Popping boba or bubble tea is a popular Asian drink. Also called tapioca pearls, popping boba is a small ball of starch that has been cooked and then coated with sugar.
The texture is chewy and gummy once you bite into it.
When drinking bubble tea, the popping boba adds an additional element to the beverage.
There are many different types of beverages that feature popping boba such as iced teas, smoothies, juices, and even alcohol.
It can be challenging to understand how exactly this ingredient works in drinks but once you do, you will want to try them all! If you’re curious about what is popping boba — keep reading for more details!
What is Popping Boba?
Popping boba is small balls or pearls of tapioca starch.
Tapioca starch is commonly used as a food additive in many different products ranging from vegan cheeses to various types of ice cream.
When they are added to drinks such as bubble tea, they will start to expand when they come in contact with liquid. This is why they are often called bubbles! It is important to note that not all popping boba are created equal.
There are two different types of popping boba: regular popping boba and mini popping boba.
Mini-popping boba is smaller in size than standard-popping boba and will usually expand much faster than standard-popping boba. This is because of how they are made.
Mini-popping boba is typically made with a different type of starch.
This starch is more porous than standard popping boba starch, which allows it to soak up more liquid.
Mini-popping boba will usually swell up with liquid in a matter of seconds while the standard popping boba will take several minutes to fully expand.
How Does Popping Boba Work?
The best way to understand how popping boba work is to break down the scientific process behind it. First, the popping boba is added to the drink and then they are stirred into the beverage.
At this point, the popping boba will still be coated in sugar. The sugar acts as an inhibiting agent that halts the process of the popping boba expanding. It will stay this way until the sugar coating is dissolved in the drink.
Once this happens, the starch inside the popping boba will start to expand once it comes in contact with the liquid.
When the popping boba swells, they take up more space inside the drink and add an extra texture when drinking it.
At this point, it’s best to stir the drink again to evenly distribute the popping boba throughout the beverage. You want to make sure that they are fully mixed in so they are all ready to be popped!
Why Are There Two Types of Popping Boba?
There are two types of popping boba mainly because of how they are made. The two types of popping boba are standard popping boba and mini popping boba.
Standard popping boba is made with a starch that is more porous and has a larger surface area compared to mini-popping boba.
This allows the standard popping boba to expand much slower because they have more room to soak up the liquid.
Mini-popping boba is made with starch that has a smaller surface area and is less porous. This makes them expand faster because they have less room to soak up the liquid.
There is an important factor that determines which type of popping boba is used in each drink.
Which Drinks Have Popping Boba?
There are tons of drinks that feature popping boba! If you are looking for drinks that have popping boba, here are some popular drinks and where you can find popping boba in them:
Iced teas are a great beverage to add popping boba to because they are already sweetened with sugar.
Smoothies are a great drink to add popping boba to because you can make them sweet or savory depending on what you add.
Adding popping boba to juice is a really fun way to spruce up a classic beverage!
Alcohol is a great beverage to add popping boba to because you can make any drink more fun!
Is Popping Boba Good for You?
Popping boba is made from tapioca starch, which is a natural starch that people have been consuming for centuries.
Some people may be allergic to tapioca starch and experience digestive discomfort if they consume it.
If you have ever had adverse reactions to eating cassava root, then you should avoid consuming popping boba because they are made from cassava root.
Most people can enjoy popping boba and will find that they provide an extra texture when drinking a beverage.
They also add sweetness to many drinks such as iced teas and smoothies.
If you are looking for a healthier beverage option, then popping boba can be a great alternative to sugary toppings like syrups and whipped cream.
The Health Risks of Consuming Popping Boba
Popping boba can cause some digestive issues.
This is because they are made from cassava starch and contain a lot of carbohydrates.
When they are added to drinks, they will start to expand and take up more space in the drink.
This can cause your drink to be overly sweet and make it difficult to finish because it will be too filling.
While they may not be the healthiest drink additive, popping boba is not dangerous to consume. However, they do contain a large number of carbohydrates and can cause blood sugar levels to spike.
This is why it is important to drink a popping boba beverage at a slow pace. If you gulp your beverage down too quickly, you can end up feeling sick from consuming too many carbohydrates in one sitting.
How to Prepare Popping Boba to Drink It?
Before you add popping boba to your beverage, you must first prepare them.
To prepare to pop boba, take a small cup and fill it with water. It is important to use water and not a different liquid.
Water is thick enough to slowly dissolve the sugar coating that is surrounding the popping boba.
Once the water has been brought to a boil, add the popping boba to the cup and stir them around to fully incorporate them with the water.
Place a lid on top of the cup and let the popping boba sit until the water has cooled down.
Once the water has cooled down, you can remove the popping boba from the cup and add them to your beverage.
Alos, you need to be aware of how long popping boba last.
How to Find the Best Tasting Popping Boba?
Since popping boba is just an added texture and sweetness in drinks, finding the best-tasting popping boba is based on personal preference.
It is important to note that popping boba is usually sold in bags and will come with instructions on how long they need to be prepared.
Once they have been prepared, you can store them in a sealed container in your pantry and they will last for several months.
When adding popping boba to your drink, you want to make sure that they are fully mixed in so they are ready to be popped.
You can do this by stirring your drink with a spoon or by shaking your drink in a container with a lid on it.
The Final Verdict
Popping boba is a fun and tasty way to spruce up any drink! From iced teas to alcohol, you can add popping boba to many different beverages.
They are made from natural starch and provide an extra sweetness and texture to drinks. It is important to note that not all popping boba are created equal.
There are two different types of popping boba and each one expands at a different rate. If you are looking for a healthier way to add sweetness to your drink, then popping boba is a great alternative to syrups.