Tea is loved for its flavors, refreshing aroma, and numerous health benefits. Tea of various types, ingredients, and flavors has been consumed for centuries due to its medicinal properties and health.
In the last few decades, many teas, like iced teas, flavored teas, etc. have come up. Bubble tea is one such variety that has grown in its popularity very fast.
However, many tea enthusiasts are curious to know about this popular beverage. What is bubble tea? Does bubble tea have caffeine? Is bubble tea gluten-free?
In this article we will review bubble tea, know more about it, its origin, popularity, caffeine levels, taste, flavors, types, and how to make it.
Does Bubble Tea Have Caffeine?
First thing first, most bubble tea has caffeine. Since bubbles tea has a base of black or green tea, it contains caffeine. Although you can also find decaf bubble tea but generally it is made with tea that has caffeine.
Bubble tea is a sweet and unique beverage with a caffeine boost and sugar rush. I avoid drinking high sugar drinks personally, but bubble is favorite drink for kids due to chewy tapioca pearls.
How Much Caffeine Is In Bubble Tea?
Bubble tea is relatively low in caffeine, and it varies in different types of bubble teas. The caffeine content generally depends on the type of tea used to make the tea as all types of tea have different levels of caffeine content. Black tea has around 40-70 mg of caffeine. Whereas, green tea contains 20-45 mg and oolong has 30-50mg.
Therefore, depending on the type of tea used to make bubble tea and the preparation methods determine the caffeine level in bubble tea. However, you will find between 100 mg -160mg of caffeine in a standard cup of bubble tea.
Please read on to learn more about bubble tea, a refreshing and delicious drink!
What is Bubble Tea (Boba Tea)?
Bubble tea is a cold-flavored tea beverage. It was initially a Taiwanese drink called Boba Tea, pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, or simply Boba. This hugely popular tea contains large chewy tapioca balls, which make Bubble Tea an interactive drink and a sweet snack.
Bubble tea is easily recognizable. It is paired with a colorful jumbo straw which is visually attractive. The tapioca pearls move quickly up the straw with every sip of bubble tea. Many people wonder, “Does bubble tea have caffeine?” Bubble contains tea as its base ingredient, which have caffeine.
Bubble tea is made by combing milk, tea, granulated sugar, and chewy tapioca pearls. The base of Bubble tea is typically made with black, green, or oolong tea. The tea is mixed with milk or a non-dairy alternative. It is sweetened with sugar or flavored syrup.
Tapioca pearls are a distinctive feature of boba tea. These are small, chewy balls made from the starch of the cassava root. These pearls are called “boba” or “bubbles,” giving the drink its name.
Bubble Tea or Boba Tea is usually served cold with ice. It is consumed through a wide straw that accommodates the Boba and other toppings. You can also use a spoon to scoop out the boba pearls.
How Did Bubble Tea Originate?
Boba tea was developed in the 1980s in Taichung City of Taiwan by Liu Han-Chieh and Lin Hsiu.
Lin Han-Chieh got the idea to develop it by seeing how the Japanese add milk to coffee. This new recipe for milk tea immensely boosted the popularity of his teahouse.
His product manager, Lin Hsiu Hui, then created the pearls with the help of tapioca balls and sweetened pudding. After that, the Boba Tea’s popularity spread worldwide, mainly to the US and Canada.
What are the Different Types of Bubble Tea?
Various types of Bubble tea are:
- Milk Tea
- Black Tea
- Fresh Fruit Tea
- Smoothies or Milk Shakes
- Fresh Milk
- Salted Cream
- Flavored Tea – These teas contain added flavourings but no milk
- Juice – made without any tea. Fruit juice boba contains only juice but no milk
Different types of beverages, which are commonly known as “bubble tea or boba tea”, are
- Tai Chi Bubble Tea
- Taro Bubble Tea
- Joyba Bubble Tea
- Coco Bubble Tea
What Is Boba Made of?
Boba balls are jelly-like spheres. These balls are soft and made of tapioca derived from cassava roots. Boba balls are also called tapioca or pearls. They are the bubbles in bubble tea. Besides tapioca, boba may also contain sugar or caramel as sweeteners. Boba also contains corn starch or potassium sorbate for texture and preservation. Large boba balls are commonly used in bubble tea. They come in different sizes ranging from small (5 mm) to large (8.5 mm).
Bubble Tea Toppings
The toppings on bubble tea make it attractive and fun to drink. A wide range of toppings, from colorful jelly toppings to chewy boba pearls to colorful jelly toppings, makes boba tea a treat to adore and taste. Some of the most common bubble tea toppings available are:
- Tapioca Pearls – These chewy pearls are the most common boba topping. Slightly sweet in flavor, they are usually black or dark brown.
- Popping Boba – The boba pearls in different flavors, such as dragon fruit and pink rose, pop with a burst of flavor.
- Jelly Toppings – plant-based jelly toppings add a gelatine-like texture
- Crystal Boba – the translucent crystal boba pearls are colorful and 100% edible.
Taste of Bubble Tea
Bubble tea comes in different flavors and textures. Therefore taste of bubble tea varies with each flavor. The tea base and the toppings are the two main components of bubble tea.
- The tea base is a sweet tea-based drink poured over ice.
- Tapioca pearls are the most common toppings, which are chewy and soft.
Therefore, the taste of bubble tea can vary widely based on the toppings and base you choose. Most bubble tea has a sweet flavor. The tea is either milky or fruity; you can customize toppings with unique textures.
Why it is Popular
Bubble Tea, a Taiwanese drink, is pearl milk tea or Boba. It combines tapioca-type balls known as pearls with milk tea.
