If creamy sweetness and potato-like nuttiness had a baby it’d be taro milk tea. Tea connoisseurs even say taro boba tea has hints of vanilla and they might be onto something. So what does taro milk tea taste like?
Aside from teaming up with mochi to initiate people into an Asian dessert obsession, taro milk is good for your body. It has all the health benefits of green tea since it is full of calcium, potassium, and antioxidants.
Read on as we explore everything you need to know about the tropical Asian Taro plant, its delicious milk tea, and its health benefits.
What Is Taro Milk Tea?
Taro tea is a sweet lilac drink popularly served in shops and cafes. To make it, you’ll combine taro powder or taro root with your preferred creamer and sweetener. Some recipes call for tea, but most recipes skip the tea.
If you’re lazy like me, you can find ready-made ingredients like taro powder and boba in Asian supermarkets and vendors. They’re a great way to make taro milk at home without the hassle of cooking and blending the root.
What Is Taro?
Taro is a tropical root plant with brown corms, another term for stems that grow into the ground. You’ll recognize the taro with its large elephant ears, leaves, and starchy corms, streaked and pink and purple hues. Unsurprisingly, I’ve seen varieties of Dumbo-inspired taro art because the obsession is weird like that.
We obtain taro tea by drying and powdering the taro or cooking and blending it. Luckily both yield a rich buttery milk tea.
Where Did Taro Originate?
Taro originated somewhere in tropical Asia nearly 10,000 years ago. It served the region’s people as a major dietary staple and now goes by names like edo, arbi, dasheen, kalo, and godere.
Boba tea is an UwU name for bubble tea, which describes the signature look of tapioca balls in drinks and teas. Thanks to the Taiwanese migrants that introduced it to California, USA, you can easily purchase boba in shops, cafes, and your local convenience store.
Let’s remember however that taro isn’t new to native Asian dessert menus. Just check out treats like mooncakes or sweet taro balls.
Taro vs. Ube
Taro and Ube may share similar features but are unique and unrelated plants. Both root crops influence certain desserts and give treats a purple hue. However, you can’t use ube and taro interchangeably.
Taro root is white, with small specks of pink and lilac, so it relies on artificial food dyes to create the purplish milk tea. On the other hand, ube is a deep purple yam with a richer, sweeter taste.
How To Make Taro Milk Tea
You can make taro milk in two main ways: fresh root or powdered taro. Both methods result in a delicious cuppa but have completely different processes:
Powdered taro is the most popular recipe for taro milk. Due to the added artificial dyes, taro powder leaves a richer lilac color and a stronger taste. If you’re using taro powder you may only need a good creamer because taro powder is already sweetened.
I recommend the Possmei Taro Bubble Tea mix because it’s delicious and doesn’t contain any tea allowing you to control the caffeine.
Fresh Root Taro
When it comes to making taro milk tea, using fresh root is a labor of love. It is rewarding and delicious, but it is more time-consuming and labor-intensive. No wonder it costs more on the menus.
To make taro milk from fresh taro root you’ll need milk, boba, taro root, condensed milk, and your preferred tea. First, bring your peeled taro root to a simmer and cook until you can easily glide a fork through it, then combine it in a blender with milk, condensed milk, and tea.
I recommend the Ninja Fit Personal Blender because it is easy to clean, compact, and powerful enough to blend a smooth batch of taro tea.
In a cup, layer your boba pearls and pour the milk tea in. You should now have a fresh cup of healthy milk tea!
Is Taro Milk Healthy?
Taro milk tea is healthy because taro is packed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins. It contains good amounts of potassium, which supports cardiovascular health and blood pressure.
Taro root has a very small amount of fat and lots of energy, making it a great alternative to coffee. Plus, it is a brilliant source of phosphorus, copper, and folate.
Did you know raw taro root contains calcium oxalate, a bitter-tasting compound that crystallizes in the kidneys and is extremely toxic to humans!? You should never eat it before destroying the toxic compound with heat.
Is Taro Milk Purple?
Taro milk tea is commonly purple but can also range from whitish-gray to pink. The drink can be white, pink, and everything in between if made from fresh taro root.
However, taro powder delivers the subtle lavender that we know and love. The powder variety is also more common on the menu because it is faster and more readily available.
Does Taro Milk Tea Contain Caffeine?
In itself, taro doesn’t contain any caffeine, but sellers often infuse teas like rooibos, black tea, and green oolong. You can always skip that part if you’re looking to avoid the caffeine.
Is Taro Milk Gluten Free?
In itself, taro is gluten-free because the plant doesn’t contain any gluten. However, many recipes add starchy tapioca balls (boba), which may have gluten.
Before buying ingredients for taro milk tea, always read the labels and choose gluten-free recipes.
Can You Drink Taro Milk Tea While Pregnant?
There isn’t much research on taro and pregnancy, but its ingredients aren’t very baby-safe. For example, Taro milk contains high levels of sugar and caffeine, which may cause pregnancy complications.
If you must drink taro during pregnancy, double-check with your doctor before consuming.
How To Store Taro
You can store raw and unpeeled taro at room temperature in a cool, dark place. Like most corms, taro will sprout at every chance so it’ll help to store it in a freezer.
That’s The Bubble!
Taro has a taste that waltzes across slight vanilla, buttery, nutty and sweet. Some people love the beverage at first taste and some don’t……only to enjoy it eventually! :-).
Not all recipes will taste the same because different ingredients add a unique kick. One thing is for sure though, taro milk tea is tasty in every cup!
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