Taro milk tea is an Instagram-worthy drink.
With its bright purple color, it looks like The Little Mermaid’s Ursula in drink form. Unfortunately, the delicious Taro milk tea won’t give you her powers and unlike Ursula, it is slightly sweet.
Learn how to make the perfect eye-catching Taro milk tea at home and find out what the heck taro is anyway (admit it, you were just pretending you already knew).
Taro milk tea or Xiāng yù nǎichá in Chinese is made from a root vegetable called Taro. It is like a purple sweet potato, a starchy root vegetable. Similar to a yam (or sweet potato) with its slightly sweet taste. The Taro flavor can also have hints of a nutty flavor and vanilla. It looks like a yam too with a misshaped outside only instead of an orange center, it’s purple.
This Parma Violet colored drink contains either powdered or pureed Taro, milk, tapioca pearls, and black tea. Other teas can be used including green tea, jasmine green tea, or any other kind you fancy.
Taro bubble tea is usually served cold, and this beautiful lilac color drink is refreshing, balancing the sweetness of the Taro, the creaminess of the milk, and the chewiness of the pearls.
For a caffeine-free drink, try it with jasmine tea instead for a slightly floral and fragrant variation. Jasmine tea is an infusion rather than a tea, making it free from caffeine, so you can drink it later in the day without having your eyes sitting out of your head like Rodger Rabbit.
There are two ways to make Taro bubble tea at home, either by using the taro root vegetable itself (purple sweet potato) or using taro powder.
It's an easy recipe that doesn't involve many ingredients.
It is easier to find taro powder than the Taro vegetable, but you could try your local specialty food shops or online from specialty food stores. It is also on eBay, but it’s probably best not to get it from there.
The prep time should take either up to half an hour using the root vegetable or 10 minutes using the taro powder.
Even when you make it at home, it’s fun to use the typical bubble tea cup. It just doesn’t seem quite like a proper bubble tea without it.
To cut down on the boba plastic waste, so it doesn’t end up in the ocean with The Little Mermaid using it as a hat, buy a reusable cup.
It not only reduces your plastic waste but it’s economical because you can use it again.
Many bubble tea kits and cups come with wide straws to get those chewy pearls into your mouth.
Like any other milk tea, you can also get Taro milk tea as a milkshake, taro smoothie, or slushie.
While these aren’t technically milk tea, they’re still fun to try.
The smoothie can be made with ice, condensed milk, and sugar and the milkshake can be created with Greek yogurt, milk, and whipped cream.
You can also mix it up by adding other popular toppings instead of pearls, such as grass, fruit, or aloe vera jellies. Or add other flavors such as strawberry to give your milk tea a fruity hint.
If you’re vegan, you can substitute the milk with oat or almond milk, or even forgo the milk completely.
Bubble tea including Taro milk tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s and has become popular worldwide. It is especially popular in America where there are now nearly four thousand boba shops with a market size of $1 billion (1).
It is typically a cold drink with either a tea, milk tea, or fruit tea base. It comes in a variety of boba tea flavors and traditionally has tapioca pearls lazing at the bottom. There are other pearls such as crystal boba and popping boba.
Taro itself has been around for thousands of years and was even used for medicinal purposes by Hawaiians who call it Kalo (2).
Taro is a perennial herb that has a good source of protein, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, and fiber.
Cooked Taro has even been shown to inhibit colon cancer cells (2).
A typical 16 ounces can contain 278 calories (3). When a black tea has 2 calories, you can see that it’s a lot for a drink.
It also contains 0.6 grams of fat, 68 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.2 grams of protein. Which answers your actual question: is boba bad for you?
It depends on your taste but fresh taro milk tea is usually better and healthier. Powders could be pre-mixed and contain additives whereas using a fresh Taro root shouldn’t have any additives.
The powder can be more fragrant with a deeper purple color, but the root will have the natural sweetness and hints of flavor that are hard to replicate.
Yes. This bubble tea, if it is made with black tea, then it will contain caffeine.
Although if it’s made with jasmine tea, then it will be caffeine-free. Jasmine tea and other fruit and herb teas are simply infusions in hot water rather than actual tea.
Taro tea is an eye-catching drink that not only looks good but tastes good too. It is a staple on any bubble tea shop menu and one of the first classic milk tea flavors you have to try.
Plus, taro milk tea really does look great for Instagram!
This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of tea if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.