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What is Taro Bubble Tea? (Purple Boba Milk Tea)

What is that beautiful purple bubble tea drink you see in boba shops? Chances are it’s a taro bubble tea! If you’re a newbie to bubble tea shops, you’re in for a treat. Read on to find out all about this delicious creamy drink with the beautiful purple color, and how to make it at home with an easy step by step taro milk tea recipe.

Taro milk tea, also called taro bubble tea, or taro tea, is a popular purple drink known for its nutty, sweet taste and creamy texture and mouthfeel. It contains chewy tapioca balls just like other boba drinks. Taro boba milk tea is simple to make at home with just a few ingredients. It’s one of the most popular boba tea flavors around.

What flavor is the purple boba tea?

In bubble tea, the taro flavor can be described as earthy, nutty, slightly sweet flavor similar to sweet potatoes. When sweetened it can have a slight vanilla flavor.

The starch in the taro makes the drink extra creamy. This gives it a thick mouthfeel that many people crave. It’s one of the reasons this creamy taro milk tea is so prized.

Is Taro Bubble Tea Sweet?

Because taro on it’s own isn’t very sweet, most taro powders used in taro milk bubble tea come sweetened.

Bubble teas that use taro also tend to sweeten the boba pearls before including them in the tea by boiling them in a simple syrup made of water and sugar. This extra sugar imparts a sweeter flavor in taro boba tea.

purple taro bubble tea
A glass of sweet taro milk tea with tapioca pearls is both pretty and delicious!

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What Is Taro?

The taro plant, or colocasia esculenta, is a starchy root vegetable that originates from southeast Asia and south India. It is widely grown in other parts of the world, like Hawaii. These tubers are about the size of a tennis ball with brown skin and pink to white flesh. If you’ve ever been to a Hawaiian luau, you’ve had real taro root in foods like poi.  

While you can eat fresh taro, the taro you’ll find in bubble tea has been ground into a starchy purple powder that’s easy to add to this popular drink.

How does Taro Milk Tea Taste?

Taro taste can be a bit of a chameleon when it comes to its unique flavor. It can taste starchy and nutty in savory foods, but sweet in dessert like foods. Taro on its own has a nutty flavor.

Is Taro Powder Good for You?

Taro is an excellent source of fiber which account for many of its health benefits, such as improved heart health and blood sugar. The kind of fiber found in taro root is called resistant starch, which is of the prebiotic variety that’s good for gut health. Taro powder also contains a slew of polyphenols and antioxidants that help fight free radical damage and inflammation.

Purple Taro Powder - Naturally Dyes Food Purple/violet - Net Weight: 2.65oz / 75g - Violet Food Dye For Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, Smoothies & Bubble Tea - 100% Pure & Organic Colocasia Esculenta

Is Purple Sweet Potato Powder the Same as Taro Root Powder?

While purple sweet potato powder is also a starchy powder with a purple hue, it’s actually from a different plant. They can be used in a similar fashion though since they’re both starchy and purple. Purple Sweet potato or purple yam (ube) powder is actually a more vibrant purple color, than the lighter purple hue of taro root powder.

Where Can You Buy Taro Root?

If you can’t find fresh taro root in your local grocery store, you’re sure to find it at asian grocery stores or asian supermarkets.  

What makes Taro Milk Tea Purple?

The purple color comes from the taro root powder. It’s a lighter purple than that from purple sweet potatoes.

What kind of tea is in purple boba tea?

The tea base for this popular bob tea flavor is usually black tea, jasmine tea, or jasmine green tea. But you can make it with pretty much any tea you prefer from loose green tea leaves to a black tea bag. There are so many different variations to this drink – you can even make a caffeine free version with decaffeinated or herbal tea.

what is taro bubble tea
Homemade Taro Milk Bubble Tea with Tapioca Pearls

What milk is used in making taro milk bubble tea?