“Boba refers to tapioca balls. They are made from cassava root cooked in sugar and water. The balls are cooked until they achieve a chewy consistency.
The popularity of this addictive drink has skyrocketed in the last decade. The boba shops are often dubbed the “Asian Starbucks.” McDonald’s in Germany added Boba to their menu to cater to its customers in 2012.
Bubble Tea standout due to three significant factors which are:
· Unique Taste
The Bubble Tea has a sweet taste that pairs perfectly with the unique taste of chewy tapioca balls provided by boba. The taste and texture of Bubbler tea are much similar to the one of iced coffee or juice.
However, with boba, the pearls break the boring consistency and make it unique, which no other drink can match.
You can choose from many Bubble Tea flavors available at the shops. There are exotic flavors like taro, guava, matcha, passion fruit, and avocado boba. Can you find so many foreign flavors with any other drink?
Boba shops offer a wide variety of toppings, and you can choose from different flavors. You can find various flavors in jelly, aloe vera, crema, chia seeds, and popping boba. Shops can offer customized flavors matching your taste and providing you with your favorite toppings.
Many people get boba simply for its aesthetic appeal. Some even have Instagram accounts dedicated to boba and it’s aesthetic. Shops like Vivi Bubble Tea, Boba Bar, or Boba Guys have artsy backgrounds and wallpapers that make a great picture for Instagram.
Is Bubble Tea Good for You?
The pearls in the bubble tea are fully of carbohydrate. They are starchy carbohydrates which are not healthy as they are hard to digest.
A normal cup of bubble tea generally contains about 55 grams of sugar and about 550 calories.
These figures are not a sign of a healthy beverage.
In contrast, true tea like black tea, green tea or any type of herbal tea offers various health benefits making them a good addition to a healthy routine.
Bubble Tea Ingredients
- 8-10 tea bags of choice
- 7 cups water
- Flavoring syrup (optional)
- 1 pack of tapioca pearls (8.8 oz)
- 2 cups granulated sugar (any sweetener of desired quantity)
- Whole milk (or vegan milk like coconut milk, soy milk, or nut milk)
You can use bubble tea powder as per your choice and availability.
How to make Bubble Tea
Following are the directions to make bubble tea. This recipe will yield four drinks.
- Boil 6 cups of water to brew the tea of your choice.
- Remove the pot and then add tea bags.
- Allow the tea to reach room temperature.
- If using flavoring syrup, honey, or a thick sweetener,
- Mix flavoring syrup or any sweetener while still warm so that it dissolves properly.
- Add 1 cup of water to a saucepan to make the syrup.
- Add in sugar when the water starts simmering and stir until dissolved.
- Let it cool now.
- Take a pot and prepare the tapioca pearls.
- Boil 7-10 cups of water for every 1 cup of tapioca pearls, and then add tapioca pearls.
- Cook for around 2-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Run pearls under lukewarm water and then drain. Transfer to a new bowl.
- Divide boba pearls between glasses and fill each glass with ice.
- Fill each glass with 1 1/2 cups of tea.
- Add 2-3 tbsp of half and half or milk to each glass. Add a scoop per the product’s instructions if using boba milk powder.
- Stir or shake well.
You can flavor the tea with homemade ingredients such as fruits, coffee, or ginger. You can customize with the choicest toppings and enjoy with large boba straws or long spoons.
Bubble Tea Flavors
The traditional classic bubble tea is usually made with black tea, milk, ice, and tapioca pearls. However, a wide range of tempting Boba tea flavors is available. It ranges from sweet options to earthy, herbal options. If you want to add to the taste, you can opt for one of the following boba tea flavors:
- Passion fruit
How to Drink Bubble Tea?
Interestingly, everyone drinks Bubble Tea differently. I prefer to eat tapioca pearls first and then enjoy the tea. However, some drinkers only consume tapioca pearls once they finish the beverage. Many drinkers sip and chew tapioca pearls along the way.
How do you prefer to enjoy Bubble Tea?
Does Bubble Tea Have Caffeine: Final Thoughts
When considering the question “Does bubble tea have caffeine?” the answer is yes, however, in varying amounts.
Bubble tea generally contains tea as its base ingredient and true teas naturally contain caffeine. Therefore bubble tea does contain caffeine; however, the caffeine content can be lower than that of the tea used because it is diluted with the addition of milk.
Caffeine in bubble tea cannot be a significant concern unless consumed excessively. It is essential to know that bubble tea has high sugar content and the presence of tapioca balls in bubble tea can be unhealthy and pose health issues. So moderation is the key when enjoying bubble tea.
Does Bubble Tea Have Caffeine-FAQs
Is bubble tea and boba the same?
Bubble tea and boba refer to the same type of beverage. It is a popular drink that originated in Taiwan. It typically contains tea, milk, sweeteners, and chewy tapioca pearls (boba).
What are the bubbles in bubble tea?
The “bubbles” in bubble tea are small, chewy tapioca pearls. They are made from the starch of the cassava root. These pearls are cooked until they become soft and have a gelatinous texture, which adds a unique element to the tea.
Is bubble tea healthy?
Though you can enjoy bubble tea as an occasional treat, it is not considered a healthy beverage. It often contains high amounts of added sugars, calories, and sometimes artificial flavors. Choosing unsweetened flavors or one that uses alternative sweeteners can make it a healthier choice.
Is bubble tea caffeinated?
Bubble tea contains caffeine, and the caffeine content can vary depending on the type of tea used as the base. Traditional bubble tea is usually made with black or green tea containing caffeine, but herbal or fruit-based bubble teas may be caffeine-free.