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What Is Bubble Tea And Is It Vegan?

by Toni Olukiran

1min read

The Taiwanese tea has become globally recognised in recent years, as more cafes and shops are serving the flavourful drink. But is it vegan?

What is bubble tea?

Bubble tea is a Taiwanese drink that consists of milk or fruit teas where tapioca pearls and other toppings are added, and it’s often made fresh to order. It can be served hot or cold and served sweetened or unsweetened depending on preference.

What is boba?

tall glass of bubble tea with boba

Boba is the name for the individual tapioca pearls in bubble tea. It’s said that the tea is called bubble tea because it is derived from the word boba. Boba is made from starch derived from the cassava plant and is often soaked in a simple syrup mixture for sweetness. You can also get popping boba, which are balls with a thin skin that when burst release a fruit-flavoured juice. 

Is bubble tea vegan?

It depends on what type of tea you get. Milk bubble tea is made with dairy milk, so it is not vegan. However, as bubble tea can also be made using fruit teas, these provide vegan-friendly options. It’s generally best to ask so that you can be advised on vegan options in-store.

The boba in bubble tea is often vegan, as tapioca pearls are completely plant-based, and popping pearls are usually made of nothing more than water, sugar, fruit juice and Alginic acid (found in algae), again, making it plant-based. Once again though, you should always ask to make sure.

Have a favourite vegan bubble tea combo? Let us know in the comments.

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Toni Olukiran
by Toni Olukiran

Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Interns, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at a last count) or playing tennis in the park.

Read more from Toni


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