Bubble Tea – also known as boba – has had a popularity surge in recent years, but is it keto-friendly?
Traditionally, bubble tea tends to be high in sugars and carbohydrates. These are the primary things you need to avoid when consuming a keto diet. While you can get sugar-free bubble teas, they’re few and far between. Therefore, bubble tea isn’t really keto-friendly.
Read on to learn more about the popular beverage and how it’s made.
Burst the bubble
Bubble tea is a delicious, versatile, and highly customizable beverage that originated in Taiwan. It has exploded in popularity in recent years owing to its attractive aesthetic and broad range of flavors.
It was quick to come out of Taiwan and take the world by storm. The bubble tea frenzy swept nations worldwide, with different variants being produced time and time again.
Originally, bubble tea was named for the bubbles produced atop the drink after it was shaken. However, the naming convention has been skewed slightly, and it now includes a massive range of beverages.
You can have bubble tea cold or hot, and with a number of bases: green tea, black tea, or milk tea for example. Then, there’s the dramatically long list of ‘toppings’ available.
The most traditional toppings are tapioca pearls or cubes of tapioca jelly. They’re made available in a huge range of flavors and can be seen in almost any bubble tea outlet in the world.
Otherwise, you can opt to have ‘boba’ in your bubble tea. These are small, spherical items that are essentially balls filled with fruit juices or other sweet liquids.
Other vendors will provide toppings like creams, pieces of fruit, or berries. The concoction is added together and then shaken up to produce the bubble effect.
However, almost all of the toppings and bases available are naturally high in sugar and carbohydrates. They’re often gluten-free by default, but they’re often not keto-friendly.
In one article on Buzzfeed, the owner of a popular bubble tea brand explains how they do things. He says, “… you can have full sugar, half sugar, or no sugar, or we can swap the sugar for honey.”
So, there are some outlets that will try and make as keto-friendly a bubble tea as possible. Although, some fans of the beverage may say this is spoiling it, as it’s designed to be a sweet and often energizing drink.
Around the World
It’s extremely easy to find Eastern influences in food and drink all around the world. The popular beverage that is bubble tea is just one of many that have originated from Asia and spread all around the planet.
Another readily-available example is sushi, which originated in Japan thousands of years ago. It saw a massive uptick in popularity throughout the twentieth century all around the world.
By the time the twenty-first century came around, sushi was a staple food in most Western countries. There were countless restaurants and eateries dedicated to the fishy delicacy.
There has always been a string of popular beverages coming out of Asia, including bubble tea. One great example is matcha, which originated in China over thirteen-hundred years ago.
Matcha is a ground powder, made from processed green tea leaves. It boasts a huge amount of health benefits and is a popular flavoring in many desserts and sweet treats.
Quite possibly the most popular food to come out of Asia is instant or Ramen noodles. The term Ramen simply means pulled noodles and describes a traditional Japanese noodle soup.
In 1958, Momofuku Ando invented instant noodles in Japan, and they were a massively popular hit. After a decade, his food company, Nissin, created Cup Noodles, the first the world had ever seen.
Reportedly, in a Japanese poll, it was voted the greatest Japanese invention of the twentieth century.
Since the seventies, cup and instant noodles have become enormously popular all around the world. They’re extremely affordable, versatile, and come in dozens of flavors.
While instant noodles are a relatively recent introduction into the world of food, Ramen isn’t. This delicacy has a legacy in Japan stretching back more than four hundred years.
If you’d like to try bubble tea, you won’t have to go far. The Japanese beverage is always readily available in metro and city areas but can be found elsewhere all across the United States.
It’s often worth going the extra mile for, though – for just a few dollars you can create the bubble tea of your dreams.