Is Boba Gluten-Free? Know All The Secrets To This Drink

Boba tea is a refreshing drink but have you considered the nutritional value of tapioca pearls, the most popular topping? Is it gluten free or not? Let’s find out!

Bubble tea, also known by the name ‘Boba’, was invented in Taiwan in the 1980s, and by the 1990s, it had spread to the United States, with significant debate over which region and business invented it. Tapioca pearls, which are naturally gluten-free, are used to make boba. The boba pearls are gluten-free and can be consumed on a gluten-free diet.

What is Boba?

“Bubble tea,” also known as “Boba tea,” is a drink made with sweetened black tea and milk that is stirred with ice to create a foamy layer of “bubbles” that float on the surface of the drink.

Tapioca starch is used to make boba, which is why they’re also referred to as “tapioca pearls.” They’re little spheres that are frequently cooked in brown sugar syrup to give them a delicious flavor and a dark black hue. 

Boba is basically tasteless, making it easy to mix with a wide range of beverages. There are also colorful bursting boba varieties that are loaded with fruit-flavored syrups such as strawberry or lychee.

Is Boba gluten-free?

If no other gluten-containing ingredients are added to the drink, bubble tea is typically regarded as suitable for a gluten-free diet. Because milk, tea, boba, and simple syrup are inherently gluten-free, this drink should be suitable for anyone on a gluten-free diet.

Tea, without a doubt, does not contain gluten. Hence, Boba tea too, is a gluten-free drink. You won’t have to worry about whether or not you should have it because it’s both vegan and gluten-free. You may need to do some study on milk and creamers. 

Some claim that certain milk or creamers may contain gluten, depending on the type of milk or creamer. However, the bulk of your regular milk and creamers will be gluten-free. Sweeteners, on the other hand, contain no gluten, so there’s no need to be concerned.

If you have celiac disease and must avoid gluten, or simply want to avoid consuming gluten-containing items, you understand how essential it is to ensure that a product is gluten-free.

Because there are so few components in this drink, it’s easy to rule out gluten.

  • Ice – Plain ice has no gluten.
  • Milk – Milk does not contain gluten.
  • Tea – Gluten-free teas are available.
  • Tapioca – Tapioca is a gluten-free food made from the cassava plant’s root (source).
  • Fruit – All fresh fruits are gluten-free by nature.

As you can see, ordinary bubble tea has no gluten-containing components. Yes, this indicates bubble tea is gluten-free. However, this does not imply that bubble tea is totally gluten-free. There are a plethora of tastes, varieties, and ingredients that can be used to prepare it.

Is Boba dairy-free?

Boba, or tapioca pearls, are dairy-free snacks since they are manufactured without dairy components. Tea shops sell a variety of boba pearls, nearly all of which are created from plant-based products.

To make a circular, chewy ball, combine these ingredients and boil them. When the starch in tapioca is heated, it turns gelatinous, giving boba its toothy texture. Despite their gelatinous appearance, boba pearls are often free of animal products. White coconut gel (nata de coco), fruit jellies, and sweet bean paste are all vegan options.

Are tapioca pearls gluten-free?

The key concern is whether tapioca contains gluten. As tapioca pearls are known as boba pearls, some people wonder if they’re gluten-free.

In a nutshell, cassava root is a plant native to South America that is used as a primary food source, particularly carbohydrates. The cassava root and the tapioca starch extracted from it are gluten-free. The reason for this is that it isn’t a grain at all; gluten is generally found in grains such as wheat bread.

Cassava root is a vegetable that does not naturally contain gluten, making it safe to consume for people with gluten allergies. Keep in mind, however, that cross-contamination must be avoided.

What are the different types of bubble tea?

Bubble tea may take on any flavor thanks to its many variations. Tea shops frequently provide hundreds of different options. The following are some of the most popular forms of bubble tea that may be found on any tea shop’s menu:

  • Milk Tea: a nice blend of black tea, milk, and (optional) tapioca pearls.
  • Thai Tea: made with a strong black tea, sweetened condensed milk, and (optional) tapioca pearls.
  • Taro Boba tea: a purple root comparable to sweet potato with a toasted, sweet flavor, is used in Taro Bubble Tea.
  • Fruit Tea: A caffeine-free tea made with fresh fruit and your choice of boba.

Let us look at each of them separately.

Is Taro Boba gluten-free?

