Is Boba Tea Healthy?
Written by a few bubble tea addicts, on Aug 31, 2022
Article Recap: Boba tea fans can customize their drink to cater to their health needs by customizing toppings, sweetener levels, dairy and more.
No one could have predicted just how popular boba tea would become. Boba tea cafes are popping up everywhere, and this Taiwanese treat has even infiltrated chain grocery stores like Costco and Walmart.
The boba craze is steadily growing. It shows no signs of it stopping, and boba manufacturers are creating even more tea toppings, flavorings, and tapioca pearl products. As the options for boba tea keep multiplying, fans have one burning question: is boba tea healthy?
Wait, what is boba tea?
Boba tea is a popular Taiwanese drink that combines tea with either dairy or fruit juice. In addition to the drink, boba tea shops generally add sweetener, ice and toppings to introduce unique flavors and textures to the drink. Most people drink boba tea cold (with ice), though some people opt for a hot version of the drink.
Want to learn more about boba tea? Check out this article!
Is boba tea healthy?
Boba tea is a highly customizable drink, and many boba brands have taken advantage of its versatility to hook new customers. With so many customization options, it can be a little tricky figuring out how healthy your boba tea is. We suggest breaking it down to the core components:
Health Benefits of the Tea in Boba Tea
Boba tea is generally made with a traditional green or black tea base. New, more modern boba tea stores even offer different tea bases such as jasmine, oolong and herbal tea.
Tea has many natural health benefits. Green tea contains healthy bioactive compounds such as protective polyphenols - a fancy way to say it protects the body against diseases. Polyphenols can also slow the effects of aging on the brain. Green tea is also a source of L-theanine, an amino acid that increases dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals improve your mood and make you relax.
The other popular choice, black tea, has it's own set of health benefits. Humans have been reaping the benefits of black tea for years. It is made from the Camellia sinensis plant which contains beneficial antioxidants and compounds. Flavonoids are just one of the groups of antioxidants found in black tea. They are proven to benefit heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.
Health Benefits of Tapioca Pearls (aka boba balls)
Tapioca pearls are an essential part of boba tea. These chewy balls are made from the cassava root which is processed into tapioca flour. As a result, the pearls are starchy and almost entirely made up of carbohydrates. If you are on a low-starch or low-carbohydrate diet, avoid tapioca pearls.
It's also good to know that one cup of tapioca pearls contains 30.4 mg of calcium. Calcium is a mineral that promotes healthy bones and teeth. Many people do not know that calcium also prevents blood clotting and improves contraction and dilation in blood vessels and muscles.
Health benefits of other toppings
With so many boba tea toppings out there, we put together a simple chart to show you the most popular toppings and how many calories are in each one!
Sugar in Boba Tea
When the question of health arises, people automatically think of sugar. Luckily, boba tea shop owners are generally pretty health conscious and try to be as accommodating as possible.
You can expect your barista to offer you a sliding scale of sugar content options. In most cafes, sugar is represented in percentages. You can generally choose 0%, 25%, 50%, or 100% (default) sugar. If you're a beginner and feel intimidated by the options, it's ok! That's totally normal. Ask your barista what sugar content they suggest (it will almost never be 100%).
Why not always go for 0% sugar? It sounds like the healthiest option right? Technically it is the healthiest option, but your drink might not taste good without sugar. Just follow your instincts (or what the barista tells you to try) and you'll eventually find what percentage of sugar you enjoy that keeps the drink healthy enough for you.
Control your boba tea caloric intake at home
Pearly delivers DIY kits straight to your doorstep.
The Starter Bundle comes with six original milk tea packets, six taro milk tea packets, 12 instant tapioca packets, and a reusable cup and straw. Each drink takes less than three minutes to make, but hold on! Our DIY kits give you the chance to customize each sip. Experiment with less sweetness and fewer tapioca pearls to make this sweet treat as healthy as possible.
Some of our happy customers even load up on ice and milk alternatives to make their boba tea packets last for as long as possible.
Browse through our DIY boba tea kits today.
What about the calories in boba tea
Are you curious about how many calories are in different flavors of boba tea? We went through all of the popular drink options (and sizes) in this article. Enjoy!