How To Make Taro Milk Tea

Talk about my favorite bubble tea types, and taro milk bubble tea tops my list. The powdered variety of taro was readily available during my early days in high school, and I used to love the robust aroma it possessed.

Recently I figured out that the real taro tastes even much better. This purple bubble tea drink is usually very appealing full of sweet flavors, and one of the most popular tea designs globally.

Fresh taro is usually more expensive than powdered one, but you can easily prepare it as opposed to what many people think.

The last few decades have seen this sweet, creamy, and refreshing drink gain popularity in most Asian countries, America, and Europe. Taro milk is a Taiwan specialty that only tourists and the citizens enjoyed before it got popular.

What is taro?


Taro is a root vegetable that has the same similarities to yam or cassava. This root is harvested, broken down, and processed then used to make the taro milk beverage.

This root vegetable is known for its distinctive purple color, but the color sometimes ranges from pink to white. Taro is sometimes referred to as eddo, Kalo, or dasheen, depending on the region in which it is cultivated.

This root tuber originates in southeast Asia and India’s tropical regions and has gradually gained popularity in most Asian countries and different world regions. The fleshy parts of taro are usually white with purple spots.

It usually is starchy, just like the sweet potatoes, and can be prepared in the same design as the potatoes, and that is by frying, boiling, baking, or roasting.

This root vegetable is often jam-packed with different vitamins and nutrients that are essential for the human body. It aids in reducing heart diseases, blood circulation and improving the digestion of food in the body.

It was used for medicinal purposes during ancient times. However, it is not recommended to eat it raw as it possesses high levels of toxicity. It is often used in the preparation of savory dishes like soups and also as fillings for desserts.

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Sweet Taro Paste Recipe

What is taro milk?

Taro milk tea is also referred to as bubble milk tea, pearl tea, or Boba. It is a tea-based drink that has its origins in Taiwan and was first prepared during the early 1980s. The toppings of this drink are usually made of tapioca balls or pearls.

Taro tea-based drink is sometimes referred to as ‘boba.’ Boba has a wide range of meanings, and it may be used to refer to a different variety of drinks which include fresh juice topped with fruits or pearls. It is also used in reference to iced tea that is topped with tapioca balls.

Taro milk tea 1

The names of this tea drink vary from one region to another, but all refer to the same thing. Regardless of the name given to this drink, some of the common ingredients used in making it include milk, ice, black tea, and tapioca pearls. All these ingredients are often blended and shaken then served with a large circular straw.

Taro root vegetables are usually starchy, and this is what makes this tea rich in cream. When it comes to bubble tea varieties, the taro milk tea is usually the classic and original variety, mainly because of its nutty and sweet flavor.

What about bubble tea?

Bubble teas come in two varieties which are teas with no milk and milk teas. The flavors used when making this tea vary with both non-fruit and fruit flavors used. They also share the same alternatives of tea used, whether black or green tea.

bubble tea

Like many other food recipes and drinks, there have been variations of bubble tea over time. Initially, this tea was served hot rather than cold, but cold varieties have been introduced due to stiff competition in the market. The flavors have also been updated over time to match the market’s demand.

Some restaurants and stores have specialized in bubble tea. That said, the use of plastic dome lids is slowly being eradicated, with many stores opting to serve this delicious tea in a fully sealed cup.

The use of machines to seal the cup allows you to shake the drink in the cup without it spilling over until that moment you are ready to drink it. This drink is often served with an over-sized straw that you use to pierce through the cellophane lid and drink the tea.

The oversized straw has a significant role as it allows the passage of the tea toppings to pass through the straw while you drink the tea.

Where does the name taro bubble tea come from?

The one significant thing done to this beverage during its making process is usually the shaking part which is usually vigorous. So, as the tea is being shaken, bubbles form on top of the beverage. This is why it is called bubble tea.

Like everyone else, I used to think the name bubble tea comes from the round tapioca pearls that usually remain underneath the teacup, but that’s not the case.

In fact, this drink was initially made without tapioca pearls and still had the bubbles due to the vigorous shaking done in a cocktail shaker. This method is still the preferred option used when making this tea, and the only difference is the addition of the tapioca pearls.

Is taro root vegetable healthy?

Taro root tuber is one of the healthiest vegetables that you can ever find. It possesses a high amount of nutrients, high fiber contents, and vitamins essential for the human body’s growth and development.

Taro root 1

The fact that it has both vitamins and nutrients means your blood levels are always controlled within your body, which also reduces the risk and the development of heart-related diseases.

If you are thinking about shaking off some of your body weight, then taro vegetable root will work best for you. It makes a perfect alternative for foods with high amounts of calories and carbohydrates, such as potatoes.

