Milk tea continues to sweep the globe as consumers seek out this dessert in a cup. Strawberry milk tea is one of the most consumed milk teas. Most of us hold this little red bite of yum near and dear to our hearts. However, that strawberry isn’t what you think it is!
What Is Strawberry Milk Tea?
Strawberry milk tea is a summertime favorite among bubble (boba) tea drinkers all over the world. This drink comes in many variations with different ingredients. It may be a straight-up milk tea, or it may have black or green tea, herbs, syrups, toppings, or other sweet extras added.
What is Strawberry Milk Tea Made Of?
Depending on where you buy this tea, or if you make your own, the ingredients vary. Bubble tea shops may use a strawberry-flavored milk tea powder mix or prepare it with fresh ingredients. Regardless of how it’s prepared, it will always contain black tapioca pearls.
A bubble tea starts with the milk base. It will also include black tapioca pearls and ice. Tea shops have their own formula for concocting this tea. Some use all fresh ingredients, whereas some use mixes and flavorings for the sake of convenience. Various toppings finish off the strawberry milk tea.
Variations Of Strawberry Milk Tea
For the first-time bubble tea drinker, ordering one of these drinks can be similar to visiting Starbucks for the first time. There is drink lingo that helps to know when ordering your drink.
When ordering, you must select the following:
- Choice of dairy, which includes whole milk, half and half, yogurt, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, or taro milk.
- Grade or level of sweetness which can be 0%, 30% (subtle,) 50% (sweet,) 70% (sweeter,) or 100% (very sweet.)
- Amount of ice which is none, light (½ full,) less (¾ full,) or regular (full cup.)
Additions you can also select include tea (black, green, oolong, yellow, or white,) herbs, flavorings, syrups, and toppings.
Some trendy ways to enjoy strawberry milk tea are adding bananas, chocolate, flavored tapioca pearls, or matcha tea. The pièces de résistance is to top a strawberry milk tea off with cheese. Strawberries and cream cheese go hand in hand!
Taking the strawberry milk tea to another level is done by layering flavorful and colorful elements. The bottom layer might be a brown sugar milk tea with a thin layer of chocolate syrup. Next, the strawberry milk tea is layered upon the chocolate, and upon the strawberry milk tea is a matcha milk tea with a frothy topping.
The possibilities are endless, and it basically comes down to creativity in flavors that complement one another.
Now just before you are handed your strawberry milk tea, a thick straw is inserted into the cup. This allows the tapioca pearls to be sipped with the other ingredients. Your masterpiece is now in your hand, and there’s nothing left to do but sip away and enjoy.
What Does Strawberry Milk Tea Taste Like?
Because of the endless variations in making this milk tea, the flavors will also vary. Typically, you have the elemental flavor of creamy, fruity, sweet strawberry. The ice makes it chilly and a welcome beverage on a hot day.
When adding a particular tea such as Assam, you have a slight maltiness augmenting the strawberry flavor. By adding matcha or green tea, you add an element of earthiness that seems to bring out the purity of fresh strawberries.
Does Strawberry Milk Tea Have Caffeine?
Unless this drink is made with a true tea (black, green, oolong, yellow, or white,) it will not contain caffeine. For example, strawberry-matcha milk tea or a strawberry-brown sugar milk tea gets its caffeine from matcha (green tea) or black tea used in brown sugar milk teas. Either of these teas can have up to 50 mg (possibly more) of caffeine.
How Many Calories Is In Strawberry Milk Tea?
Milk teas (bubble tea) are high in sugar and carbs. Because of this, milk tea should be an occasional “splurge.” A 12-ounce milk tea averages about 229 calories with about 38 grams of carbs. That doesn’t include any toppings or extras added. An 18-ounce milk tea packs a whopping 57 grams of carbs and 448 calories.
Can Strawberry Milk Tea Be Bad For You?
Milk tea’s exorbitant calories and carbohydrates are the focus of a research study (Calories and sugars in boba milk tea: implications for obesity risk in Asian Pacific Islanders.) This study highlights just how unhealthy bubble tea (milk tea) can be. A 12-ounce milk tea accounts for 144% of the recommended daily intake of sugar. Comparatively, 18-ounce milk tea has 216% of that daily sugar intake recommendation. So enjoy it in moderation!
What Is A Strawberry: Fruit, Berry, or Vegetable?
So many people have pondered this very question. After all, the whole concept of a tomato being a fruit rather than a vegetable also raises the curiosity of what other vegetables and fruits are confusingly categorized.
The strawberry (Fragaria) belongs to the Rosaceae family (roses.) There are numerous species of Fragaria. Just where do strawberries fit in?
According to a research study published entitled, “Strawberry As a Functional Food: An Evidence-Based Review,” strawberries are not considered a fruit, vegetable, or berry. Instead, these ruby-red sweeties are a part of the stamen that grows on the white flowers of a strawberry plant. Stamens are distinct stick-like projections that extend upwards out of flowers.
The formation of a strawberry happens when the stamen inside the strawberry plant’s white flower enlarges and swells. Pollination of the small white flower initiates this “swelling” process. Tissues of the strawberry continue to grow until what we know as a strawberry.
Plants have what’s known as “fruits.” These fruits are seeds. The tiny embedded seeds on the outer layer of a strawberry are the fruit of a strawberry plant. The strawberry flesh is nothing more than plant tissue, not a fruit.
So, in essence, a strawberry is plant tissue that we consume.
The History Of Strawberries
According to the Botanical Society of America’s research study (Fragaria: A genus with deep historical roots and ripe for evolutionary and ecological insights,) various species of Fragaria (strawberry) have grown wild in many parts of the world for thousands of years.
Two pre-Columbian occurrences of strawberry seeds in the eastern regions of North America are on record. Domestication of wild strawberries is said to have been started by the Mapuche people of Chile over 1,000 years ago. European strawberry cultivation by the Romans goes back to the 16th century.
American strawberry cultivation began around 1835. However, this plant did not get its name “strawberry” until sometime in the 19th century. Just how “straw” made its way into “strawberry” is unknown. But there are claims that it came from straw being laid over the plants to protect them from the elements. Another theory suggests it came from children threading strawberries on pieces of straw. Today, strawberries are a staple in the diet of many cultures.
How To Make Strawberry Milk Tea
You can have this occasional indulgence in the comfort of your home. Having control over the ingredients used to prepare this milk tea helps to reduce calories and carbs.
How Do You Make Strawberry Milk Tea From Scratch?
Using fresh strawberries and a dairy such as almond or soy milk pumps up this strawberry milk tea boba-style making it far healthier than a tea shop product.
Strawberry Milk Tea Recipe
- 2 cups of soy or almond milk
- ½ cup of black tapioca pearls prepared ahead of time
- ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup of fresh strawberries (washed, and greens removed)
Tip: Before adding the cooked/prepared tapioca pearls to your glass, run cold water over them to remove any starchy film; strain to remove water.
- Whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff and set aside.
- Place milk and strawberries in a blender and mix on low.
- Put the desired amount of black tapioca pearls in the bottom of a chilled glass.
- Fill the glass with ice.
- Pour the strawberry milk mix into the glass.
- Add a dollop of whipped cream on top.
- Insert a wide straw and enjoy!
Tip: For extra goodness, add a few slices of diced frozen banana.
It’s “Berry” Good!
Allowing yourself to have a sweet treat such as strawberry milk tea won’t break the “calorie bank.” But keep in mind that moderation is key in enjoying the luxury of any sweet indulgence.