Sorry, my fellow Asians. As the people that proudly “bleed” boba because of how much bubble tea we drink, it looks like our “boba blood” could just be ticker than real blood as a study has proved that the sugary drink is two times sweeter than Coca-Cola.
In an experiment commissioned by CNA, samples from six bubble tea shops were brought to test on a device called a refractometer which measures the amount of dissolved sugar in liquids. It was conducted by Temasek Polytechnic Singapore’s students in Applied Food Science and Nutrition diploma course.
Jasmine Green Tea with Fruits recorded 8.5 teaspoons of sugar (42g), similarly for Passionfruit Green Tea. Winter Melon Tea has 16 teaspoons of sugar (80g), Brown Sugar Boba Tea has 18.5 teaspoons of sugar (92.5g) and the sweet victory goes to the classic − Bubble Milk Tea − which has a whopping 20.5 teaspoons of sugar (102.5g). Imagine yourself eating 20 teaspoons of sugar.
As a point of comparison, a bottle of Coca-Cola has “only” 53 grams of sugar − half the amount of Boba.
It is worth to note that the experiment did not include the sugar contained inside the black pearls, nor it specifies if the sugar is naturally occurring or added.
We tend to think these beverages that we queue up for are healthier than canned soda but nutrition experts warned that they are not. Consumers’ lack of knowledge of how much sugar goes into a cup of Boba is worrying.
“If we look at the addictive nature of sugar it is not surprising that these drinks are popular and a lot of parents see this as a healthier option compared to soft drinks,” said Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach at The Nutrition Clinic Bonnie Rogers.
Lecturer Siti Saifa added that even if consumers opt for a quarter or half sugar level for the drink, it could still be too much sugar for a person in a day.
It is reported that a female’s daily recommended sugar intake is 45g (or 180kcal) out of her 1,800 kcal daily energy requirement. One cup of bubble tea can easily account for over twice the amount of a whole day’s intake.
You can watch the video next page.