How many calories are in a bubble tea?

Written by a few bubble tea addicts, on Jul 20, 2022

How many calories are in a bubble tea?

TLDR: Bubble tea has an average of 457 calories but it depends on the milk, sugar, and toppings.

How many calories are in bubble tea? Well, that depends.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to bubble tea. Bubble tea calories differ from flavor to flavor and from shop to shop.

But let’s break it down a bit.

What goes in bubble tea?

Bubble tea is usually made up of three things: tea, milk, and toppings. We'll cover all three below

Bubble Tea Calories

1. The Tea

There are many different options when it comes to the tea in boba. Using different teas creates different flavors. But this doesn’t play much of a role in the caloric value of boba. The main difference is that milk tea typically uses black tea, whereas fruit tea uses green tea.

2. The Milk

Milk plays a major role in the calories of boba. A drink usually contains milk or a milk alternative. This gives boba that classic creamy texture and flavor (unless you’re a fruit tea person, but we’ll get to that later).

The milk options, just like bubble tea in general, are endless. You can go the classic route with dairy milk, or use non-dairy creamer, as Pearly does. Another option is sweetened condensed milk, which is common in Thai milk tea.

Fruit tea, on the other hand, is made with juice instead of milk. This makes it less high in calories compared to milk tea.

3. The Toppings

Tapioca or boba pearls are the most common topping. They’re the chewy little balls in a bubble tea drink, and they have almost no flavor.

Tapioca pearls are made from starch extracted from cassava root. Cassava has a nutty flavor and has nearly twice the calories of potatoes, which makes it a large source of energy!

Get this: there is also a popping version! And they burst in your mouth, with no chewing required! These are great for bubble tea lovers who don’t like chewing the tapioca but still want the boba experience.

Those are the basics when it comes to bubble tea ingredients, but there are a variety of other toppings for bubble tea. Some common ones are pudding and jelly.

Bubble Tea Toppings

How many calories are in boba tea?

The caloric value of bubble tea depends on the milk and toppings. But let’s take a look at 8 of the most popular boba tea flavors, ranked from highest calories to lowest.

When comparing the calories in these boba flavors, we are assuming a regular-sized (16-ounce) boba with 2% milk, full ice, and 100% sugar.

Brown Sugar Milk Tea

Brown sugar milk tea is like classic milk tea but with, you guessed it: brown sugar.

This boba flavor is very popular at bubble tea shops and is also referred to as Tiger Milk Tea. Brown sugar milk tea ranges from 500-660 calories.

Pearly Bubble Tea Kit

Taro Milk Tea

Known for its pretty purple color, taro milk tea is another popular choice at boba shops. Taro is the third-highest calorie option averaging 620 calories. By the way, you can buy your own at-home Taro Bubble Tea kit here.

Thai Milk Tea

Made with sweetened condensed milk, Thai Milk Tea is very popular where boba was invented, in Taiwan. The milk choice makes it the second highest-calorie boba option on our list at 640 calories.

Honeydew Milk Tea

Honeydew milk tea is a popular choice for boba lovers who want creamy, fruity, and sweet. This option comes in fourth at 600 calories.

Pearl Milk Tea

Classic Milk Tea

Classic milk tea is, well, a classic. It is the poster child of boba and is the most popular flavor in boba tea shops. As far as calories go, it is the fifth-highest in calories and is the lowest calorie option for milk tea lovers. Since this option usually comes with boba, the average caloric value is 450 calories.

Passion Fruit Tea

The sixth highest-calorie boba option is passion fruit tea. This is a popular choice among fruit tea lovers and has an average of 240 calories.

Mango Fruit Tea

Another popular choice for fruit tea boba lovers is mango fruit tea. This is the seventh highest-calorie boba option and has an average of 230 calories.

Lychee Fruit Tea

Lychee fruit tea is perfect for boba lovers who enjoy fruit tea but also don’t want anything too sweet. This popular option is the lowest-calorie one at 220 calories.

TLDR: Graphic of calories by bubble tea

Bubble Tea Calories

What about the toppings?

Yes, the toppings. Who could forget? The toppings are what makes boba the unique and beloved drink it is!

Like bubble tea, the toppings differ in calories depending on what boba shop they come from. Let’s start with the highest-calorie boba topping.

The highest calorie boba topping is jelly. Jelly comes in many different flavors like coconut and grass jelly. These range from 50-190 calories per serving.

The second highest-calorie boba topping is tapioca pearls ranging from 94-104 calories per serving. These are the most popular boba topping and are honestly what makes boba, boba.

How many calories are there in bubble tea toppings?

  • Aloe Vera: 70-80 calories per serving
  • Brown Sugar pearls: 180-250 per serving
  • Grass Jelly: 50-70 calories per serving
  • Passionfruit Jelly: 150-190 calories per serving
  • Pudding: 70-90 calories per serving
  • Popping Boba: 64-70 Calories
  • Red Bean: 180-200 per serving
  • Sago: 140-190 calories per serving

The lowest-calorie option for topping your boba is, drumroll please…

Popping boba! These little balls of fun range from 64-70 calories per serving.

Cup Size Differences

Another element to consider when comparing boba options is the cup size. Most bubble teas come in 16-ounce servings or 22-ounce servings. And there is a huge calorie difference in these 6-ounces.

Bubble Tea Calories by Cup Size

How many calories does boba tea have by cup size?

Classic Milk Tea

  • 16-oz: 360 calories
  • 22-oz: 550 calories

Taro Milk Tea

  • 16-oz: 480 calories
  • 22-oz: 630 calories

Thai Milk Tea

  • 16-oz: 410 calories
  • 22-oz: 500 calories

Brown Sugar Milk Tea

  • 16-oz: 500 calories
  • 22-oz: 660 calories

Passion Fruit Tea

  • 16-oz: 240 calories
  • 22-oz: 290 calories

Honeydew Milk Tea

  • 16-oz: 380 calories
  • 22-oz: 610 calories

Mango Fruit Tea

  • 16-oz: 230 calories
  • 22-oz: 280 calories

Lychee Tea

  • 16-oz: 220 calories
  • 22-oz: 270 calories

So, how can you get a lower-calorie boba?

While the calories in bubble tea can add up, there are some options to reduce the caloric value of your boba!

The first way you can decrease the caloric value is by getting fewer toppings. Switch to ordering half portions of boba, or get a lower calorie topping like popping boba instead!

Sugar also plays a role in your boba’s caloric value. The calories listed are at 100% sugar so if you are looking to decrease the calories in your boba, ask for less sugar (0, 25, or 50%).

Another method to reduce calories is to switch to¬†almond or soy milk. Milk alternatives like almond milk contain almost half of the calories of 2% milk.¬†Just be careful the alternative has¬†fewer calories¬†- some milk alternatives can be deceiving ūüėÖ

If you still aren't satisfied, try ordering a Pearly instant bubble tea kit. We have boba options with as little as 226 calories. We also have ingredients and caloric amounts on our website and printed on all of our product boxes. Instant boba kits can also be a more convenient and affordable way to enjoy your favorite drink at home.

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