Imagine sipping on a delicious, sweet, and slightly nutty beverage with a beautiful purple hue. You’re enjoying none other than purple boba tea, a popular drink in the world of bubble teas.
The first time I tasted it, I really wondered what gives this tasty concoction its unique color and flavor. The answer is quite simple — it’s taro!
Taro is a root vegetable, similar to a sweet potato, that is known for its starchy texture, slightly nutty flavor, and, of course, its purple tint. By adding puréed or powdered taro into boba milk tea, you get purple boba tea, also referred to as taro milk tea or taro bubble tea.
Apart from being eye-catching and delightful to taste, taro milk tea also offers a creamier texture than many other boba tea variations.
In this guide, I will tell you exactly what is purple boba tea and its different variations and flavor options, and how to make it at home.
What is Purple Boba Tea?
Purple boba tea is a popular drink made with taro root and various other ingredients including milk and boba pearls. Taro is a starchy root vegetable from Southeast Asia that gives this milk tea a sweet, nutty flavor, a thick and creamy texture, and unique purple color.
Taro boba tea has gained popularity worldwide for its delightful taste, attractive appearance, and variety of methods to customize it to suit your preferences. It’s one of the best-selling drinks at famous bubble tea chains like Gong Cha and Kung Fu Tea.
The main ingredients in purple boba tea are taro root, milk, sweetener, boba pearls, and a tea base that is usually made of black, green, or oolong tea.
The taro root can be pureed and added to the tea or used in powder form. It creates a vibrant color and a flavor that resembles a blend of coconut and sweet potato.
So is purple boba tea always made with taro root?
No! Another popular ingredient for making this drink is ube also known as sweet purple yam. The main difference between taro and ube is that ube is sweeter and has a more vivid purple color.
If you are thinking about which one to choose, take a look at this infographic:
In addition to the basic ingredients, you can also add various toppings, such as pudding, fruit jelly, or different types of boba pearls.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavors and combinations, as it’s part of the fun of enjoying this satisfying beverage!
Purple Boba Tea Flavor
Purple boba tea typically has a sweet and nutty flavor, providing a delightful experience for your taste buds. The taro root also provides a creamy texture and some earthy notes with a hint of vanilla.
If you’re a fan of variety, there’s exciting news for you!
Many bubble tea shops offer different preparation options, allowing you to customize your purple boba tea experience.
You can choose from different types of drinks like classic taro bubble tea, taro smoothie, and taro latte. There is also a range of toppings available including puddings, jellies, or even fruit bits, which will add new dimensions to your taro milk tea taste and appearance.
How to Make Purple Boba Tea at Home
Preparing a glass of heavenly purple milk tea at home is not difficult!
- 100 g of pureed fresh taro root or ube (or taro powder)
- 2 tsp brown sugar or honey (or more if you like it very sweet)
- 2 tbsp tapioca pearls
- ½ cup strongly brewed tea (black, green, or oolong tea)
- ½ cup whole milk (or plant-based milk like coconut milk or almond milk)
- 1 teaspoon condensed milk
Just make sure you have all the ingredients listed above and follow these instructions:
1. Prepare the Tapioca Pearls
First, you need to prepare the tapioca pearls. These chewy balls are an essential component of boba tea. To prepare them boil the pearls for about 5 minutes until they start to float, or follow the instructions on the packaging.
After cooking, place the pearls in a bowl and combine them with rich brown sugar, or raw honey to enhance their flavor. This step makes your tapioca pearls more delicious and they will be ready to be added to your beverage.
2. Make the Tea Base
Next, it’s time to brew the tea base. Use some high-quality black tea, green tea or jasmine green tea, or your favorite type of oolong tea to brew at least half a cup of strong tea.
Let the tea cool down after brewing it and place it in the refrigerator.
3. Mix the Ingredients
Measure out half a cup of chilled tea and pour it into a blender. Add milk, taro or ube purée (or taro root powder), and your choice of sweetener. I recommend using brown sugar or raw honey and condensed milk.
Also, if you’re using a ready-made taro powder, note that they often contain sugar so you might want to cut down on the other sweeteners.
You can even add ube extract to enhance the purple color!
Blend the mixture until smooth and creamy.
4. Serve in a Glass
Finally, add the prepared tapioca pearls to the bottom of a large glass and fill the rest with ice. Then pour the blended tea mixture over the ice and mix gently.
Now your purple boba tea is ready to be enjoyed!
Remember to use a wide straw that’s suitable for sipping boba pearls, and relish the delightful flavors and textures of your homemade purple boba tea.
Health Benefits of Purple Milk Tea
Purple boba tea is a nutritious and fulfilling drink with many benefits. It contains essential minerals and good carbohydrates that give you energy.
The taro root used in purple milk tea contains:
- Minerals & Vitamins: Taro milk tea is also a good source of manganese, calcium, potassium, and vitamins E and B6.
- Fiber: The fiber in taro root supports healthy digestion and may help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Carbohydrates: The good carbs in taro provide long-lasting energy.
- Antioxidants: Contains beneficial antioxidants that boost the immune system and can even help prevent cancer.
Note that the benefits and nutritional content can vary significantly depending on the specific ingredients and preparation used for making the drink.
Are There Any Side Effects?
While purple milk tea is a lovely treat, it is important to be aware of potential concerns related to this sweet beverage.
The main reason to limit your consumption of taro bubble tea is that its sugar content is usually quite high. This can lead to an increased risk of weight gain, diabetes, cavities, and other health issues when consumed in excess.
If you are making your own milk tea at home, consider using healthier sweeteners like raw honey or calorie-free stevia.
Moreover, tapioca boba pearls, a common ingredient in purple milk tea, typically contain preservatives and artificial colors. These additives might not be ideal for those who are sensitive to certain chemicals, or who are striving for a natural diet.
Make sure to enjoy your purple milk tea in moderation and be aware of its nutritional content so that you can make informed decisions on how much to consume. And remember that it’s always a good idea to balance your sweet indulgences with healthy foods and physical activity.
Enjoy Your Purple Boba Tea!
When you’re on the hunt for a new boba flavor to try, or simply looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, remember that purple boba tea is waiting to dazzle your taste buds and brighten up your day.
The ingredients in taro milk tea work together to create an enjoyable and visually appealing drink.
And one reason I really like my purple boba tea is that you can customize it in so many ways.
Try ordering it in different bubble tea shops with different flavorings and toppings. Or follow the instructions in this guide and make your own version at home!
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