Taro bubble tea or taro milk tea is among the most popular and best-selling drinks in boba shops and bubble tea cafes. It is sweet, creamy and rich in flavor, which makes them a very refreshing drink especially in the summertime. But what makes this drink stand out is its deep purple color which many people find irresistible.
However, despite the popularity of taro boba tea, many people know little about what taro is really like. In this article, we’ll get to know more about taro so that next time you’ll be sipping your taro bubble tea, you could imagine what exactly you are drinking.
What is Taro?
Taro is a vegetable, a starchy root crop that originated in Asia but is now widely cultivated in other parts of the world including Hawaii, Nigeria and Papua New Guinea. Foods, beverages and desserts made of this vegetable are also enjoyed around the world.
Taro root is characterized by its brown outer skin with a white to light pink flesh that has purple specks throughout. Cooked taro root will remind you of potatoes because of its starchy flavor and texture.
Moreover, the culinary applications of taro is also similar to potatoes in that they are fried, boiled, mashed, baked and roasted. In some countries, it is also used in preparing savory dishes such as stew. Alternatively, there is also a wide variety of desserts and drinks from taro roots.
Health Benefits of Taro
Taro is rich in essential vitamins and minerals that can help improve your overall health. A cup of taro contains 1/3 of your daily recommended manganese intake which helps improve your bone health and metabolism.
Taro also contains vitamins B6, C and E which promote healthy eyesight, glowing skin and healthy blood circulation.
In addition, taro roots also contain twice as much dietary fiber as potatoes. This in turn helps the body improve its digestive function and avoid digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation and acid reflux.
Taro roots also contain essential minerals such as copper, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, all of which contribute to overall health.
Preparing Taro Milk Tea
Most boba tea shops prepare taro milk tea using a taro flavor powder. Each shop has its own recipe for making taro bubble tea but generally, they also add tapioca pearls, brown sugar, milk or creamer and ice cubes into the drink. More often, they also add tea leaves into the milk tea to achieve that unique rich taro-tea creamy flavor. The tea is usually prepared using a blender to make it frothy.
The cost of the taro milk tea drinks may vary from one shop to another but on average, they cost around $3 to $5 per serving.
Making Taro Milk Tea At Home
If you love drinking this tropical purple color milk tea but are not willing to pay $5 per cup, you could save a lot if you know how to prepare this delicious drink at home.
To prepare taro milk tea, you will generally need the following:
- taro powder
- a cup of hot or cold water depending on what the recipe on the product label suggests
- green tea or any tea leaves
- ice cubes
- half a cup of tapioca balls
- sugar, condensed milk, honey or your preferred sweetener
- non-dairy creamer or milk
The basic step in preparing taro milk tea involves boiling the water and then adding tea leaves to create the tea base. You’ll have to boil the tea leaves for about three minutes. Once done, turn off the heat and remove the loose leaves using a strainer then set the tea aside. While still hot, you could already add the powder, the measurement of which depends on the product you are using. Stir well. You could also use a blender to get that frothy effect.
The next steps depend on your preferences. If you want a sweeter and creamier taro milk tea, you can add sugar and non dairy creamer or condensed milk. Some people prefer a healthier taro milk tea so they add honey instead of sugar. As for the milk, any type of milk including almond, oatmeal and cow milk can greatly enhance the flavor.
Lastly, you might want to add tapioca balls for extra excitement! Add some ice and your taro milk tea is ready to be served.
Tip: You can greatly reduce your preparation and cook time if you use quick-cooking tapioca pearls. And don’t forget the ice!
How Does Taro Milk Tea Taste Like?
If you are asking this question, you probably haven’t tasted taro bubble tea or taro milk tea before. Milk tea lovers describe the taste as starchy, sweet, and a bit earthy and nutty.
The taste of the taro milk tea can be greatly attributed to how a cooked taro root tastes like. The taste is similar to sweet potato. In terms of texture, it is also soft just like sweet potato is but a bit dry, nutty and more grainy.
The best thing about preparing taro milk tea at home is that you can customize the taste. You can also add your preferred ingredients in case you are allergic to dairy and other ingredients that boba shops typically use in their bubble tea. Most importantly, each serving is definitely cheaper.
What Makes Taro Milk Tea Purple?
Earlier, we mentioned that a taro root generally has a white to light pink flesh, so you might have asked, how come that taro milk tea drinks have purple color?
While the color of the taro root flesh is not purple, the taro powder is. Manufacturers add purple coloring to achieve that catchy purple color. Purple taro milk tea has since become a common sight.
How Does Taro Milk Tea Compare with Ube Milk Tea?
Aside from taro milk tea, there’s another popular delicious purple drink- that is, ube milk tea. Just like sweet potato and taro, ube is also a root crop. But unlike taro, ube has a natural purple color. In terms of taste and texture, ube and taro have significant differences.
Cooked taro root is not sweet while ube is. But the sweetness of ube is not overpowering. You can compare its sweetness to vanilla or pistachio. Moreover, ube is also smoother in texture while taro is grainy.
When you take the original flavor and texture of taro and ube, you can already get an idea of the differences in the flavor and texture of the milk teas out of these ingredients.
This depends on whether a dairy or non-dairy cream is added to the bubble tea mix. With taro powder mix, some brands add dairy free cream which is okay for those who are lactose intolerant. It’s always good to read the label to be sure.
Some powders are sugar-free while others contain sugar.
If the milk tea contains black or green tea, then yes, it is caffeinated. Both types of teas contain caffeine.
Taro root is a good source of good carbohydrates and dietary fiber which help improve your metabolism and can contribute to weight loss.
To know the health benefits of the taro boba tea from powder, we need to first check its nutritional components. For this purpose, we checked the nutritional content of Qbubble Taro Flavor and here’s what it contains:
Calories from fat
Looking at the above list of nutritional components, we can see that taro flavor boba tea drinks offer many health benefits. For one, potassium helps reduce your risk of stroke and blood pressure-related problems, while calcium is good for the bones. Vitamin A, on the other hand, is good for healthy vision.
Most boba milk teas are vegan, but make sure to check the label first as some products add non-vegan milk into the powder.
Some taro powder mixes say “3 in 1” on the label because the mix already contains the tea, milk (or cream) and flavoring. If you see that on the label, all you have to do is dissolve the powder in water, add ice, then serve.
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A taro boba tea is a delicious and refreshing tropical beverage with numerous health benefits. If you enjoy ordering this beverage from your favorite bubble tea shop, you’ll appreciate the savings you can get if you prepare this at home. You can even customize the flavor of your beverage to make it sweeter or creamier, something that you cannot do if you will be ordering it from a tea shop.
If you are interested to prepare a taro boba tea at home, the first step is to purchase a high-quality taro powder. Preparing your own boba tea drink is fun if you do it with your family or friends!