Today, people are going head over heels for Boba drink. The popularity and expanse with which this drink has captured the world are extremely intriguing and surprisingly pleasant to view at the behest.
However, if you’re on a vegan diet, you must be wondering – is Boba vegan? And whether you should consume this delectable delight for which half of the world is going gaga.
Well, you have come to the right place because we got you covered so that you know everything about this luscious item before including it in your vegan diet.
However, before we help you with your quest, let us delve deeper and understand what is Boba in its entirety!
Boba- What is it?
Vegan Boba refers to the individual tapioca pearl that gets used in bubble tea. These pearls are prepared from cassava starch or tapioca and then given small round shapes. They are usually simmered in a sugary substance that gives them a sweetened taste, apt to be used in different items.
These pearls then finally become suitable to be used as a base, especially in milk or vegan milk tea or, in green or black tea apart from coffee and other smoothies.
Where Does Boba Come From- The Origin
After knowing what is Boba drink, let us go back in time and find out when this scrumptious item came into being.
Boba was birthed in the land of Taiwan in the 1980s, but the exact city and shop have always been a topic of dispute. From there, in the course of time, this item traveled to the US somewhere in the 90s, and Boba flavors began making their mark across several palates and time zones from then on.
What is Bubble Tea?
Bubble tea is ideally a Taiwanese drink that has garnered much attention over time. But what is in Bubble tea and is bubble tea vegan?
Well, let’s look at that!
From the Boba plant comes tapioca pearls, which are used in the drink, along with other necessary toppings. A unique option, this beverage makes use of a sweetener that further adds to its taste and luscious texture.
As for the variants, the milk bubble tea is not vegan but those that are made from fruit teas are ideal for vegan consumption.
Boba Tea Nutrition
Boba vegan option possesses a nutritious value that makes it healthy and a good addition to everyday life. As such, let us look at its nutritive quotient to know it better.
|Nutritive Value per One Serving
Different Types of Boba
Well, there exist different types of vegan Boba that are simply exotic and delicious in nature. Let us have a look at them:-
1. Traditional Boba (Clear)
This is one of the most ideal bets for those who are following a plant-based diet. This variant contains tapioca pearls that only have cassava root powder. However, be aware that many products that carry labels of “clear Boba” contain brown sugar in them.
As such, if you avoid all types of animal-based products, then this would not be an ideal choice for you. But usually, plain and traditional Boba does not contain any egg, dairy, honey, or meat products.
2. Black Boba
Black Boba possesses caramel coloring that lends it a distinct black shade. However, you must keep in mind that caramel coloring is somewhat tricky as it can be made with a variety of ingredients, none of which are shown on the label.
Although most caramel colors are made by heating malt or corn syrup, some are also derived from lactose, which is not vegan by nature. Therefore, always check the label when you buy these products.
3. Flavored Boba
Boba flavors are of two types. The first one gets made of traditional tapioca pearls along with flavoring. They can be found in the form of flavored syrup or as dry ingredients that are added to the dough. The latter can involve animal-free options like taro or food powder.
The second variant is not composed of tapioca in any sense but comprises sugar and hydrogenated creamer or oil.
4. Popping Boba
This variant is not similar to the traditional tapioca pearls. Instead, it is composed of starch, fructose, agar or seaweed, and water. All these are mixed to prepare a hollow ball that is then filled with jelly or flavored juice.
Popping, also known as Bursting Boba is usually vegan but it typically contains artificial flavors and colors along with artificial sweeteners.
Why is Boba So Popular?
After knowing what is Boba, you must be wondering as to why this item is so popular across the globe. Well, here are some of the reasons for its raving fan following:-
1. Exotic Taste and Experience
One of the best things about bubble tea is that it has a unique taste like no other beverage. Per your favorite flavor and topping, you can experience the drink in a whole new way. With an exotic taste, the drink no wonder has captured people’s hearts.
