Bobas are the black chewy balls found in milk teas and similar drinks. Also called pearls or black pearls, many milk teas and flavored shakes are added with these chewy balls for added texture. Bobas or black pearls are actually made of tapioca which is sourced from the roots of the cassava plant. Tapioca itself can be made into its own dessert but because of its seemingly neutral flavor, it is often made into the black chewy balls that people know as the black pearls in milk teas and similar drinks like fruit shakes.
In terms of nutrients, bobas or pearls provide carbohydrates for the body’s energy needs. With its starchy origins from the cassava roots, bobas are considered high-calorie carbohydrate-rich food. When added to sweetened drinks like milk teas and shakes, bobas simply add up to the carbohydrate and sweets overload of the drink. Being part of the carbohydrate group, bobas also load up on the calorie department when they are consumed along with the milk tea. The benefit that people get from the tea may be overshadowed by the high carbohydrate and high calorie content of the sugar and boba content. With more calories from carbohydrates, more fat deposits will also be the result if these are not burned through physical activity or exercise. Bobas also do not contain much fiber which can help keep people feel more satiated after eating. These chewy balls simply add to the texture and pleasure of drinking milk teas and fruit shakes.
Many milk teas that contain bobas or pearls are also referred to as bubble teas. This is for the simple reason of the black chewy balls that reside at the bottom of the beverage. These black balls of boba basically look like large bubbles of the milk tea. With people also referring to them as pearls, milk teas with bobas are also often referred to as pearl shakes or pearl teas in other countries.