One of the best things about this classic milk tea is that you can use either dairy milks (whole milk, or half and half) or plant based milks like almond milk or coconut milk, or even non-dairy creamer. Half and half is a great choice if you like dairy because it adds an extra creaminess to the recipe.

What Are the Ingredients in Taro Bubble Tea?

Taro boba milk tea only takes a few ingredients and is fun to make. When making your own drink, make sure to look at the taro powder label since many come premixed with creamer and sweetener.

If your taro powder includes other ingredients, make sure to adjust your sweetener and milk when you mix up your drink.

  • Taro Powder (check ingredients: many come with creamer and sweetener added already)
  • Green tea or your favorite blend
  • Half and Half or Milk of Your Choice (dairy or plant-based milks)
  • Black Tapioca Pearls
  • Sweetener (simple syrup, sweet brown sugar syrup, honey, sugar, etc.)
  • Water
  • Ice

How to make Purple Boba Tea From Scratch

Here are the step by step instructions to make rich taro milk tea with boba. If you’re in a hurry, scroll down to the recipe card below.

Make Tea of Your Choice

  1. Add loose tea to a teapot with strainer, or add teabag to a mug.
  2. Pour boiling water over tea and steep for 4-5 minutes for loose tea, or 2 minutes for teabags.
  3. Strain loose tea or remove teabags.
  4. Whisk in taro powder until well blended. Set aside to cool.

Make Tapioca Pearls

The hardest part of making this drink is making the sweet, chewy, fork tender boba pearls. Once you figure out the simple recipe for homemade boba pearls, you can join the ranks of boba tea lovers who make their own taro milk tea!

WuFuYuan - Tapioca Pearl Black 8.8 Oz / 250 G (Pack of 2)

  1. Bring a small pot of water to boil over medium heat.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of dried black tapioca pearls to the hot water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain, plunge into cold water to stop cooking, and drain again.
  4. Add cooked boba to 1/4 cup of simple syrup or your desired sweetener. Let sit for 10 minutes to absorb sweetness.

Assemble Your Taro Milk Tea

  1. Grab a glass that holds at least 16 ounces.
  2. Add the cooked boba along with the soaking syrup to the bottom.
  3. Add ice cubes
  4. Pour in your cooled, pleasantly purple tea, leaving some room at the top.
  5. Top with half and half.
  6. Stir and Enjoy!!
purple taro bubble tea

Taro Bubble Tea (Purple Taro Boba Milk Tea)

Yield: 1 Serving

This pretty purple hued boba tea is made with ground taro root which not only supplies the amazing color, but a decadent creaminess as well.


  • 3 teaspoons loose tea or a teabag
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons taro root powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup uncooked WuFuYuan black tapioca pearls
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • Extra honey or simple syrup if you like a sweet tea


    Make the Tea

  1. Add loose tea to a teapot with a strainer, or add teabag to a mug.
  2. Pour boiling water over tea and steep for 4-5 minutes if using loose tea, or 2 minutes for teabags.
  3. Strain loose tea or remove tea bags after steeping.
  4. Whisk in taro root powder until well blended.
  5. Set aside to cool.

Make the Syrup for the Tapioca Pearls

  1. Combine 1/4 cup hot water with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside.
  2. To save time, you can use any kind of simple syrup.

Make Tapioca Pearls

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add tapioca pearls, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Drain, plunge into cold water for a few seconds and drain again.
  3. Add to the prepared brown sugar syrup and let sit for 10 minutes to absorb the flavor.

Assemble Your Bubble Tea

  1. Find a cup that holds at least 16 ounces.
  2. In the bottom of the cup, add the tapioca pearls in the brown sugar syrup.
  3. Add ice and pour in the cooled tea.
  4. Top with the half-and-half.
  5. Stir and enjoy!


You can customized this recipe by using your choice of tea, choice of milk, as well as the sweetness.

Make sure to look at the label on your taro root powder because many come pre-mixed with creamer and sweetener.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Trans Fat: 0g

Nutrition figures are estimates. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information for any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe.

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purple taro bubble milk tea
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