How Taro Powder Has Revolutionised the Bubble Tea Industry

Bubble tea has become a global phenomenon with a variety of innovative flavours and toppings to choose from. Among the plethora of options, taro stands out (not only because of its eye-catching colour but because of its distinct taste), especially in the UK. In this article, we will delve into the historical roots of taro in Asian cuisine, its transition from a traditional food ingredient to a beverage component and its rise to prominence in the world of bubble tea.

Historical Roots of Taro in Asian Cuisine

Taro, also commonly referred to as ‘Taro root’, is a purple starchy root vegetable with a brown outer skin, originating in Southeast Asia. It is known for its earthy flavour and purple hue and has been a staple in various Asian cuisines for centuries- widely used in South Asian, African and Oceanic regions. Although it is a ‘root’ vegetable, the leaves and stems can be consumed when correctly prepared and cooked. When cooked, taro may taste similar to sweet potatoes. The traditional uses of taro in Asian dishes are diverse- from savoury dishes like taro dumplings and taro cake (Wu Tao Gou) to traditional desserts like the Taiwanese taro and sweet potato balls dessert to newer additions like taro Jelly Powder, Energy Sticks and taro ice cream.

Rise of Taro Bubble Tea: A Global Phenomenon

In the 1980s in Taiwan, taro’s exceptional taste and texture were recognised, thus, starting the taro bubble tea trend. It was first introduced by the company Chun Shui Tang which combined coconut milk, tea and taro root. From then on, it spread from East Asia to the rest of the world. From being a food ingredient to one of the most popular bubble tea flavours in the UK, it shows how the realm of bubble tea is constantly changing through the generations. Beyond its signature taste, taro powder offers a range of advantages that contribute to its widespread acclaim in the bubble tea world.

Taro is frequently confused with another starchy root known as Ube, given their shared starchy, sweet characteristics and distinctive purple colour. However, Ube, or purple yam, differs in its brighter purple shade and possesses a sweeter and richer taste compared to taro. Originating during the Spartan colonisation in the Philippines, Ube is the primary ingredient in the famous Filipino dessert, halo-halo.

The Advantages of Taro Powder in Bubble Tea

Taro is not just a flavour sensation but it is low-calorie and also brings nutritional benefits to the table. Taro powder benefits include fibre, vitamins and minerals which assist in digestion and healthy weight loss. Studies have found that it regulates blood sugar levels and may reduce the risk of diabetes. Taro contains resistant starch which is a special type of starch that when consumed does not get digested and thus, does not raise blood sugar levels.

The allure of taro lies in its unique flavour – a creamy balance of sweet and nutty with a hint of earthiness. In bubble tea, it has a creamy texture that is slightly vanilla and is a perfect pairing with tapioca pearls. Its distinctive taste sets it apart from other bubble tea flavours, making it a favourite of many.

Taiwanese Taro Powder: An Authentic Experience

For an authentic taro bubble tea experience, sourcing original Taiwanese taro powder is crucial. At Taipec, we offer Instant Taro powder which was developed by a professional drink manufacturer in Taiwan. To make taro bubble tea, simply mix this powder with hot water, fructose, creamer and ice in a cocktail shaker. Using authentic taro powder from Taiwan ensures that the true essence of taro is captured, providing a genuine experience for customers.

Compared to other flavours, taro provides a richer and creamer feel, especially when compared to fruit teas. Although taro root is not so abundant in the UK, taro bubble tea is one of the most popular flavours. Even if you have not tried taro root before, you are likely to be taken away by its creamy and unique taste!

The revolution of taro powder in the bubble tea industry is a fascinating journey that spans centuries of tradition, innovation in the beverage industry and global consumer appreciation. From its historical roots in Asian cuisine to its current status as a global flavour sensation, taro has established a major presence in the world of bubble tea.