5 bubble tea facts you should know

If your friends love bubble tea as much as you do, here is your chance to quiz them on some lesser-known facts about this amazing drink.

Why is it called bubble tea?

Some people believe that bubble tea got its name because of those pearls that look like little bubbles sitting at the bottom of the drink. But it’s much more likely that the name originated from the bubbly froth that forms at the surface of the tea after it’s shaken with milk. Other popular names for bubble tea are “boba” and “pearl milk tea”.

Where does bubble tea come from?


Most people know that bubble tea, also known as boba, originated in Asia but in which country exactly? Contrary to what many believe, it’s not China or Japan, but Taiwan. However, it is hard to establish who exactly invented it, as more than one popular Taiwanese bubble tea chain claims that their founder created this popular drink.

When was bubble tea invented?

Bubble tea was invented in the 1980s and quickly gained popularity first all over Asia, then in North America, and around the world. 

What are the pearls made of?

The pearls we all love are made of tapioca starch extracted from a plant originally native to South America but brought to Asia over a hundred years ago. The tapioca pearls start off hard and white and go through many hours of processing at high temperatures and soaking in sugary syrup before they gain their nice black colour, distinct chew consistency, and pleasant taste.


Is bubble tea high in calories?

A regular serving of bubble tea contains about 300 - 400 calories (1250 - 1680 Kj). Out of that amount, pearls contribute 100 - 150 calories (420 - 630 Kj). It’s the sugar content of bubble tea where most of the calories are. So, if you are watching your calorie intake, rather than ordering a “standard sugar” boba drink, you can have  “less sugar”, “half sugar”, or “little sugar” in your drink. Of course, the “no sugar” option is also always available. While those with the sweet tooth are likely to want at least some sugar in their bubble tea, it’s still quite enjoyable even with no added sugar as you get to taste the gentle sweetness of the pearls.


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