How Many Calories Are In Bubble Tea? Do I Need To Worry?

Have you been wondering how many calories are in bubble tea? The article below dives into some nutritional information about your favorite drink.

How many calories are in bubble tea?
Read on to know the calorie content of bubble tea

Now that you have discovered bubble teas, you cannot get enough. Each cup looks so decadent. Between the beautiful, colorful liquid and contrasting tapioca pearls, they are like a work of art.

Their taste rivals their appearance with the delicious combination of flavors. Plus….who does not like those chewy pearls?

The question you have been wondering, though, is just how healthy are they for you? Read on to learn more about the calories in bubble tea.

The short answer to the question of calories is that it depends. One of the main features of bubble tea is the sheer number of varieties available.

The combinations are endless. So many possibilities also mean that the number of nutritional profiles varies as well. 

How Many Calories Are In Bubble Tea?

Blue bubble tea
The ingredients in bubble tea make up its calorie content

Due to the available customization, you cannot generalize. However, it is also important to consider everything that goes into bubble tea. 

This way, you know where your calories are. So, let’s take a look at them from the bottom up.

If you love the milk tea version of boba, this consists of a brewed tea (black or green) and some form of milk. The traditional drink uses evaporated or sweetened condensed milk. Both of these are heavy on calories. 

Usually, the tea base is sweet.  It gets made with a fair amount of sugar, which adds a lot of empty calories. Next, you have your tapioca pearls, which are typically black. 

The black color comes from the pearls getting soaked in either brown sugar or caramel coloring. When you add these sugary treats into a sweetened tea base, your sugar count goes up. And subsequently, so does the total calorie count.

A recent study looked into the nutritional information of bubble teas. The data is still sparse, but the researchers found an estimated calorie range for a 16oz milk tea. That range was 200-450 calories, depending on any flavors or extra toppings.

As a treat, not such a big deal. But, if consumed regularly, they quickly increase your daily calorie intake, especially as many of those calories are empty as they come from sugar.

Is It Possible To Reduce The Calories?

almond milk and almonds in a table
You can opt for non-dairy milk

Yes, there are ways to reduce the calories of your bubble tea if you would like. 

These days, most shops will let you customize your milk options. You can choose from regular dairy milk (skim to whole) or go dairy-free with almond, coconut, or soy. If caloric intake is a concern, changing the milk will be a quick and easy way to reduce calories.

Keep in mind that switching up the milk will also impact the taste and consistency of your bubble tea. The higher fat (higher calorie) versions will be much creamier. 

When it comes to the sugar content, you have a couple of options. If you are a fan of “do it yourself” kitchen projects, you can make an unsweetened version at home.

The tapioca pearls are available for online ordering. Plus, there are great YouTube videos to guide you.

Ask around as well. Your local shop may have an option with straight tea rather than the usual sweetened variety.

The other option is to forgo the traditional milk tea and look to some of the fruit-based options. You can get the tapioca pearls added to these as well. So going this route, you do not lose one of the most distinctive features of bubble tea, those chewy pearls! 


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.