Bubble Tea Crisis

April 02, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

I know what you are thinking. You just wanna take a nice sip of sweet milk tea and chew up every single bit of smooth, rich, and chewy pearls. But I’m not going to let you do that as I am your health guru today(probably just for today).

I’m quite confident enough to say that almost all the people in this universe are in love with bubble tea. Seriously, what’s there to not like this savoury fulfilling drink in the afternoon? There are many variations of this drink as well while 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, mango, lemon, watermelon, grape, lychee, peach, pineapple, honeydew, banana, avocado, coconut, kiwi and even jackfruit. Other non-fruit flavours include milo, taro, chocolate, coffee, mocha, barley, sesame, almond, ginger, lavender, rose, caramel and violet. Especially in Hong Kong, bubble tea intake is really high for a lot of appealing qualities: decent price compared to a massive serving size, flavour, and a generous amount of pearls inside. I used to drink a cup everyday either as a quick meal or as a dessert.

However, there has also been rumors regarding nutrition facts of bubble tea because obviously, it’s high both in sugar and carbs; 350g of bubble tea is known to have 300 calories in total while 45g of them are all 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). And sugar is the next killer since for every teaspoon of sugar syrup it adds another 20 calories into the cup. Ouch. :(

But no worries! cuz here I am, giving you some healthy, yet still de-li-cious tips and hope you don’t get mad at me for doing this, I promise this will be my last time mentioning some health factors. Besides, what am I going to blog about if I start counting calories?

Have you seen such posters in bubble tea stores such as QQ or Gongcha? well-being has been a new marketing strategy in attracting more customers especially skinny girls. Basically, in almost all the stores, you can now choose the amount of ice, pearls, and sugar. By reducing the amount of syrup or sugar, you can consume less sweet; I actually tried 70% and 50% sugar milk tea with bubbles in the last few days and they still taste awesome.

Another way to have healthier bubble tea is to choose a tea base (not with milk) and avoid the decadent options like milo, oreo, caramel, chocolate which are just empty calories. For example, you can choose to have green tea, black tea, or citrus tea. Trust me, just simply alternating a liquid base reduces more than half of the overall calories.  Also, the high sugar tapioca pearls can be replaced with glass jelly, aloe vera or nata de coco (fermented coconut water and carrageenan from algae).

If you still cannot give up the Hong Kong original pearl milk tea, then think of it more like a meal replacement than a dessert or thirst quencher. But whatever you choose to drink, make sure you ENJOY. :)