It also aids in keeping your stomach full for more extended periods regardless of the time consumed. It has double benefits; for one, you will feel less hungry and at the same time regulate the amount of food you get to consume. It also improves the digestion of food in your body.

Taro root tuber

However, there are some limitations when this vegetable is used in making desserts and some beverages. This is because taro vegetables contain high levels of sugar. It has negative implications for anyone who has sugar-related diseases.

So, when buying drinks and beverages made using taro, be keen to check and confirm that sugar levels are minimal. The other idea will be to make your desserts and drinks to control the sugar levels efficiently.

What is the difference between taro milk tea and taro fresh milk tea?

Taro fresh milk tea

Some people refer to this drink as a tea. However, there is no caffeine in this drink which means it doesn’t qualify to be tea. This beverage is made with only two ingredients which are milk and the taro root vegetable.

It is a popular option in Taiwan, and that’s because it is much healthier as a beverage snack. It is often served cold in stores.

Taro milk tea

Unlike the taro fresh milk tea, this beverage is made with a wide range of ingredients. Taro root is the main ingredient here. Some stores and restaurants use food colorings to add a distinctive purple color.

What is the difference between taro and ube?

Many people have been getting confused about these two plants for quite a long time now. There has been a belief that taro bubble tea possesses the purple color because it is created using the ube plant, which is always purple. Well, this is not the reason.

The confusion is somewhat understandable since these two plants share a lot of properties in common. Both these plants are root vegetables and usually resemble one another when it comes to shape and size.

So, what makes them different from one another? The significant differences between these two plants come from the taste and texture of each vegetable. Generally, the ube plant is more of a purple-colored yam, and when sliced through, the purple color is more pronounced.

There is a significant difference in taro root vegetables; the fleshy part of this vegetable is often white with some purple spots on it. The purple color you see on taro vegetables is brought about during the powdered taro’s manufacturing, where a dye is added, which transforms the taro to purple.

The other difference is that the ube plant is usually softer in texture when cooked compared to taro. It also is sweeter than taro. The taro root vegetable has similarities to a potato and usually more starchy and less sweet.

Why does taro milk tea have distinctive purple color?

The purple color appearance that you see in taro milk tea is brought by the powdered taro, made using food colorings that add a unique and attractive color to this drink.

As said before, the taro root vegetables’ colors range from white, pink, and purple. This is somewhat influenced by the region in which this plant is grown and the ecological conditions.

The dye added to the powder is what gives the milk tea a unique purple color. Though this became a norm, recently, many people aren’t carried away by the color because of this drink’s popularity. In fact, many people prefer fresh taro.

Is the taro milk drink favorable for lactose intolerant people?

I love the taste of this bubbling drink when milk is added to it. Well, if you are lactose intolerant, you can still enjoy this drink since the type of milk used doesn’t need to be necessarily from a cow.

There are different forms of milk that are non-dairy and consist of almond milk, soy milk, or even oatmeal, all of which have a different flavor but blends well when combined with taro powder.

Many people usually go for almond milk because of the nutty flavor it has and also because of its perfect texture. In the end, the decision relies on the consumer, whether you prefer soy or almond, whatever makes the drink delicious.

How do you pick the purple sweet potato or taro?

The most important thing that you should know when picking and selecting taro is that the roots are large or huge. The vegetable shouldn’t have any soft spots and open tissues on its surface because it will affect the drink’s quality. The fleshy parts should be white with visible purple spots.

It is easier to buy this root vegetable from restaurants or stores that specialize in Asian foods. This makes it easier for you to easily use them as food coloring instead of buying them.

taro 1

Peeling the taro is vital in making this root vegetable. When shopping for this vegetable, you may find some that have been pre-peeled and stored in the refrigerator, whereas the unpeeled can also be found on display tables.

If you do have to peel them, then you need to store them in an airtight container. Most peeled taros in the stores are always stored in a vacuum-sealed container.

Be careful when shopping for these vegetables as some groceries tend to mislabel and confuse the taro roots with others, such as the eddoe roots. The difference between these two is that eddoe roots are somewhat smaller with a slightly bitter taste. They are also completely white, which is not the case with taro root vegetables.

How do you pick taro vegetables for tea?

If you are looking for a high-profile flavor for your taro tea, the jasmine green leaves will serve you best here. This is because, besides sweetness, taro and purple sweet potato root vegetables do not have any robust flavor.

Jasmine tea leaves are usually light, but at the same time, they do have a pronounced fruity flavor that combines well with the vanilla flavor of the taro vegetables, and this is without suppressing the taro root flavor.

There is possibly one thing that you should know when it comes to using the jasmine leaves. If you are looking to get the most intense possible flavor of these leaves without making them have a bitter taste, then brewing the tea is the best possible option.

How do you brew your tea?

