Victorian Institute of Sport

Nutrition Tip | Boba

Monday, 09 December 2019

Ever wondered what's in those little balls you get in your milk tea?

Known as boba (translated as bubbles) or pearls, these little balls are made from tapioca flour which gives them a chewy texture. They are commonly added to milk tea, a beverage believed to have been created in Taiwan in the 1980s after a product developer from a tea house added a tapioca dessert to her tea during a staff meeting.

Since then milk tea has become extremely popular around the world, with many milk tea shops popping up in Australia too. What exactly is in a milk tea? Concentrated tea, a small amount of milk, pearls, a sweetener in the form of cane sugar, brown sugar or sugar syrup.

Milk tea with pearls is traditionally a very sweet beverage, however you can adjust the sweetness to your preference. Nutritionally the beverage doesn't offer very much, except carbohydrates in the form of fast-absorbing sugar - perhaps only beneficial if you are needing some quick acting carbs.

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