If you happened to Google something on Monday, you would have seen the Google Doodle celebrating the Taiwanese-inspired drink Bubble Tea. Bubble Tea became very popular a few years ago as a trendy beverage snack thought to be similar to a smoothie or a cup of coffee. Many assume that since it is a tea it must be a healthy drink. Unfortunately, the majority of bubble teas are loaded with sugars, sweeteners, and/or artificial flavours. The tea itself is healthy but once you make it into a “bubble” tea, it turns into a high calorie, non-nutritious drink.
The bubbles or pearls found in the bottom of bubble tea are actually round pieces of tapioca. They are made from starch from the cassava root and contain starchy carbs that have little to no nutritional value. To make it worse the pearls are usually cooked in hot water with added sugar for up to 3 hours. This process results in the pearls accounting for 160 calories per 1/4 cup serving.
It does not stop with the surgery, starchy bubble/pearls. Adding syrups for flavour can result in a drink that packs about 400 calories.
So if you are a fan of bubble tea, drink it in moderation. If you were curious and wanted to try it thanks to the trendiness of the drink and the Google Doodle, be aware of what you are drinking and do not let someone tell you it is healthy just because it’s made from tea.