Pearl milk tea, is a type of bubble tea, or boba tea. The “pearl” refers to small balls of tapioca that are used in the tea preparation, and this tea, bubbles up when it is shaken, and hence the name bubble tea. This type of teas originated in Taiwan, and apart from the milk and tapioca, ingredients like yams, syrup, and fruits are added into the mixture as well. Many people get addicted to these teas, and considering the ingredients, there is always the doubt whether you could get fat, and land up in a bariatric surgery center.
Before looking into how healthy Pearl milk teas are, we should know how they are actually made. The main preparation is usually the same as preparing any type of black tea with milk, and the only difference is adding those gelatinous balls of tapioca. Sometimes, these drinks are more like milk shakes with actual fruits or flavorings. These teas are also quite sweet, and many people mix a fair amount of sugar or honey. The nutritional content of such a drink will depend on the type of milk used, the type of sweetener and the amount of tapioca balls.
If you take a 13 fl. oz. serving of pearl milk tea, prepared with low fat milk, and two teaspoons of bloated tapioca balls, it would contain about 210 calories. Such a serving size would provide 45 grams of carbohydrates, three grams of fat, and about a gram of protein. If you are following a diet of 2000 calories a day, a single serving of this tea would cover a little more than 10% of your daily calorie requirement, around 7% of the daily advised fat, and 3% of carbohydrates. Added flavorings or fruits would be extra. Considering these numbers, one to two servings of this tea in a day is not going to be harmful, if you are not overweight.
However, if you are not preparing pearl milk tea at home and having it out, you have no control over the ingredients, and the serving size is around 20 fl. oz. Most places will use cream or whole milk to increase the creaminess of the drink, which actually makes it delicious, but not so healthy. Secondly, they add about a quarter cup of tapioca balls, which is actually pure starch. Such a tea is definitely a treat, but should be considered an indulgence if you are having it on a daily basis.
So are pearl milk teas really healthy? Well, black tea has been considered to have many properties that improve health, but in this drink, all such benefits are usually overshadowed by all the added ingredients like milk, sweeteners, and tapioca. Pearl milk tea as it is being served today cannot really be classified as a health drink, although it could prove to be a refreshing beverage after doing hard physical work.
If you want to make pearl milk tea more of a healthy beverage, use low fat milk and natural sweeteners like honey. Add real fruit for flavoring, rather than artificial essences, and keep the serving size to around 12 fl. oz. This tea is quite beneficial for people who are underweight as tapioca is considered a good source of healthy fat and carbohydrates. However, you should remember this drink can be quite addictive, and you are likely to form a habit that might be hard to break. There is no harm in taking this delicious beverage occasionally, but daily consuming it in big servings is definitely not advisable. Besides, regular teas are already healthy in their natural form so there’s probably no way that one can play around with them without giving them a twist of unhealthy goodness.
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Category: Healthy Drinks