What Is Thai Bubble Tea (Boba)?

Have you ever heard of Thai bubble tea? It has become increasingly popular in the United States, and with good reason – it’s delicious!

It has a unique twist on traditional bubble tea that combines the flavors of Thailand with chewy tapioca pearls and creamy milk.

Let’s explore what makes this drink so unique!

What Is Thai Tea?

Thai tea is a type of tea that originates from Thailand. The development of Thai tea is unclear, but its roots might reach back to Europa or United States, although the tea itself originates from China.

Thai tea is made by mixing Ceylon black tea and other spices and herbs, including star anise, crushed tamarind seeds, and sometimes cardamom or vanilla.

The mixture is brewed and then sweetened with sugar and condensed milk, giving it a rich and flavorful taste. Thai tea is typically served hot or cold, and it is often used as a base for bubble tea drinks.

Taiwanese prefer it as an iced beverage – when the tea is served cold; it’s called Thai iced tea.

It is also a popular drink in its own right and can be found in many cafes and restaurants throughout Thailand and Thai restaurants in the United States.

What Is Bubble Tea?

Before diving into what makes Thai bubble tea so different, let’s look at what bubble tea is.

It originated in Taiwan in the 1980s and has since become popular worldwide. It’s a cold beverage made with tea (usually black or green), milk or creamer, (sugar) syrup, and tapioca pearls added for flavor and texture.

Tapioca is a type of starch extracted from the cassava root, which is native to South America. The tapioca pearls give the drink its signature “bubble” texture.

What Is Thai Bubble Tea?

Thai bubble tea is a variation of the classic bubble tea drink. Like traditional bubble tea, Thai bubble tea typically includes tapioca pearls and is served with a wide straw to allow the pearls to be eaten as part of the drink.

However, Thai bubble tea often incorporates additional ingredients, such as coconut milk, condensed milk, and Thai tea, to give it a unique flavor and orange color.

Classic bubble tea, on the other hand, is typically made with syrup, milk, brewed tea, and sometimes, fruit juice without adding these extra ingredients.


Some may say that evaporated or whole milk is used instead of coconut milk, but each of these can be used.
I prefer coconut milk because it is non-dairy, and I think it’s more traditional for Southeast Asia and Thai tea.
But in the end, it depends on taste – just like I don’t want to add extra sugar to Thai bubble tea because condensed milk is already sweet enough.

What Does Thai Boba Tea Taste Like?

The flavor of Thai bubble tea can vary depending on the specific ingredients used. However, it is typically sweet and milky, with hints of coconut and Thai tea.

The tapioca pearls also add a slightly chewy texture to the drink. Some people describe Thai bubble tea’s flavor as similar to a tropical smoothie.

Overall, Thai tea boba tastes unique and may be an acquired taste for some people.

How Many Calories in Thai Tea Boba?

The number of calories in a cup of Thai bubble tea can vary greatly depending on the specific ingredients used and the serving size.

In general, bubble tea drinks can be high in calories due to added sugar and milk. However, it is possible to find lower-calorie versions of Thai bubble tea that use less sugar and fat-free milk. An average Thai boba tea has around 150 calories.

It is best to check the nutritional information provided by the vendor or restaurant if you are concerned about the calorie content of your bubble tea.

Wrapping It Up

And that’s it! It’s safe to say that this sweet, bubbly beverage has been taking the world by storm and is a must-try for any adventurous tea drinker.

If you are interested in exploring the bubble tea world, I have some recommendations for you:

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