DIY Bubble Tea: A Healthy Alternative

Recently, I started my Taiwan blog series and it has had me reminiscing about all of the awesome food we ate and experiences we had. I have also had some serious cravings for bubble tea. If you have never heard of it, bubble tea is basically tea (usually black), milk or dairy of some kind, and tapioca pearls. You drink it with a big, fat straw so that you can suck up all of the "bubbles" or pearls. We enjoyed bubble tea throughout our entire trip in Taiwan. Thankfully, there are also a couple of spots in Nashville that serve amazing bubble tea. One of our favorite restaurants, Lucky Bamboo, has several flavor options.

Really, the only negative to this delicious drink is the amount of calories and sugar it has in it. Don't get me wrong. It's totally worth the splurge, every now and then, but I wanted to come up with a recipe that we could enjoy semi-regularly, that didn't break the calorie bank.

DIY Bubble Tea Alternative

The first thing I knew I needed was the tapioca pearls. I found these WuFuYaun pearls on Amazon for 5 dollars! They had good reviews and the directions seemed easy enough to follow.

Traditionally, Bubble Tea is made with a black tea and cream or milk. These days, there are many different varieties and flavors, so you can experiment with what you like best. The black tea that I enjoy most is English Breakfast Tea, so that is what I used in mine. I knew I didn't want to use a heavy milk or cream, because that is what adds the bulk of the calories to Bubble Tea. I decided to try Almond Milk, instead. I opted for honey and stevia as my sweeteners, instead of fructose or cane sugar. While the end result was not as decadent as the high calorie version, it was still very tasty and at less than 150 calories, it's perfect for a weekday treat!

Light Bubble Tea
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Light Bubble Tea
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Pearls
  • 2 bags Black Tea
  • 2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Stevia
1. Bring 5-6 cups of water to a boil in a medium size pot.2. Once water is boiling, add 1/2 cup of Tapioca pearls, stir and wait for them to float to top of pot (should take less than 30 seconds).3. Once the tapioca pearls are floating, cover pot and boil on medium heat, for 2-3 minutes. Then, remove pot from heat and continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes.4. Drain the tapioca pearls and quickly add them to cold water. Let sit for 20-30 seconds, then drain again and add to a clean, dry bowl.5. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of Honey (or your choice of sweetener) with the tapioca pearls. Set aside.6. Heat 2 cups of water in a tea kettle. 7. Once water has come to a boil, pour over two tea bags in a tea pot or pitcher. Allow to steep to desired strength (4 minutes at minimum, but longer for a stronger tea).8. Once the tea has finished steeping, add 1 tablespoon of stevia (or your favorite sweetener). You can taste and sweeten more as needed.9. Allow tea to cool to room temperature.10. Split the tapioca pearls and honey mixture, between two large glasses.11. Pour 1 cup of tea into each glass, followed by 1 cup of Almond Milk into each glass.(optional) if desired, add more stevia to your desired sweetness level,(optional) if desired, add a few ice cubes to the glass and stir.
Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings
DIY Bubble Tea: Healthy Alternative

Until next time!

Much Love,