Bubble tea is one of the recent trends that has been catching on across North America. It’s a tea-based drink with popping bubbles, usually served cold and topped with fruit toppings such as pearls, jellies and chewy tapioca balls.
But what do these drinks actually contain?
A study by Health Canada states there are two main types of sugar in bubble teas: natural sugars from black or green teas plus added sugars like honey or syrup.
The study also states that bubble tea contains more added sugars than the Canadian Food Guide, which is 25% of daily energy intake.
What is Bubble Tea?!
Bubble tea is a Taiwanese drink made with a tea base shaken with fruit and/or milk. The ingredients in the drink include sugar, tapioca pearls, black or green tea, sweetened condensed milk, and flavorings like fruit juice or boba. Bubble tea typically has more sugar than other types of teas.
Bubble tea, also known as Boba tea, is a popular drink that is often associated with Asian culture. It consists of shaved ice, tapioca pearls, and various flavors like green tea or taro. There are many variations in the ingredients used to make this beverage because there are so many different taste preferences. The calories found in bubble teas range from 0 to 200 depending on the amount of sugar added into it according to nutrition facts provided by Yelp reviewers who have tried both versions: plain (0), unsweetened (0-5), and sugar added to plain tea.
What's in it
Bubble tea is a type of drink that starts with a base of tea and is then sweetened, flavored and shaken before serving. The fun comes from the small chewy tapioca pearls, or boba, which can be made in countless variations. There are also many health benefits to bubble tea as well because it's high in antioxidants.
Bubble tea recipe can be made with any type of milk, sweetened condensed milk, fruit juice or almond milk. The boba is often flavored with special powders and the drink itself is a popular Taiwanese beverage that has become more mainstream in recent years.
As for what's inside this drink? It contains tapioca pearls (boba), brewed black tea leaves, brown sugar syrup along with flavorful toppings like iced/hot pearl powder and ice cream topping to give it that extra flavor and creamy texture.
History of the drink
Bubble tea is a sweet, thickened iced tea that has moved beyond its roots in the Asian community. It's called bubble because it is frothy and made with pearls (or balls) at the top and bottom of the drink.
In Asia, bubbles are added to make the drink look more appealing, while Americans love them for their aesthetic appeal as well. Other names include "tapioca pearl drink," tapioca ball drink," pearl shake," pearl tea, black pearl tea, boba ice tea, and big pearl.
Bubble tea is made with a mixture of black or oolong teas that are sweetened with sugar and condensed milk. It's also flavored in many different ways including green tea, taro juice, mango iced tea or mung bean extract.
Boba Tea is a Taiwanese tea-based beverage that's served in large, colorful tapioca pearls. This sweet drink can be found everywhere from coffee shops to grocery stores and gas stations across the US. The history of this drink dates back over 100 years ago when it was created by mixing black tapioca balls with milk before adding sugar for sweetness
The unique texture comes from the pearls which are about as big as small marbles and formed into bubbles using hot water.
Who Invented Bubble Tea?
There is no dated evidence about the invention of bubble tea. However, Taiwan's story is a result of a rumor! The Taiwanese began to serve their teas as cold drinks and often enjoyed them outside on warm summer evenings. As merchants started searching for more inventive variations in their teas, they began adding other ingredients like sweetened black tapioca pearls or flavored syrups into their drinks such as green tea with honey and milk tea with jelly.
What's It Like to Drink?
Bubble tea is a relatively new concept in the United States. There are many different types of bubble teas and they can be sweet or unsweet, depending on what you use. In general, one serving of bubble tea has around 30-40 grams of sugar. It's important to note that all sugars don't affect every individual the same way, so it's important to watch how much sugar you're consuming in your diet.
The "bubble" refers to the foam created when water is allowed to boil and then ice is stirred into it. The drink must always be shaken, not stirred, so that the bubbles are visible in the tea.
The drink is typically sweetened with sugar or a combination of milk powder, honey and corn syrup.
How bad is bubble tea for you?
The sugar content varies by brand and flavor, but it's typically very high. Some brands contain as much as 40 grams of sugar in a single serving. Besides the sugar content in the powdered mix, tapioca in bubble tea is also relatively high in sugar content made that is pure sugar.
The U.S Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting added sugars to less than 10% of total calories, or about 50g (12 teaspoons) per day for a 2,000-calorie diet.
Choose a healthier alternative to drink!
Healthy Boba Tea Alternative
A healthier alternative to bubble tea is boba tea protein from boba nutrition. Sugar in this drink is zero with natural replacement of monk fruit extract.
Monk fruit extract is made from the fruit of the monk fruit plant, also known as luo han guo. The extract is a white powder that is about 200 times sweeter than sugar but doesn't have the negative side effects for people with diabetes or those who are on a calorie-controlled diet.
If you are comparing both a traditional Boba tea with Boba Nutrition Protein, you will see that Boba Nutrition Protein has 28g of protein vs 0g of protein, 5gs of carbohydrates vs 45g and most importantly zero sugar with 50g of sugar.