Does bubble tea have gelatin? The answer might seem like a “yes” since the texture of tapioca or popping boba resemble things that normally have gelatin. However, the squishy pearls are gelatin-free and are usually made of tapioca starch which is extracted from cassava root. Popping boba’s main ingredient comes from seaweed extract and is also gelatin-free. This makes both toppings vegan and halal! Of course, if you are vegan, you will have to stray away from the whole milk bases, but you can always get nut-milk or oat-milk alternatives. You can even just stick to the fruit teas as they are just as delicious and refreshing.
It may come as a surprise to some that tapioca and popping boba are gelatin-free because of the texture. But it isn’t all that striking once you remember its Taiwanese origins allowed it to gain popularity in South-East Asia early. Many of the countries in this region, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, are home to large Muslim populations. This beverage’s versatility allows it to be enjoyed by anyone so you can worry less about gelatin being in your drink the next time you think about having bubble tea!