2. Numerous Flavors and Toppings
Boba tea is served with a fruit or milk base. Some of these bubble tea flavors are extremely unique and have quite a different taste than no other alternatives.
These flavors more often than not include honeydew, matcha, taro, passion fruit, strawberry, green apple, avocado, lychee, cantaloupe, and many more. Beyond these bases, the Boba drink is also renowned for its toppings. Some of these delectable toppings include Boba, jelly, red bean, pudding, and popping Boba.
3. Customization Options
Since bubble tea shops possess a lot of different flavors, they also give customers the liberty of choosing their favorite, toppings, colors, and flavors among other things. All these attract people, particularly the younger generation because these shops invariably have something or the other for everyone out there.
4. Proven Health Benefits
One of the best features of the vegan Boba drink that attracts people is its evident health benefits. As such, bubble drinks can be extremely healthy if you select the right ingredients and avoid extra sugar in the beverage. Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, the Boba tea drink is full of boons for the body that further adds to its charm and popularity.
Is Boba Vegan?
Well, Boba (bubble) in itself can be deemed vegan since tapioca starch is a plant-based extraction, which is further devoid of gluten. As such, the tapioca pearl is ideally prepared from three essential ingredients: water, tapioca starch, and other delectable seasonings that lend it a distinct color and taste. If the extra seasoning which is used is vegan too, then it would be safe to conclude that Boba is completely ideal for vegan consumption.
Suggested Read => Best Plant-Based Coffee Creamers
However, it is necessary to look into other aspects of Boba beverage, and that is the “tea” part. Keeping aside Boba, the popular bubble tea is prepared in two different ways- as a fruity drink and as a milky drink.
The fruity drink is usually and most of the time vegan and is based on fruit syrup. Milky tea, on the other hand, might or might not be purely vegan. Today, though it is common to be given a vegan creamer, if unsure, ask the seller before the purchase.
Health Benefits of Boba or Bubble Tea
Well, by now you must be struck with a question – Is Boba healthy?
And why not? With Boba tea consumption on a large scale today, this dilemma is obvious, whether what you’re consuming is good for you or not!
To help you with your quest, listed below are some of the health benefits of this item:-
1. Provides Strength to the Body
Since bubble tea has a vegan milk quotient, it invariably provides energy to the body. Apart from that, it also makes the bone stronger which further helps in carrying out everyday activity with full vigor and strength.
2. Aids in Relieving Stress
Stress has increasingly become a part of everyone’s life. However, bubble tea is known to reduce stress by relieving the tense muscles in the system. Since the drink contains caffeine, it also refreshes the body.
3. Boosts Immune System
One of the best health benefits of bubble tea is that it enhances the immune system. This healthy drink contains a lot of antioxidants and vitamins that are needed for boosting immunity, which helps in keeping illnesses at bay.
4. Promotes Weight Loss
Boba tea is known to promote weight loss. Caffeine and polyphenols function as dietary elements that lead to a reduction in weight, thus helping you to lead a healthy life, away from diseases.
How to Make Vegan Boba Tea at Home?
Well, it might happen that in the quest to find the best vegan Boba option, you are left confused and astounded as to how to know the right and ideal drink, which serves the vegan need. In situations like these, you can make the luscious drink right at your home.
To make this tea, you need to have:-
- 1/3 cup dry tapioca pearls
- 3 cups of water
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup
- 1 cup of strong tea
- 2 cups non-dairy milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a pot, add the water and bring it to a boil.
- Now, add the tapioca pearls and begin cooking them on low heat for about 8 minutes. Stir regularly, so that they do not stick together. Make sure that when they are ready, the pearl is translucent and soft in texture.
- At this point, strain the pearls and take them out in a small jar.
- Cover them with cold water, only till the point where you’re sure that the pearls will not dry out.
- Add the maple syrup now.
- For making the tea, strain out these pearls, add them to any glass, and do some icing if required.
- You can give some toppings to the drink by adding tea or plant milk.
