then placed in the bottom of a cup, which is then filled with chilled liquids such as fruity teas, frosty smoothies, milk-based tea and coffee beverages, and ice. After shaking the drink to combine the components, it is sealed. There are now specially designed ribbed plastic cups, broad straws (for fitting tapioca balls), and seals (so all you have to do is pierce the seal with the straw) for bubble milk tea—as well as sealing machines that perform the work automatically. Many modern-day boba shops now feature syrup and tea dispensers, allowing customers to choose the amount of sweetness or milk they want.

Most Common Flavors of Pearl Milk Tea

A flavoring agent such as syrup or powder gives Boba Tea its genuine flavor. In the same way that coffee shops carry a selection of syrups and powders to flavor lattes, boba tea businesses do the same. Due to the ease with which they may be included in the cold milk tea, simple syrups are the most common flavoring choice. These are some of the most popular fruity drinks:

Classic Milk Boba Tea

This is the heritage of Boba Tea. Black Tea, sugar, milk powder, and tapioca pearls make up the classic milk drink. As a result of its creamy and rich taste, this drink is the most popular among drinkers in this category.

If you’re just getting started with boba tea, here is a great place to start exploring the tastes. Additionally, if you have a sweet appetite, you may add brown sugar and indulge.

Mango-Flavored Bubble Tea

So it’s no surprise that boba tea-lover added mango to the recipe. A boba slush or a mango slushy are two of the best ways to enjoy mango. During a scorching summer day, you can enjoy your drink and bring it to your favorite beach in a matter of a moment.

Tapioca Milk Tea With Brown Sugar

This beverage is rapidly overtaking milk as the most popular taste to order in coffee shops and restaurants. Tapioca balls are mixed with brown sugar and fresh milk to create this tasty concoction. The cup is usually rimmed with brown sugar syrup to make a pattern. Tiger milk tea and filthy milk tea are other names for the beverage.

Thai Boba Tea

It’s no secret that Thai food is famous worldwide, and now it’s found its way into boba tea. Ceylon and sweetened condensed milk give it a distinctly sweet flavor. Most local boba shops will use food coloring to make their Boba more vibrant. This Thai boba tea is a refreshing beverage that transports you to the streets of Thailand. One of the most popular pearl milk tea tastes for a reason.

Boba by Taro

Taro boba tea is popular because of its purple hue. This purple drink, made from the Asian sweet root Taro, has earthy, nutty, and vanilla boba flavors.


This summer, honeydew boba tea is a favorite. To beat the summer heat, try this melon cocktail. And it’s a great way to get extra nutrients into your body. Some cafés incorporate sugar in their coffee. You may, however, ask for honeydew boba without it if you’re on a strict diet.

Chocolaty Boba Tea

Boba tea is no exception to the rule for chocolate lovers. When it comes to liquid brownies, do not miss out on this chocolate beverage snack. It has a smooth, creamy texture that makes it ideal as a dessert.

Strawberry Boba Tea

When it comes to drinks that combine fresh fruit with milk and Tea, Strawberry Milk Tea and Strawberry Boba Tea are two of the most popular choices for those who like both. Fruit juice powder and fruit extracts make it feasible to enjoy this dish even when strawberries are not in season.

Lychee Boba Tea

It’s an aromatic, delicious, and creamy boba milk tea that’s made with lychee juice. Tea flavor brings life, lychee adds sweetness, milk adds creaminess, boba balls add structure, and the bubbles add a distinct tongue feel to this drink’s flavor.

Peach Boba Tea

Fruity and light, the Peach Boba Tea is a great way to start the day. Instead of a traditional tea, it tastes more like a thick smoothie (while still being low in calories! ).

Banana Boba Tea

There is a slightly sweet flavor to the Banana Boba Tea. On the bottom of the cup, some establishments add flavored gelatin (also known as jellies).

Kiwi Pearl Milk Tea

It has a large amount of liquid, loaded with natural fruit juice, and encased in a soft yet springy membrane. Boba tea, shaved snow ice, and desserts get a burst of juicy kiwi acidity from a taste of this.

Lesser-Known Tapioca Milk Tea Variations

You think you have tried them all? Here are some of the lesser-known, but excellent boba tea variations.

Avocado Boba Tea

Drinking avocado boba tea for breakfast or as a mid-day snack is the best idea. It is thick, velvety, and incredibly delightful. A contemporary spin on the classic Tea, this is a slimmer version of the classic. As a result, you won’t feel hungry for a couple of hours after eating this dish.

