The Benefits of Bubble Tea, according to RDs

It’s likely that you have heard of boba tea, or bubble tea, even if you have never tried it. Its global worth is $2 billion, and it has grown in popularity in the U.S. since the ’90s.

People in many cities across the U.S. are finding boba tea shops to their delight. Los Angeles and Miami have especially embraced the trend. Is this another indication of how popular boba tea has become in the U.S.? (If you’ve ever stood in a line that snaked around the block, you know exactly what I mean.) A new shelf-stable boba tea, Joyba, is being released this month by food giant Del Monte. Although you can soon find this tea at a grocery store near you, it is important to know the origins of this beverage before stocking up. What if you could enjoy this tasty beverage while honoring its roots?

Boba tea guide: here’s how to do it. Learn how it’s made, how it’s made, and how it’s made, as well as the history behind it.

What are the health benefits of bubble tea?

In comparison with most types of tea, Boba tea’s history dates back to Taiwan in the early 1980s – a relatively recent development. Taiwan had already long been a popular place to drink milky tea. There were two tea shops that independently developed the idea (in the 1980s) to add little tapioca pearls. In the decades following, its popularity spread across Asia and even around the world, as you can imagine.

When Asako Miyashita, RD, was a teenager in Japan in the ’90s, she first had boba tea. According to her, boba tea may be made with a variety of tea types, especially black, green, or white tea. There is also milk, ice, and of course, the chewy tapioca pearls.

With the right ingredients, bubble tea can be very nutritious, according to Miyashita. She explains that black, green, and white teas all contain antioxidants that are beneficial to the brain. Antioxidants reduce inflammation, which helps prevent certain cancers and diseases and is also associated with longevity. By decreasing oxidative stress, which is harmful to brain function, antioxidants protect the brain.

Miyashita says all tea options have nutritional benefits, so boba tea drinkers can choose whatever they prefer. Despite that, she does point out some specific benefits of choosing green tea. She says green tea contains a catechin called EGCG. It has been shown that this specific catechin inhibits tumor growth. In addition to its ability to decrease the risk of neurodegenerative diseases (at least in rats), white tea has also been shown to boost the immune system. Would you rather drink black tea? It prevents inflammation, supports the immune system, and is particularly good for the gut. There’s no way to go wrong with this.

Would you like to know what those tapioca pearls are all about? Although they are certainly not unhealthy, Miyashita says they have very little nutritional value. Tapioca is derived from cassava tubers and contains starchy carbohydrates, but fewer fibers. Cassava itself contains nutrients such as vitamin C and calcium, iron-but not much,” she says. Tapioca pearls have fewer health benefits because cassava is damaged when cooked [as they are for boba tea].” Although the pearls are a crucial component of boba tea, they aren’t exactly nutrient rich.

Alternatively, you can use cow’s milk, which contains plenty of calcium, protein, vitamin D, and vitamin A. Many bubble tea shops now offer plant-based milk options, like oat and almond, as more people turn to plant-based milks. However, alternative milks are primarily water, so they’re not very nutritional.

Watch the video below to find out which alternative milk is the healthiest, according to a registered dietitian:

Condensed milk is sometimes used to make boba tea, an addition Miyashita is not in favor of nutritionally. She says that condensed milk typically contains sugar. If you choose to add it at all to your boba tea, she recommends adding just a splash.

Boba tea: how to enjoy it while honoring its roots

It’s been decades since boba tea first appeared, but it hasn’t been available in a shelf-stable form until this month. Emre Yeniei, the founder of Locca Boba Tea, says boba tea is difficult to bring to the masses for a few reasons. He explains that the reason is that cow’s milk has to be kept cold and that it should be consumed within a relatively short window of time. That’s why you often see boba tea sold in kits with powdered milk so you can make it at home, he says.

A second reason is the time it takes to cook tapioca pearls. In his opinion, instant tapioca pearls are less authentic than the tapioca pearls that require cooking, which some brands use to get around this issue. Yeniei — whose brand sells a variety of boba tea kits — says ingredient sourcing is extremely important to him so customers can enjoy the beverage authentically at home. He adds that they use tea from Taiwan and other Asian countries as well.

Vice president Mario DiFalco says it was of utmost importance to Del Monte Foods to create a boba tea that honored its Taiwanese roots. In addition to partnering with a Taiwanese supplier for the boba tea ingredients, we also considered how we would package the drink, he says. The can of this drink would not have fit in a cooler, for instance. The cups come with straws that are large enough for the pearls to pass through.

Creating shelf-stable boba tea was no easy task, DiFranco acknowledges. There are a lot of obstacles, as Yeniei indicated. His biggest challenge was figuring out where the cups were. For the food company, it was critical that the cups resemble bubble tea cups, but that the straws be attached to the cups in a way that prevents them from becoming detached during shipping.

Creating authentic and delicious boba tea flavors was the next step. There are some differences between Joyba and traditional boba tea, despite the brand’s honorable commitment. In addition to water, sugar, calcium lactate, citric acid, corn starch, and a few other ingredients, boba bubbles also contain tapioca pearls that need to be cooked, Yeniei explains. The tea is brewed with calcium lactate, not milk, and the powder is also made from brewed tea. The beverage will not spoil as easily with these changes. DiFranco says he hopes Joyba can be both a way to enjoy boba on-the-go and an opportunity to introduce it to people who haven’t previously tried it.

For boba tea to be authentic, find out where the ingredients are sourced from; true Taiwanese boba tea comes from Taiwan. Whether you make boba tea at home, buy it at the grocery store, or visit a local boba tea shop, the following advice is crucial. That said, I think it’s great that silly tea is becoming more accessible. Wouldn’t it be nice to have pearls on your drink?

Hello! You seem like someone who enjoys free workouts, discounts for well-known brands, and access to exclusive Well+Good content. Get access to your rewards instantly by signing up for Well+, our online wellness community.

These products are independently selected by our editors. Well+Good may earn a commission from purchases made through our links.

Leave a Comment