Where to Buy Boba From?
Vegan Boba can be bought by searching on Google and looking at ”Boba shops near me”. The majority of this Boba tea is freshly made and then sold at these shops that specialize in its selling. Sometimes these shops can be found as “mom and dad” shops or as a franchise.
Apart from these, there exist several Asian restaurants and grocery stores that sell it in cans or as a fresh drink. This beverage is popular in many American states and interestingly, more than half of these Boba shops are found in California.
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Today, there have been many innovations and a new variant of Boba tea named Goba tea has been doing the rounds. This is precisely a healthy Boba placed in a bottle that is available for online purchase.
The Downsides of Boba
Having answered your question- is Boba healthy, it is equally important to understand that every consumable does carry its downsides, and Boba is no different.
Well, here are some of the drawbacks of consuming Boba:-
1. High Sugar Quotient
One of the main drawbacks of Boba drinks is that they are sugar-dense. Based on the variety of the beverage that you choose, it carries more or less of the sugar quotient. Most of this sugar comes from the added sweeteners, flavorings, and fruit syrups.
Apart from this, tapioca pearls are usually kept in a sugary solution before they get added to the already sugar-induced Boba drink. All this leads to excess sugar intake that is potentially harmful to the body.
2. Food Allergies
Boba vegan drink has yet another downside and that is for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to nuts and soy. Tapioca pearls are also prepared from cassava, which possesses a high starch content. Although allergy to tapioca is not heard of generally, it still can be an allergen for some people due to the excess starch.
Not only this, unhygienic preparation, which includes soaking, cooking, and fermenting of the roots of cassava, might cause digestive disturbances and other complications. Those who are already allergic to latex may find cassava allergies too. Besides, if you’re one of those who are sulfite intolerant, then it is better to avoid Boba drinks since tapioca flour contains added sulfite and preservatives.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Boba?
Made from tapioca pearls, Boba is a chewy ball that is typically used in bubble tea and other smoothies.
Does Boba have milk?
While traditional bubble tea contains cow milk; it is now customized and prepared with non-dairy milk and other vegan substitutes. One can also lay their hands on flavored fruit bubble tea that is completely devoid of milk.
Is Boba vegetarian?
Yes, Boba used in bubble tea is completely vegetarian and vegan-friendly in nature since they are plant-based items.
What is Boba used for?
Boba is popularly used in bubble tea or pearl tea. They are also used in ice desserts and are paired with beans, syrups, and chewy rice balls.
Does Boba contain gelatin?
Although Boba seems gelatinous; it does not contain this element. On the contrary, it is made from tapioca.
Is Boba tea tasty and savory?
The taste of Boba tea can vary considerably depending upon the variety of Boba used and the ingredients involved in its making. Regular Boba tea possesses a slightly sweet and chewy texture with a neutral taste.
What is Boba pearl?
Boba pearl is a small and chewy ball that is made from tapioca starch. These are usually black and are used in bubble tea.
Are tapioca pearls vegan?
Yes, tapioca pearls are completely vegan since they are plant-based in their entirety.
What is bubble tea made of?
Bubble tea is prepared by blending tea with fruit, fruit juices, and milk. Afterward, luscious tapioca pearls are added for enhanced taste and flavor.
Why do people consume Boba?
Today, many people are looking for a different taste and flavor as they enjoy tea. Boba gives them that unique taste that is not just sweet but also creamy, chewy, and extremely luscious.
Takeaway (Final Thoughts)
Today, the vegan Boba drink has attained wide popularity and has been growing far and wide. Extremely sumptuous, this vegan milk and fruit-based drink has indeed proved to be more than just a fad. Although the drink usually has a fan base of a younger population, it has not once failed to garner equal attention from people of all ages.
Offering a chewy and bursting experience, the beverage has revolutionized how drinks are made and consumed across the globe. With numerous flavors and bases, this item helps people enjoy the drink in a wholesome and likable way per their choice.