Bubble tea seems to be all the rage right now. So, it raises some questions; is bubble tea gluten free? Is it good for you? And, most importantly are there bubbles?
I’ll tackle all of these questions and more for you in this article!
What Is Bubble Tea?
Bubble tea isn’t one type of tea with a set recipe. It’s the name given to a wide variety of fruity teas that contains chewy tapioca balls and is served both hot and cold.
It’s more than a drink, it’s a delicious calorie-packed snack too.
It’s the tapioca balls that give this drink a unique look and taste. They’re also called pearls or “Boba” sometimes.
Although the origin of the name is a bit vague, it is believed that the word “bubble” either comes from these balls or the bubbly froth that’s created when the drink is shaken during the making process.
Other names you may have heard of come across include tapioca tea, cha pearl tea, milk tea, boba milk drink, boba tea, and some more variations on these words.
Related – Check out 12 problems tea can soothe!
What’s in Bubble Tea?
Obviously, as with any food or drink, the ingredients can vary slightly. Typically, however, according to Dwell, the main ingredients of bubble or boba tea are:
- Flavored tea
- Tapioca pearls
- Other fruit flavorings
To make the tea, all you have to do is blend the milk, ice, and tea until smooth. Then add the cooked tapioca and any other flavorings.
Pretty simple, a bit like making a smoothie. Which is why there is a huge health trend surrounding boba tea. You get a smoothie-style drink with the kick of tea.
You’ll also notice the straw is bigger than a regular size straw too. This is pretty important as the idea is to suck the tapioca pearls up as you’re drinking the tea.
Is Bubble Tea Gluten-Free?
If you have to avoid gluten because you have celiac disease, or even just want to avoid consuming products with gluten, you’ll know how important it is to be sure there is no gluten in a product.
Seeing as there are very few ingredients, it’s pretty simple to rule out gluten in this drink;
Ice – No gluten in plain old ice.
Milk – There is no gluten in milk.
Tea – Traditional teas are gluten-free.
Tapioca – Made from the root of the cassava plant, tapioca is gluten-free (source).
Fruit – All fresh fruits are naturally gluten-free.
As you can see, all of the ingredients in regular bubble tea are free of gluten. This means that bubble tea is gluten-free, yes.
This doesn’t mean that bubble tea itself is free of gluten though. There are so many different flavors, varieties, and ingredients that can be added to make it.
You should always check the label if you’re buying your own tea, or talk with the people preparing the drink if you’re buying it fresh from a stall.
What Does Being Gluten-Free Matter?
If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or any form of gluten sensitivity, you’ll need to avoid gluten for the good of your health.
These aren’t the only reasons why people choose to go gluten-free though. According to Jeffsanders.com, some of the benefits of going gluten-free includes:
- Increasing your energy levels
- Improving your cholesterol levels
- It helps put healthier foods on your table
- Promotes a healthy weight loss plan
- Promotes healthy digestive health
- Gives you a diet richer in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
Related – Ever tried green tea aromatherapy?
What Flavors of Bubble Tea Are There?
There are loads of different flavors, I’ve seen estimates of around 250 varieties so it’s impossible to list all of them.
The most popular flavors are fruity ones, with Honeydew being the most popular worldwide according to bubbletea.com.
I checked out one of those pop-up stalls in the mall near my home the other day and they had a bunch of fruity flavors on the menu.
I remember strawberry, apple, mango (I had this one and it was sooooo nice!), kiwi, coconut, watermelon, and peach.
I appreciate that I gave a bit of a “yes” and a “no” answer to the question. Traditional bubble tea should be gluten-free though, and it will be in most instances.
There is no set recipe, however, so it’s always worth double-checking what’s going into it before you place an order.
At the very least, I hope this article has helped raise some awareness for this fruity and delicious drink that’s super popular right now. Bubble tea is the truth!
Popping boba is a complementary food often consumed with bubble tea that has a thin skin which bursts to release the juice. None of the ingredients for traditional popping boba contain gluten, so it should be gluten-free.
Taro milk tea is another drink often offered by bubble tea vendors. It’s made from the root of the tropical taro plant, along with sugar, ice, and non-dairy creamer. Traditional recipes do not use any ingredients with gluten in.
If you don’t have a medical reason to avoid gluten, it comes down to personal preference. Gluten-free diets are increasing in popularity due to many gluten-free foods being healthy, such as fruits and vegetables.