Most people find it troublesome during the process of making taro milk tea. The reason is that cooked taro root turns the taro roots into a usually extremely dense paste.

The dense pastry works best when you are making smoothies, but it doesn’t go well with it for the tea. In case you decide to add extra milk or tea to the taro, it dilutes the paste and almost kills its flavor.

So, how do you make this pastry less dense with a constant flavor? Here are some steps you can follow to get the best of this;

  • Mix or combine the purple sweet potato, jasmine leaves, and taro roots, then begin brewing this mixture altogether. Remember to regulate the use of taro roots to avoid excess thickening of the mixture.
  • Note that when boiling the taro roots, do it in moderation. Overboiling the taro will make it disintegrate into smaller pieces. This would make it difficult for you when you begin blending the paste. In case you are successful, the paste will not be consistent.
  • Consider adding between 1-2 slices of both taro and purple sweet potato when blending this drink. Excessive use of these two ingredients will lead to a thick and dense paste which was intended.
  • One distinctive feature of the taro root is that its purple color is not pronounced. The purple sweet potato is what adds the deep purple color. It is also sweeter than taro. Nevertheless, you can decide not to use it as it doesn’t affect the drink’s flavor.
  • Chilling all the ingredients is very important before you begin assembling this drink. This will also ensure you get a perfect cold milk tea.

So, how do you make taro milk tea?

This tea variety is one of the most ordered globally, and it’s mainly because of its texture, and the flavors used when making it. The thick texture of this tea is usually brought by the addition of the taro root vegetables.

So, here’s how to make this beverage;

For the tea

  • In a pot and over medium heat, add water to the pot and boil it. Add baking soda to the thoroughly boiled water. After that, place the sliced taro roots in the pot and purple sweet potato in the water and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • The next procedure is to wrap the jasmine tea leaves in a cheesecloth then drop them into the boiling water. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 5-8 minutes. Remember to cook at a constant temperature.
  • Take away the pot from the heat source and let the steeping process begin, which should last for about 10 minutes.
  • Take the purple sweet potato out of the pot. For the jasmine leaves in the cheesecloth cloth, strain them entirely until all the liquid in the leaves comes out.
  • Place the taro root cubes in another bowl and place them in the refrigerator for it to chill. It should last for one hour.
  • The remaining tea left in the pot should also be transferred to another container and placed in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.

Assembling of the tea

  • The first step when assembling this tea is to prepare the Boba, and this is based on the instructions given on the Boba packaging. The cooked Boba should then be placed in a bowl and combined with sugar or soaked in honey syrup and stirred.
  • The next step is to blend the tea initially stored in the fridge. In the blender, add milk, sugar {optional}, ube flavor ice cream, ice cubes, and blend it.
  • Then add two slices each of the cooked taro root and purple sweet potato and blend them. For the vegetables, blend them for a maximum of two pulses since they shouldn’t be completely dissolved. They should be transformed into smaller pieces.
  • According to your taste buds, adding extra taro and purple sweet potato is possible, but be very keen as this could make the drink extra thick and change its flavor.
  • In a glass, add Boba and ice cubes, and this is done when you have attained the flavor you desire. For the topping, add whipped cream and enjoy your taro milk tea.

Here’s the full recipe of how to make this tea- taro milk tea recipe

 Are there other variations of the taro milk tea?

The good thing about taro milk tea is its flexibility, as all the ingredients can be swapped for others. There’s only one ingredient that cannot be swapped when making this drink: the taro root vegetable.

For instance, instead of using dairy milk when assembling this drink, you can opt to use soy milk or even almond milk. If you have sugar-related issues, you can soak your honey ingredients as it will serve the same purpose.

This beverage may slightly change when you make a homemade version since most restaurants use powdered taro to get the attractive purple color. This means that your beverage will be pinkish, but you can use powdered taro if you value the color more.

For the sweetness, use honey, cinnamon, or molasses; you get to decide what you want.

How does taro milk taste?

People who have tasted this beverage understand the sweet flavor and how irresistible this drink is.

Nevertheless, still, some people are hesitant when it comes to ordering or making this delicious drink. Well, it all depends on every person’s taste buds.

Most people who have tried this drink describe it as delicious with an irresistible nutty flavor.

taro milk

Taro root vegetables are versatile and can be cooked in so many different ways. Its flavor is almost the same as sweet potatoes when cooked. It makes a perfect substitute for dishes and recipes that calls for potatoes because of their texture and structure.

So, it all depends on how it is prepared and the region where it is grown when it comes to the flavor and taste of this root vegetable.

The flavor of this vegetable is different when used in making tea. In this case, it almost similar to the taste of vanilla.

The flavor is even better in tea because several ingredients are combined with it, making it super delicious.

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