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calories of bubbles in bubble tea?

so i just heard that bubble tea drinks could be 350 a drink because the tapioca pearls are 7-15 calories each and they calculated that the average . This doesn't make sense to me. Aren't those balls mostly water anyway? holy crap.

i read this among other articles.

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  1. They're tapioca infused with brown sugar water - I'm surprised they're not higher in calories... sorry!

    1 Reply
    1. re: torta basilica

      thats true but i've made boba before and it didn't seem like all that much sugar. oh well. i guess i'll have to drink less of this stuff.

    2. I have a book that says how many calories....it says

      a 12 oz cup of bubble tea is 240 calories with no fat and 55 grams of carbs. I thought it was like 500, but I was wrong. This is why I don't drink a lot of bubble tea....and I bet it has so many carbs because it's a starch and because it sits in sugar syrup until ready to eat

      1. I'd imagine that a good portion of the outrageous amount of carbs in bubble tea would come from the flavoured teas themselves, aside from the tapioca balls.

        1. Actually, bitsu, I think you're not far off. Most portions are a lot more than 12 oz.

          Here are the nutrition facts from one popular chain:

          The taro milk tea, which is the last thing I ordered there, has 484 calories!

          1 Reply
          1. re: 2m8ohed

            i just had the tapioca milk tea there. 390 calories. but it says the calories in a milk tea are 377. i might as well just eat ice cream.

          2. that's it, I'm getting bubble tea after I eat my dinner.

            I will pretend that I never read this thread and the caloric content in my book

            1. The tapioca balls are starch balls. Starches=carbs. That's why drinking one of these makes me feel as if I have had a large bean and rice burrito.

              1. I'm going to defend bubble tea here.

                Tapioca for bubble tea is made with potato starch, sugar but you're right - mostly water. This is in stark contrast to American tapioca pudding from what I understand. The other ingredients (milk, tea, water and flavouring) can't contain that much fat either so I'm wondering if your source is a little flawed, sorry.

                I went to my bubble tea hangout in Wellington and they told me the average bubble tea contains about 240 calories. That's like, a mochachino or a full fat latte with two sugars so not really that bad.

                Taiwan, where bubble tea is most popular, has some of the lowest obesity rates in the world. They drink bubble tea, and their staple diet contains the most carbs out of anyone in the world. So I'd really not worry, or if you are worried, drink it in moderation.

                1. Hi, I was obessed with bubble teas until I went to the main manufacturer website and saw the calories of not only the balls but the powders used in the mixes!! Shocking!!

                  Here is the link:


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: melboca

                    Can you re-post that link? I just went back on WW and trying to be good, but a friend invited me out for a boba later...

                    1. re: fiacrackaBANG

                      i agree im on WW with my mom and i lvoe bubble tea and i work in a mall and sometimes i think thats better as a treat then starbucks.....can you please repost your reply

                  2. likee i love bubble tea too but i rlly want to lose wweight and i was wondering if it is very fattening and calorie heavy. some ppl say it is, some say it isnt bcz its tea but i think it is and i drink A LOT of it bcz i love it so much <3
                    should i stop ?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bryannaaa

                      Same here. As long as you dont have it like twice a day everyday ur fine. I have it once a week

                    2. This topic is near and dear to me and I have some updated info. One cup of dried tapioca pearls has 544 calories. It also contains about 340 individual boba. The pearls are cooked in water, so no calories added there. That works out to about 1.66 calories per boba. I double checked it by weighing one ounce (100 calories) and counting those boba (about 60 pearls), which also works out to about 1.6 calories per pearl. Most bubble tea drinks contain about an ounce of cooked pearls, or even less, but probably 40-60 in a drink. so 1.6 per boba, and count the pearls next time you get your favorite drink!

                      That is just the boba of course, but that is not nearly as bad as 6-10 calories per pearl. When you factor in the brown sugar, milk, and other stuff, it's still not a low calorie drink..but it's not as bad as you might think.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: txkimmers

                        first let me say, I love those little addictive black pearls! And yes I agree with txkimmers that the pearls are cooked in water, so the caloric value per each is very low. Here's the thing that adds in the calories, the directions tell you after cooking to cover the boba in fructose syrup and store in fridge. I think the best option is to make only a small portion and thereby eliminate sweetener. But that is part of the flavor we are expecting. The other option, is to make your own simple syrup using sweetener of choice. We have two adult sons that became diabetic, so we are always considering options.

                        1. re: joyceleavitt

                          WOOOW! You guys are intense! I work at a gym part time, which is next to an amazing thai restaurant. Sitting here super thirsty I went next door, got a soup and a bubble tea. Why a soup? because after a bubble tea barely any room left and by realizing that I know it probably has carbs and calories in it. You're worrying about the wrong things, I have atleast one a week and burgers and pizza in between, you just need to work out. I'm not talking strenuous either! My motto is eat when I'm hungry, figure out how much over 1,400 calories I went and head to the gym, you should do the same. Just worrying about cutting things out and you won't like the weight you lose, to get it off the right places you have to put the 'good stuff' which is muscle in those places.
                          Go to the gym and watch your fave tv show an hour walk is 350 calories! You can more than make up for your bubble drink or those two extra slices of pizza

                      2. If you want a good alternative, you can make boba tea at home, and skip the the tapioca pearls or only use a few. If you make from scratch you can control the sugar. Or I use a green tea milk tea boba powder. The powder has 4g of sugar and 77 calories per serving. In fact sugar is the last thing listed in the ingredients list. I think the serving suggestion is too strong, so you can use use less and save more on sugar and calories.