Many people know that I am a bubble tea fanatic. I go around looking for different bubble tea stores in Singapore and I must drink it every week, sometimes even every day. It quenches my thirst, there's a variety of different flavours to choose and try from, it gives a "shiok!" feeling, and I really love chewing the pearls!

So one day, I was randomly browsing through Facebook as usual. I happened to chance upon this post. It is about the dangers of bubble tea:

The words in red below are points I've highlighted that are damaging to our health.


Bubble tea shops are popping up all over the place - in malls, on corners, and anywhere else thirsty teens tend to gather. Bubble tea, also called pearl milk tea or boba tea, originated in Taiwan and has become a worldwide sipping - and chewing - phenomenon. But what is bubble tea anyway? Take a cup, plop in a handful of round, gelatinous pearls of tapioca, top it with brewed black or green tea, mix in some milk, sugar, flavouring, and ice. Then shake it all up, and you've got yourself a bubble tea.(1)(18)

Bubble tea brings a lot of sweet excitement to our taste buds but it is also very harmful to health. Milk essence (Non-Dairy or Dairy Creamers) is the main ingredient in bubble tea. Ten cups of fresh milk cannot match the taste of a teaspoon of milk essence. The main ingredient of milk essence is hygrogenated vegetable oil, a type of transfat(11)(17). Experts says that a glass of 500ml of bubble tea a day far exceed the allowable limit of transfat for any person(2grams a day)(7). It will lead to heart and blood vessel diseases.(2)

Milk essence gives the bubble tea the fragrance and make it tasty. The fragrance and tastiness derived from a type of chemical. This chemical has trace of arsenic, lead, copper and many harmful minerals(6)(9)(10). Long term consumption can lead to heart and blood vessel disease, cancer, asthma and other health complications.(5)

In addition, the syrup used for the bubble tea was found to be contaminated with the cancer-causing plastic additive diethylhexyl phthalate.(12)(13)

Consuming the black bubbles pearls is equivalent to consuming plastic. Normally these bubbles were made from casava (tapioca) powder, which could lead to cyanide poisoning if not properly processed (8). This alone does not give the rubbery texture. To make it more rubbery, millet protein is added.

Some “black hearted” businessmen felt that this is still not rubbery enough. So, an artificial plastic powder is added. This type of artificial plastic material will never be digested and absorbed into the body, and bear in mind, plastic is toxic to your body if consumed. It will remain in the body and cause havoc to our health. You can imagine what will happen to your health after prolonged consumption of transfat and plastic!!!!(3) (4)

In addition, a standard Bubble Tea with milk and pearls contains roughly 250-380 calories (Thats an Average calorie for a slice of pizza) in just a 12-16 oz serving. It means that Bubble Tea is a one way ticket to Obe-City (obesity). Lets compare this drink to a Starbucks Nonfat Iced Vanilla Latte 12oz at 120 calories. (14)(15)(16)

Based on the Health Promotion Board’s (HPB) guidelines, we should limit our sugar fix to 10 per cent of our daily energy intake. That’s approximately 40g to 55g (eight to 11 teaspoons) a day. Just one cup of bubble tea, however, contains six teaspoons – that’s almost 55 per cent of our recommended daily intake at one go. (menshealth Singapore)

If you think you could trust your Ministry of Health, think again. This product has been in sales since 2001 to say the least in Malaysia. However, Malaysian officials only found DHEP contamintaion is some of the many bubble tea products in 2011. That means for 10 years, this product have been circulating without proper inspection from the government. Therefore, do question food safety in your country. It may save you life in the long term.

Note: The article is not meant to accuse all bubble tea, but to lay out the risk that some unethical vendor would sell to you. Be very cautious, when you purchase food without a nutritional value or safety assurance.



The article is based on a previous chinese written article.

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After reading this article, I'm definitely staying away from bubble tea as much as I can. Initially, I thought that since it's such a huge thing in Taiwan, one of the must-drink things when you're there, how bad can it be? Many people told me that drinking too much is bad for my health before, but I refused to listen because they were only proving it verbally. But now that all the evidence are right in front of me, it's time to stop.

Of course, this article is about milk tea. So call me stubborn, but I'm sticking to health teas without pearls until I can find something that's damaging about it!


  1. Homg! I've always heard that Bubble tea is cancerous etc, but I don't care about it honestly! I'm definitely staying away from them now. T__T

    1. Tell me about it :(:(:( Anyway it's fattening too!