We are calling all bubble tea fans!
Taro milk tea is a bright purple boba tea made from jasmine tea, taro root, milk, and tapioca pearls. Every sip is sweet, creamy, and bursting with unique and exciting flavors. The color alone gets your taste buds salivating.
Keep reading to learn more about this vibrant tea, what taro milk tea tastes like, and the health benefits of the ingredients.
what is taro milk tea made of?
Taro milk tea, taro bubble tea or taro boba, combines jasmine tea, fresh taro root or taro root powder, milk, and tapioca pearls or beads.
In the 1980’s bubble tea hit the street food scene in Taiwan. Since then, it has spread rapidly around the globe. Several street vendors, restaurants, and tea houses serve this unique and delicious beverage.
Let’s be honest. We all love a tasty beverage with little chewy bursts of happiness—a fun and thrilling way to enjoy tea.
What is Taro Root?
Originally cultivated in Asia, taro root is a starchy vegetable easily accessible in most countries.
You can expect a texture similar to a potato.
The outer skin is brown, and the flesh is white with purple speckles. When cooked, it offers a mildly sweet, slightly nutty taste.
Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine uses taro root in several dishes, such as:
The purple hue comes from a pigment called anthocyanin, which contributes to the purple speckles in the flesh.
Notably, the concentration of this pigment needs to be more vibrant to give taro milk tea the color we are familiar with.
For this reason, food colorants may be added to the taro powder or boba tea mix itself.
What Does Taro Milk Tea Taste Like? Is It Sweet?
Taro milk tea is sweet and creamy, with a hint of vanilla. Some have described the taste as similar to buttered popcorn.
The recipe as a whole gives this tea its sweet taste. Firstly, the taro root offers a mild sweetness. Secondly, condensed milk or coconut milk contributes—lastly, tapioca pearls.
Tapioca pearls play an essential role in bubble tea. They add an element of fun and an exciting chewy pop with every sip.
Essentially, tapioca pearls are “flavorless” or carry a mild flavor of sorts. They can absorb the flavor of the bubble tea they are served in.
Moreover, they are submerged in sugar syrup to keep the pearls from sticking to one another. For this reason, the pearls add to the sweet side.
The creamy texture comes from the taro itself, alongside the milk, condensed milk, or coconut milk. You can substitute dairy milk with nut milk or other vegan alternatives.
However, we recommend nut milk, as the flavor compliments taro root’s “nutty” taste.
What Are Tapioca Pearls?
Southeast Asian cuisine typically uses these delightful, chewy, translucent orbs for desserts and drinks. They are relatively easy to make and an excellent activity for children.
Tapioca flour is made from cassava root. To make pearls, ensure you get the cassava starch, not the flour.
Black pearls are the go-to in bubble tea.
To achieve this color, you can add some dark brown sugar. Certainly, this is the more “natural” route to take and adds sweetness.
Yet, if you want the rich blackness synonymous with boba tea, you must add black food coloring.
Of course, if you want the healthiest version of tapioca pearls. You can leave them as is. The color may not be as appetizing, but the texture is intact.
Also, you can leave them unsweetened. Due to their high absorption ability, they take on the flavor of the beverage they are in.
Health Benefits of Taro Milk Tea
By now, you can see ingredients such as condensed milk or sugar syrup may not contribute to the health benefits of taro milk tea.
With this said, taro root offers exceptional health benefits. One cup contributes to one-third of your daily recommended intake of manganese, alongside high levels of: (*,*)
It is high in vitamins C, B6, and E, promoting healthy vision and skin. And to top it off, they are rich in fiber.
Other health benefits may include:
- Help control blood sugar
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Help you lose weight
- Good for your gut
Tapioca contains calcium and iron essential for bone support and blood circulation. Furthermore, it is gluten-free and ideal for those with celiac disease. (*)
We suggest using a nut and coconut milk for the healthiest version of taro milk tea. In particular, almond milk is considered a superfood. So, you can still enjoy a lactose and gluten-free boba tea with less sugar. (*)
Moving onto the Jasmine tea ingredient. This tea is a combination of true tea leaves and jasmine blossoms. A traditional jasmine tea brew using green tea as the base is rich in antioxidants promoting: (*)
- Mood enhancement, and
- May lower the risk of cancer and heart disease
Also, green tea is very low in caffeine when compared to other true teas, such as:
- Black tea
- White tea
- Oolong tea
The actual jasmine blossoms offer little nutritional value. However, it is the aroma and taste we are after here. When you smell jasmine tea, you can pick up floral and fruity notes. (*)
In addition, jasmine tea brings a rich sweetness whether you drink it on its own or when used in taro milk tea.
While we understand taro milk tea may be on your “treat” list. Using taro root via other methods in our diets certainly promotes our health.
5 Delicious Ideas for Taro Root
Prepare these as you would with regular potato fries. Try some with a sweet-chili mayonnaise dip.
2. Oven Bake
We recommend slicing a few to add to your potato oven bake. Taro is more on the sweet side and complements the savory taste of regular potatoes.
Grate some taro and add it to your morning pancake mix—an excellent way to boost your immunity for the day ahead.
4. Homemade Potato Chips
Thinly slice taro and shallow fry in extra-virgin olive oil until golden and crispy. Allow to cool, sprinkle with salt and enjoy. (*)
5. Roast Vegetable Mix
We suggest substituting a few potatoes in your roast mix vegetable with taro. They add a touch of sweetness and complement vegetables such as carrots and pumpkins.
Final Tea Thought
To sum up, taro milk tea is creamy, sweet, and delicious. An ideal beverage refreshment bursting with color and flavor when you are on the go or need a sweet spoil.
We would love to hear what you think taro milk tea tastes like. Let us know!
Discover the Flavor of Taro Milk Tea: A Unique and Delicious Beverage
- 4 bags taro tea
- 2 tbsps tapioca pears cooked
- 4 cup water
- 4 tbsps brown sugar or honey
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups evaporated milk
- ice cubes
- Boil the water in a pot
- Place the two bags of taro tea into the boiling water and let them steep for 3 minutes.
- Add the honey or sugar, stirring until dissolved.
- Remove the bags from the pot and discard them. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature before proceeding to the next step.
- Pour the tea into a pitcher, stirring in half of one cup of evaporated milk at a time until you've used up both cups worth of milk in total. Stir everything together well so that it's uniform throughout your beverage.
- Fill glasses with ice cubes, then pour your brewed taro milk tea over them. (You can also chill it in a fridge for about an hour before serving if desired) Serve immediately!