Almond Boba Tea

Most people who haven’t had almond milk before assume that it tastes like almonds. However, it is the opposite of the truth. Sweet milk or grain milk is closer to the flavor than anything else!

Bubble Tea With Ginger

According to popular belief, ginger’s antioxidants can help boost your immune system and reduce stress. Inhaling steam from ginger tea may help reduce nasal congestion and other respiratory problems caused by the common cold or environmental allergies. Ginger has even been linked to cancer prevention in studies. So, in addition to being incredibly delicious, Ginger boba tea is also suitable for health.

Caramel Pearl Milk Tea

Because caramel is creamy, buttery, and delicious, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular flavors among milk tea lovers. You’re presumably here for that reason. So, you’d want to brew your caramel bubble tea at home? Delicious caramel milk tea is a favorite of ours, whether it’s served hot or cold.

Lavender Boba

Lavender boba tea is a wonderful combination with the fragrant lavender, honey, and sweetened condensed milk on top of the tapioca pearls. You may compare it to creamy flowery milk. The lavender flavor is not overpowering, yet it’s still highly aromatic. It is also called “Earl Grey.”

Japanese Mocha Boba Tea

Mocha boba tea is mainly sweet! When slurped with a straw, it is usually foamy and velvety, with a texture like tapioca balls. Milkshake or juice bar drink, unless it’s frozen, isn’t nearly as cold or as thick.

Nutritional Value of Bubble Tea

The USDA provides the following nutrition information for 8 ounces of boba tea:

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Fat: 1.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 28 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 28 grams

Different varieties of Boba, or tapioca pearls, seem to have different nutrients. Traditional tapioca boba has 63 calories per ounce, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and a slew of preservatives and artificial colors. One ounce of exploding Boba has 25 calories, most of which come from sugar (6 grams of total carbs and 5 grams of sugar). Remember, these nutrients only account for the typical boba tea. Many boba teas are made with pudding, yogurt, fruit, jellies, syrups, and other ingredients.

Boba tea has very few vitamins and minerals. It does, however, contain trace quantities of:

  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Selenium

Possible Health Benefits of Bubble Milk Tea

Bubble tea may have some health advantages. Adding milk to your beverage is not only tasty but also beneficial to your health. The antioxidants in the Tea make the drink even more healthy. Boba tea could have the following health benefits:

Strong Bones

Aside from the antioxidants, there are numerous additional components in milk that contribute to its health. For starters, it gives the body a lot of strength, thanks to the calcium concentration in milk. It strengthens the bones, allowing you to go about your everyday activities without fear of breaking any bones.

Power Source

It is a massive source of energy. Without a doubt, pouring a glass of milk provides you with energy to allow your body system to work correctly. Boba tea’s carbohydrate content is the primary source of energy for your brain. It also provides energy to your cardiac muscles and central neurological system. You get the best of both worlds when you combine them. You gain the energy you need to complete your everyday tasks.

Stress Relief

During the day, there are plenty of stressful activities we must do, no matter what. However, there is a means of solving the situation. When you drink pearl milk tea, it relaxes your tense muscles and enables you to perform your work. The drink contains caffeine, which refreshes your body. So, it would be best if you paused to enjoy the tasty drink. The milk tea includes antioxidants that contribute to stress reduction.

Protection Against Free Radicals

It protects against free radical damage. Free radicals harm the body. They have the ability to modify certain areas of the body, which can lead to cancer and chronic illnesses. Green tea includes polyphenols, both of which can combat free radicals. As a result, it’s a good idea to include green Tea in your tapioca balls as part of your regular consumption.

Help Immune System

Some bubble tea variations may help boost your immune system. The drink contains a variety of antioxidants that prevent the buildup of oxidative damage. Furthermore, fresh fruits such as mango and strawberry are beneficial to your health. You may include them in your boba. These fruits provide you with vitamin C, which you may want to fulfill the requirement of the vitamin.

Disadvantages of Boba Tea

Unfortunately, Boba has slight health disadvantages. While the calories give energy, there are no significant health or nutritional benefits of drinking this sweet delicacy. In the end, Boba is basically sweets drowning in highly sugared beverages. However, depending on how you prepare the drink, you may be doing more damage than good.

