Taro is one of the most popular flavors with bubble tea lovers around the world. For all intents and purposes, it’s a classic. Its vibrant purple color and unique flavor profile make it a one-of-a-kind drink. Certainly, it’s one that’s very much worthy of everyone trying at least once.
The question is, though, what does taro boba taste like? Read on to find out!
What Is Taro Boba?
Taro bubble tea is a creamy, thick, tea that originated in 1980s Taiwan.
It’s a bubble tea recipe that makes use of Asia’s oldest crop, taro, which has been used for an estimated 10,000 years. In itself, taro is a starchy root vegetable. Before its introduction to tea shops, it was a staple dessert ingredient for sweet treats such as moon cakes and taro balls.
Taro boba also incorporates a generous layer of boba – tapioca pearls – at the bottom of the cup. The chewy tapioca balls mean that most boba drinks are served with very large straws.
It can be served hot or cold, and a good bubble tea shop usually offers a choice between the two. It can also be made quite easily from the comfort of your home.
Is Taro Good In Boba?
Taro can taste wonderful in boba! It has a unique flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients used in modern boba teas.
In fact, taro boba is many people’s favorite flavor! It’s also an incredibly important kind of boba tea in Asian countries, which is where boba originated.
This being said, even good boba teas can be made better. You can make your taro boba better by serving it as a smoothie or slushie, and by trying it without flavored jellies instead of traditional tapioca pearls.
In addition, if you make your own or go to a shop that allows for customizations, taro boba can be enhanced by adding hints of other flavors. A good way to do this is by using a different kind of milk or flavored syrup.
What Does Taro Boba Taste Like?
The taste of your bubble tea drink depends on whether it is made using real taro or a taro root powder mix.
Taro, the vegetable, tastes a bit like sweet potato. If your taro boba is made using real, unsimulated taro, the drink will have cream and sweetener, which often results in a delightfully creamy drink that tastes somewhat like buttered popcorn.
When your boba is made using taro root powder, it’s still sweet and is known for a flavor palette of creamy caramel that is slightly nutty and a bit bean-like in flavor.
Of course, how the drink is made at any given shop will affect its flavor. The amount of sweetener and cream, as well as which kind of taro flavor is used all play into how the drink tastes at the end of the day.
What Tastes Similar to Taro Boba?
As we mentioned, taro bubble tea tastes a little like buttered popcorn – but not the popcorn that would come out of the microwave or that you’d receive at the movie theater. Taro boba tastes similar to the slightly buttery and sweet flavor of buttered popcorn gourmet jelly beans.
It’s a relatively pleasant, mild flavor that is somehow both sweet and salty, as well as slightly earthy.
What Other Boba Flavors Are There?
Boba is a drink that is as versatile as it is delicious. It’s available in a wide variety of flavors. Typically, boba is fruit-flavored, with some of the most common fruit flavors including strawberry, blueberry, peach, watermelon, lychee, mango, and honeydew.
It can also be found in more obscure flavors such as avocado, coffee, ginger, caramel, chocolate, rose, lavender, mocha, almond, sesame, and, of course, taro.
Some bubble tea shops get creative with their flavors. In fact, we’ve seen flavors as unique as candy cane, creme brulee, and brown sugar. These are flavors that we’d call “premium” or “specialty” that you can’t expect to find at every shop.
The various flavors are added via sweet syrups or powders that dissolve when added into the liquid base of the drink.
Flavors of the drink can be altered by the pearls that are added; commonly, tapioca or taro balls are added to the bottom of the drink, but various flavors of jellies can be added, too. This includes the elusive grass jellies, which, as you can imagine, alter the flavor palette of a boba drink with their slightly herbal flavor.
Taro Boba Nutrition – Is It Good For You?
Taro bubble tea is indeed relatively healthy for you. The health benefits, however, don’t come from the finished drink itself but from the taro root used to make it.
One cup of taro root contains ⅓ of the average person’s daily requirements for manganese, which is responsible for blood clotting factors, bone health, and maintaining a healthy metabolism.
It also contains high levels of vitamins and minerals, and can be credited for improving digestion and heart health, and aiding in weight loss.
Another major benefit of taro root is that it’s full of antioxidants – namely, an antioxidant called quercetin, which comes from the purple pigment of the vegetable. Since this antioxidant is known to be efficient at combating free radicals within the body, it’s been deduced that taro root could help reduce the risk of cancer.
In addition, tapioca, which is commonly used in the bottom of the cup in pearl form, has its own set of benefits. These include heart and digestive health and diabetes control.
When we discuss the health benefits of taro bubble tea, it’s important to remember that, although taro root and tapioca have health benefits, your taro boba may not always be as healthy as you’d expect. This is because of the high amount of sugar and calories that are often added into taro boba in the form of sugars, syrups, and high-fat cream.
How To Make Taro Boba At Home
There are two ways to make homemade taro boba. You can use fresh taro root or a powdered taro root mix. I’m going to share both recipes so that you can enjoy it regardless of the ingredients you have to hand!
Fresh Taro Root Boba
- 150 g taro root, cubed and peeled
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- Tapioca pearls
- ½ cup of black tea
- 200 ml of your favorite milk
- 1 tsp condensed milk
- Boil your cubed taro root for 10 to 20 minutes on medium heat and drain the water.
- Mash taro root until it forms a thick paste — feel free to use a hand blender or food processor for a smoother paste. Add 2 teaspoons of the sugar while the taro is still hot.
- Boil tapioca pearls and remaining sugar for 5-7 minutes. The tapioca is cooked when it starts to float.
- Brew your tea.
- Mix tea with ground taro root paste and add the tapioca pearls to the mixture. Serve hot or cold.
Taro Root Boba with Powdered Taro Root
- Tapioca pearls
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant taro powder
- ½ cup black tea
- 200 ml of milk
- Boil tapioca pearls with sugar for 5-7 minutes or until they begin to float.
- Brew your tea and add the taro powder. Mix well to combine until the powder dissolves.
- Add the condensed milk.
- Add pearls and milk to the mixture; serve hot or cold.