Posted on | June 25, 2010 | 5 Comments
Bubble Tea originated in Taiwan in the early 1980’s at a small tea stand. In a unique marketing ploy, one vendor added different fruit flavouring to their tea which provided a sweet and cool taste that became very popular. When this flavour was added and shaken to mix through, bubbles formed in the drink, hence the name “Bubble Tea”. As popularity grew and vendors tried to compete for the latest gimmick and flavour of the tea many variations emerged. The new fad was to add tapioca pearls into the tea that sank to the bottom of the clear cup and also looked like bubbles.
The tapioca pearls are typically black, made from sweet potato, cassava root and brown sugar and are the size of marble. In order to drink these a very thick straw is needed for the pearls to fit through.
Some of the popular places to buy your Bubble Tea in Singapore is Each A Cup, Koi Cafe and Sweet Talk.
There are many variations of this drink (infact honestly, there are more than an aussie girl can correctly explain to you) The most popular kinds are tea based either green or red tea or with milk. As popularity continues to increase the possibilities are endless. They can now be made ice-blended, contain real fruit or come with many fruit flavourings such as strawberry, green apple, passionfruit, mango, lemon, watermelon, grape, lychee, peach, pineapple, honeydew, banana, avocado, coconut, kiwi and jackfruit. Other non-fruit flavours include milo, taro, chocolate, coffee, mocha, barley, sesame, almond, ginger, lavender, rose, caramel and violet.
With the push to become more health conscious more and more outlets are offering a choice of how much sugary flavoured syrup is added (i.e. ¼, ½ or full) and instead of the high sugar tapioca pearls they can be replaced with glass jelly, aloe vera or nata de coco (fermented coconut water and carrageenan from algae)
So now for the nutrition facts:
Bubble Tea: 350 g
Energy: 300 calories
Protein: 1 g
Fat: 6 g
Carb: 45 g (sugar)
Tapioca pearls contribute to Bubble Tea’s calorie count crisis! Considering only 30g of pearls contain 100 calories (and nearly 2 times this are used – it certainly does add up).
Sugar is the next killer (no pun intended) For every teaspoon of sugar syrup add another 20 calories into the cup! Ouch!
My tips for you are to ask for as little sugar as possible and choose a small size cup. Half the portion of tapioca pearls, see if they can add some fresh fruit as flavour (or do without), choose a tea base (not with milk) and avoid the decadent options like milo, oreo, caramel, chocolate which are just empty calories.
Please don’t use this drink as a thirst quencher. If you’re hot and bother and need to cool down grab a nice cold water. This should be considered an indulgence drink not a regular. Infact, it has enough calories to be considered as a meal or dessert. Enjoy!