Taro root is a starchy root vegetable that originated in Asia and is now popular all over the world. The exterior skin is brown, while the flesh is white with purple spots all over. It has a pleasantly sweet flavor and a texture similar to potato when cooked.

Taro root is high in fiber and other minerals, and it has a range of health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, digestive health, and cardiovascular health.

Taro boba is prepared by extracting the juice of the taro roots and brewing them. Hence, making it a gluten-free product.

Is brown sugar boba gluten-free?

This is a non-tea bubble tea made with fresh milk, brown sugar syrup, and tapioca pearls instead of tea. The tapioca pearls are cooked in brown sugar syrup over low heat. They soak in the smokey, caramelly flavors, and then are served with cold fresh milk.

As Brown sugar is also gluten-free, boba made from it will be gluten-free. It’s made by combining ordinary white sugar and gluten-free molasses in a blender. Molasses is made from sugar beets or sugarcane and are comparable to crystallized sugar.

Is Popping Boba gluten-free?

A sort of “boba” used in bubble tea is popping boba, also known as Popping Pearls. Unlike traditional boba, which is manufactured from tapioca, popping boba is made from sodium alginate and either calcium chloride or calcium lactate through a spherification process. 

When you squeeze a popping boba, it has a slick, gel-like surface with juice inside that bursts. Water, sugar, fruit juice, or other tastes, as well as the components required for spherification, are commonly used to make boba.

It’s used in smoothies, slushies, and as a topping for frozen yogurt, in addition to replacing regular boba in bubble tea. As it is made from all plant sources, it is gluten-free.

Mango, strawberry, green tea, honey melon, pomegranate, blueberry, and kiwi are some of the most popular flavors of popping boba.

Is Milk tea gluten-free?

Milk does not contain gluten.

Gluten is not present in any kind of cow’s milk. Some dairy products, however, are not gluten-free. If flavorings or other additives are added to milk, it may no longer be gluten-free, so read the label carefully to determine if the product contains gluten.

Additionally, malted milk drinks contain gluten and should be avoided. When a food label says “malt,” it usually means it was manufactured with barley and hence contains gluten.

As read earlier, tea also is a gluten-free product, milk tea is absolutely gluten-free.

Is Thai tea gluten-free?

These days people are openly willing to try new things. You may never discover a new taste or a worthy product unless you try it.

Thai tea is produced using black tea that has been steeped for a long time and is often seasoned with star anise, crushed tamarind, cardamom, and other spices (often making this beverage a favorite among masala chai tea fans). After that, the brew is sweetened with sugar and condensed milk before being served over ice.

Thai tea has no cereal or grain that will make it a gluten product. This naturally sweetened and gluten-free Thai iced tea is a refreshing and filling dessert drink for the summer.

Also Read: Is Sake gluten free?

What are the popular flavors of bubble tea?

There are so many unique flavors that it would be difficult to select one. There are an estimated 250 different flavors, making it impossible to list them all.

The most common flavors are fruity, with honeydew being the most popular globally.

Because they mix easily into the cold milk tea, flavored simple syrups are the more common flavoring option. The following are some common fruity options:

  • Honeydew
  • Mango  
  • Peach
  • Peach
  • Strawberry
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe
  • Green Apple 
  • Coconut, etc.

If you are not a fruity taste favoring person, you can also opt for other flavors like caramel, coffee, mocha, rose, sesame, etc.


Are tapioca pearls gluten and dairy-free?

Tapioca is a plant native to South America. Not being derived from a cereal makes it a gluten-free product.

Is Taro boba gluten-free?

Taro root is a starchy root vegetable. Taro boba is made by extracting and brewing the juice from taro roots. As a result, it’s a gluten-free product.

Are boba pearls low Fodmap?

Low-FODMAP tapioca starch is used to make chewy, round tapioca pearls. The tasty pearls, which come in a variety of sizes and hues, including white, brown, and even pastels, are popular in drinks, bubble teas, puddings, and other treats.

What’s next?

  1. Can You Drink Wine On Keto?
  2. Is Sake Gluten-free?
  3. Is Sourcream Gluten-free?

Wrapping up

If you enjoy boba and bubble tea, we hope this article has helped you decide whether or not this is a healthy beverage to include in your diet. 

Boba is naturally gluten-free, and most bubble teas are also considered gluten-free. If you’re a gluten-free person, go for it, but if you’re also lactose-intolerant, look for a dairy-free bubble tea.

Though there is still evident research required to support the benefits of Boba tea, you should always double-check with your Dietitian before consuming it.

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