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Kimberly West / Spoon

Un-boba-lievable Facts About Bubble Tea

Bubble tea, an all-time favorite beverage for many that originated from Taiwan, has rapidly spread and gained popularity in countries all around the world, including Japan, South Korea, the USA, Canada, and more. The black tapioca pearls laying on the bottom of the cup are produced from the roots of cassava (a type of plant), which are finely ground and dried, and later shaped into spheres. It is commonly warned on health articles that tapioca bubble tea can possibly set your health at risk due to its sugar and fat content. That is true, but the main culprit that may damage your health is the drink and syrup added to the beverage, not the tapioca pearls themselves (if they aren’t boiled in sugar water, which is why you should make them at home!). In fact, the cassava roots render numerous health benefits that are often overlooked, which I would like to elaborate upon. Keep scrolling for some flavorsome combinations you could try to boost your tapioca experience!

1. Reduces fatigue

Every day, there is an increasing number of individuals suffering from chronic fatigue, which could have been caused by various factors such as overworking and excessive stress. A tapioca drink can help relieve fatigue, and energize tired students and workers with its high content of Vitamin C and protein fiber. These substances can also help your body recover from exhaustion and drowsiness by decomposing lactic acid in the body, which is the main cause of fatigue. The starch in the tapioca is easily digested and provides energy shortly after consumption.

2. Helps with anti-aging

As tapioca is rich in Vitamin C and moisture, it is effective in keeping your skin elastic and glossy. It suppresses active oxygen in the body to prevent the skin cells from aging, and removes freckles, pimples, and melanin pigmentation to clear and brighten the skin. When gluten is not digested properly, it may cause abnormalities in the immune system and thus lead to skin inflammation. As a gluten-free plant, cassava prevents digestive and skin problems that are resulted from gluten intolerance.

3. Improves bone health

As mentioned above, tapioca extracted from cassava roots is rich in not only Vitamin C, but in protein and calcium as well. A cup of tapioca pearls can supply 30.4 mg of calcium. These substances contribute to improving one’s bone density and strengthening of the bones. Regular consumption of tapioca boosts the body’s metabolism and helps with bone formation for growing children and adolescents. It can also help in preventing osteoporosis and arthritis, which are diseases common to the middle-aged and the elderly.

4. Prevents cardiovascular diseases

Magnesium and iron, along with Vitamin C, contributes to reducing cholesterol levels in the blood, which improves blood circulation by expanding blood vessels, prevents blood clots, and controls blood pressure. Therefore, regularly consuming tapioca can help in preventing critical cardiovascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.  

Cooking tapioca pearls are much more easier than it seems, and it won’t take you longer than 20 minutes. I highly recommend you to cook them yourself is because it definitely healthier (as you can adjust the sugar levels), and you can customize any drink and desert of your preference by adding them. Below are some of my go-to recipes that never fail to disappoint me!

  • Bubble tea

Making bubble tea is extremely simple. All you need to do is to purchase a pack of tapioca online (costs around $10 ~ $20) and boil it in water for 5-10 minutes. Then thoroughly rinse it in cold water, and mix it with your favorite drink. Personally, I like to add in to oolong tea and green tea, without adding sugar as it is healthier and still tastes good. However, if tea is too bitter for you, you can always add some syrup to your liking.

  • Shaved ice

This recipe convenient as it does not require an ice maker! Freeze a pack of milk for 5+ hours, and leave it out in room temperature until it becomes a slushy texture. Top it off with some cooked tapioca pearls, along with red beans, your favorite fruits, chocolate, honey, or condensed milk, and you’re done!

  • Pancakes

Cook some regular pancakes from a box or using your preferred recipe. Then add your preferred toppings, which can include blueberries, maple syrup, honey, and whipped cream. Finish it off with some tapioca pearls on the side for a chewy twist!


If you are craving boba, but cannot leave the house during this difficult time, consider trying these super easy recipes at home!

Ashley Lee

Waseda '22

An Economics major at Waseda University. Cannot stay indoors for more than three days. A boba maniac -- will never say no to spontaneous boba runs:)
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