Bubble tea, boba, pearl milk tea... We have so many ways to name this delightful beverage. However, there are some myths and facts surrounding it. Which facts are true and which are just myths? Below is the list of 5 facts you never knew about our favourite tea beverage!
Myth #1: The bubble in bubble tea refers to the pearls that look like bubbles.
Fact #1: The bubble in bubble tea refers to the bubbles formed at the top of the milk tea after the tea has been shaken to serve. The invention of the pearl milk tea in the 1980s is known to be accidental, from a man in Taiwan, where the drink originated from.
(Image Credit: bobamade.com)
Myth 2: All bubble tea pearls are safe and I can chew as much as I want!
Fact #2: The bubble tea pearls are made from starch extracted from cassava roots, which has nearly twice the calories of potatoes—primarily from carbs and sugar—and is thus a large source of energy. In 2012, a group of German researchers from the University Hospital Aachen reportedly found traces of aspolychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in tapioca ball samples. These cancer-causing chemicals have also been shown to have other adverse health effects on the immune, reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems. The next time when you order, you can try other toppings as alternative, or go all-out at places that you know have safe pearls, such as bubble tea shops that make their own pearls!
Other toppings such as jellies, pudding, popping boba, or even cheese and milk foams can all be great toppings!(Image Credit: Moo-Boo on Groupon UK)
Myth #3: Milk tea is made from green tea leaves.
Fact #3: Milk tea is made from black tea leaves.
Difference in how various teas are brewed, the traditional milk tea is made from black tea, but there are other teas in the market for the production of different milk teas.
(Image Credit: greentealobby.com)
Myth #4: The milk in a milk tea is milk!
Fact #4: The milk used in a classic milk tea and its similar renditions is non-diary powdered creamer, hence the "fresh milk" options!
Most places use non-diary powdered creamer to cater to non-diary or vegan customers
Myth #5: Boba is the same as pearls
Fact #5: Boba is a bigger version of the original pearls that were invented in a Taiwanese pearl milk tea.
Difference in size between boba and pearls, although we mainly use it interchangeably
(Image Credit: OO Tea 圈圈茶 - San Diego)
The pearl milk tea industry has been thriving with many different offerings of milk, tea, flavours and toppings. The introduction of other beverages such as fruit teas has brought in new products that differ from the current tea and milk tea varieties. While many of us enjoy this brilliant beverage, we must be aware of the health risks a cup of milk tea contains to ensure we drink in moderation!