Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Tea people
Unsplash / Jason Leung

4 Easy Swaps for a Healthier Bubble Tea

With its perfect combination of refreshing, sweet milk tea and rich, chewy boba (bubbles), bubble tea has become an increasingly popular sweet treat. Once you find that special order with your perfect pairing of drink and topping, bubble tea can easily become a frequent craving. However, as delicious as it is, bubble tea often has a reputation of being quite unhealthy; one serving of boba, along with the sugary syrups in the drinks, can sometimes pack a staggering amount of calories in just one cup of bubble tea. However, there are several easy switches that you can make to help your bubble tea be a little bit healthier. Whether you are new to bubble tea or you are a bubble tea connoisseur, here are four easy tips to turn your cup of bubble tea into a slightly healthier treat!

Try ordering “half boba”

Many people don’t realize that most bubble tea shops will actually let you request less boba in your drink. As boba contains mostly carbohydrates from starch, it contributes greatly to the calories and sugar found in a bubble tea drink. Even getting half the standard serving of boba in a drink can decrease your sugar intake with every sip. When ordering, consider asking for “half boba” or “half the amount of boba.” In my experience, you can’t really even tell the difference between a full serving and a half serving of boba, and each sip will still come with one or two boba to enjoy. You will most likely still have to pay the normal price of a full serving of boba, but at least you will feel good about making a healthier choice!

Take the sweetness down a notch

Most bubble tea shops let you customize the sweetness of your drink (typically in levels of 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100 percent). Try taking your sweetness down one level for a little bit less sugar in your drink; chances are, you’ll barely notice the difference! However, don’t go from 100 percent to 25 percent all of a sudden — this will probably make your drink taste bitter and unenjoyable. Take it a little at a time and gradually lower your sweetness. If you are worried about your drink being totally bitter, keep in mind that the boba is already in a sweet syrup, so each sip will likely still have some sweetness!

Try a different milk

While it is standard at most bubble tea shops to use non-dairy creamer, many places offer great non-dairy milk options! While it usually comes at an extra charge (typically 50 or 75 cents), non-dairy milk can be a healthy swap for your drink. Consider switching your milk to almond milk, which is lower in sugar and calories and higher in calcium, vitamin E and vitamin D, according to a U.S. News & World Report article. 

Try a fresh fruit smoothie

Some bubble tea shops have great smoothie options. However, some only use fruit-flavored syrups and ice (rather than real fruit) to create their fruit smoothies; these are not the healthiest options, in terms of smoothies, as they are essentially just sugar and ice. On the other hand, in shops that use fresh fruit, a fruit smoothie with your boba can be a good option. After all, what better way is there to get your fruit intake than through a bubble tea drink? Still, try to be cautious of the smoothie’s sweetness level — as fruit is naturally quite sweet, consider ordering your drink at a lower sweetness level for less added sugar.

Bubble tea will never be a “health food,” of course — it is still a sweet treat, after all. However, it doesn’t take huge changes to make your cup of bubble tea a little bit healthier. Consider trying some of these tips next time you order a cup of bubble tea!

Alisha is a first-year student majoring in Communications, hoping to soon double major with marketing. She aspires to work creatively in the advertising industry. In her free time, she enjoys working on graphic design, reading, and listening to music, and she can almost always be found sipping on boba milk tea or an iced soy latte.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️