We hate to be the bearer of bad news but unfortunately, it’s a sad time for bubble tea lovers. It is no surprise that the drink that tastes so good is actually not so good for your health. I’m sure you’ve seen the infographic by Mount Alvernia Hospital that shows how many teaspoons of sugar there are in a single cup of bubble tea (BBT). It has shocked many BBT lovers as the high sugar content is likely to result in increased health risks such as diabetes.

But don’t worry though, it’s not like it’s all over because we’re here to tell you better and healthier ways to enjoy your BBT and some alternatives.

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First of all, let’s go through what Mount Alvernia released to know what to avoid and why you should avoid them.

Image credit: Mount Alvernia Hospital | Facebook

How To Enjoy A Healthier Cup of Bubble Tea

According to the infographic, each cup of brown sugar milk tea with pearls (500ml) contains a whopping 18.5 teaspoons of sugar and approximately 335 calories. This is definitely not something you want to have every week, much less every day. But I know how it feels to have that BBT craving – so here are 3 ways to still have your BBT without feeling that guilty.

  1. Choose healthier toppings – The pearls that you love is actually just a bunch of empty calories, essentially carbs with no nutritional value. These pearls are made out of cassava starch, sweet potato, and brown sugar, account for 156 calories, almost half of the brown sugar milk tea itself! Try going for something healthier like aloe vera or simply, skip the toppings!
  2. Try plain teas or fruit teas – As explained in the infographic, plain teas like green tea, oolong or black tea have no calories which make them a great option if you just want a tea fix. Though if those seem to be unsatisfying, you can also opt for the fresh fruit teas. Be sure to find places that use fresh fruits to brew their tea and not fruit syrups which are just another form of sugar.
  3. Less sugar – It goes without saying that going for a lower sugar percentage would be better since sugar is one of the main culprits of empty calories and health risks. If it seems difficult to go from 100% to 0% from the start, try lowering it slowly. Most people are used to a high sugar level so it might take a bit of time before they enjoy a cup of BBT with a lower sugar content.

Some BBT places have also started offering healthier options, for example, on LiHO‘s menu, there are options certified with the Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Choice Symbol to show they have lower sugar content. And Heytea offers the option of changing sugar to Stevia, a natural sweetener, which tastes similar to sugar but with a lower sugar and calorie content.

Now, enough talk! Here are some super delicious BBT that you can try without feeling so guilty.

1. LiHO – SIngapore Fruit Tea

Image credit: LiHO SG | Facebook

As mentioned before, any options from Liho with the Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Choice Symbol would be a good choice. The new Singapore Fruit Tea contains 6 different fruits, passionfruit, watermelon, grapefruit, pineapple, green lemon, and calamansi which is great for those looking for a refreshing mid-day boost.

2. Woobbee – Pei Pa Koa Bubble Tea

Image credit: Woobbee | Facebook

If you’re the type of person who immediately takes a spoonful of Pei Pa Koa when you feel sick, this might be the concoction for you. The Pei Pa Koa Bubble Tea is your new cough syrup and is appropriate whenever you’re feeling under the weather or for those who prefer a minty taste. Some other BBT shops have also started making these, but I say the original is the best.

3. GongCha Milk Foam Tea

Image credit: @gongchatea | Facebook

I know the infographic earlier on showed that milk foam tea holds 203 calories. But the milk foam teas at GongCha are unsweetened and have a generous amount of sweet and salty foam added to make it both a healthier option but still have that classic bubble tea taste that we all love. And hence I would like to think that the Milk Foam Oolong (with zero sugar and no toppings) doesn’t have 203 calories especially since it has been awarded a Healthier Choice Symbol by the Health Promotion Board.

4. Nayuki

Image credit: Nayuki Singapore | Facebook

Recently opening at VivoCity and Funan, Nayuki pairs premium fresh-fruit teas and soft euro bread and has an established presence in China. Both the stores in Singapore see long lines every weekend with BBT fans scrambling to grab their signature cup of Supreme Cheese Strawberry tea and the award-winning Alisan Mountain Dew Tea.

Other Options

Now that you’ve read about the healthier choices to make while still getting your BBT fix, we will also recommend a few other alternatives for those who are keen to cut BBT out of their lifestyle.

Image credit: @mrbeansg | Instagram
  1. Soya Milk– Although not a bubble tea, soya milk is a much healthier alternative while still serving that milky kick. My personal favourite has got to be Mr. Bean (also because it is available of foodpanda for cashback!) so be sure to grab a cup to fight your BBT cravings!
  2. Homemade bubble tea – I know this sounds crazy and tough, but there are many recipes you can find online to make your own bubble tea at home. Plus, you can control the sugar level and everything else that goes into it. There are also recipes to make your own pearls from scratch and it’s much simpler than you think!

Featured Image Credit: Nayuki SG (Instagram) & Woobbee (Facebook)

Now that you’ve got a bag full of healthier BBT ideas, it is time to get your cup of BBT. Don’t forget to check out the food promotions on ShopBack, and keep your eyes peeled for Foodpanda Flash Sale on Mondays!

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