Risk of Diseases

The quantity of sugar you consume with your boba tea may offer hazards. Sugar consumption has been related to significant health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), cognitive decline, and some types of cancer. Sugar-sweetened drinks have also been related to increased body fat in young children.

Reactions to Allergens

Because boba tapioca balls contain cassava, you should avoid Boba if you have a root vegetable allergy. Some persons who are allergic to latex may also be allergic to cassava products. It is also harmful to consume raw since it contains cyanide.

Acne Breakouts

Boba tea is more than just a chemical concoction loaded with empty calories. Its components have been linked to acne. Dairy products, such as milk, do not cause acne outbreaks. Cow’s milk can cause irritation. Your skin may not be lactose intolerant, and milk hormones can react with testosterone in your body. This promotes the production of sebum, an oily material responsible for blocking pores in the skin, resulting in acne outbreaks.


Excess sugar in the tapioca milk tea causes an insulin spike, which aids in blood sugar stabilization. When insulin levels rise, so does inflammation. This inflammation can exacerbate pre-existing inflammatory and infectious skin diseases such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and pimples.

How to Make Your Tea Healthy?

You should consume boba tea, like many sweet beverages, in moderation. However, there are several substitutes and options that may make boba tea healthier.

Lower Levels of Sugar

Look for lower-sugar choices, whether ordering boba tea or brewing your own. While the boba tea will be less sweet, you will still be able to enjoy the flavor with less sugar. Honey and other sweeteners can also be used as sugar substitutes.

Alternatives to Dairy

Soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or non-dairy creamer can provide more significant health advantages than whole milk or cream while consuming fewer calories. These are also an excellent option for people who are allergic to dairy.


Because boba tapioca pearls contain a lot of sugar, ordering fewer tapioca pearls might help you cut back on sugar. Requesting fewer or no toppings can drastically minimize your sugar consumption. This also includes adding less sweetened fruit purées and flavored syrup.

Where Can You get Bubble Tea?

Bubble tea is quite popular these days, and it is also trendy on social media. There are many stores and restaurants where you may get bubble tea in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Southeast Asian nations. In the 1990s, Boba developed a big fad in the United States, owing to the increasing immigration of Taiwanese people.

Many tea shops and even diners club restaurants now provide many varieties of tapioca milk tea in the United States, notably in major cities from the west coast to the east coast, such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Aside from tea cafés, you may simply make this Taiwan-made boba drink at home because the components are commonly accessible online and in supermarkets.

Is Boba Tea Expensive?

Pearl milk tea should not be so costly in and of itself. The components used to make a serving of Tea cost less than a dollar on average. However, this isn’t fully accurate because there is some additional cost to consider. For example, there aren’t many locations that create the unique tapioca orbs, they typically have to be bought in bulk and imported unless you know of a trustworthy maker. Much of the expense of bubble tea is accounted for by this feature, considering that the remainder of the Tea is just Tea or another drink supplied by the location where you purchase it.

Another thing to consider is that the excellent transparent cups and bigger straws that come with the Tea are slightly more expensive than the inexpensive, standard coffee cups that consumers may bulk purchase from vendors. Again, it shouldn’t be so costly to create the costs of tapioca milk tea that people notice and complain about, but this also plays a role in why bubble tea isn’t the same price as other teas.

The last reason is that bubble tea is undeniably popular and fashionable. Almost any item or drink that has become trendy in the same manner as bubble tea has will have a marked-up price so that firms and businesses may earn more money from the Tea than they would otherwise. After all, if consumers are buying the Tea at a 350 percent markup, the firms have no incentive to cease selling it at that price and profiting from it.

The Future of Boba Tea

The rise in consumption of flavored bubble tea among the younger generation supports the pearl milk tea market’s expansion. Furthermore, strong advertising and celebrity endorsements have aided the worldwide industry on its path to rise. The bubble tea craze continues to spread, gaining appeal in a variety of areas.

Bubble milk tea continues to expand exponentially, with over 200 flavor combinations and tens of thousands of drink modifications. Because of its growing popularity, tapioca milk tea is gaining momentum in emerging economies. The bubble tea market was worth $2.4 billion in 2019. It is expected to be valued at US4.3 billion by 2027.

To meet growing customer demand, producers are focusing on enhancing the functionality of bubble tea ingredients. Companies are spending on research and development to provide new tea varieties to a rising market.

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