Does Bubble Tea Have Caffeine? Caffeine Content, Health Benefits & More

Bubble tea got a good welcome to the tea world. Who wouldn’t want to down a cup of brightly colored tea with tapioca pearls at the bottom? One question on the minds of most tea lovers is, does bubble tea contain caffeine like most teas?

Caffeine is probably your first go-to when you need something to keep you alert and awake through the night.

If bubble tea contains the caffeine you want, studying and working at night might just get better. While the bright color of the tea will get you going, the stimulant will be working on the inside.

So, read on to find out if bubble tea should join your work or study kit. You will also learn the best ways to enjoy bubble tea anytime, any day.

What is bubble tea?

does bubble tea have caffeine - millenora

Bubble tea, pearl milk tea, or boba tea is a Taiwanese tea made with tea, fruit juice, milk, and tapioca pearls. The name “bubble tea” comes from the foam on top of the tea, not because of the pearls at the bottom of the cup (as most people think).

Bubble tea is a refreshing tea that can be served hot or cold (depending on personal preferences). The tea, milk, and tapioca pearls are shaken together to produce froth at the top of the tea. This tea can be taken at any time of the day – cold tea for summer and hot tea for cold nights.

Boba tea comes in a wide variety of flavors. All ingredients are allowed to steep into the liquid to create a unique and refreshing taste.  

Does bubble tea have caffeine?

Yes, bubble tea has caffeine. A standard cup of bubble tea can contain 40-50 mg of caffeine. The caffeine content can also be less, depending on the type of tea used for the base. In essence, the type of tea used determines the caffeine content in bubble tea.

Also, the caffeine content can be higher if it contains coffee. Yes, some boba tea varieties are made with cold brew coffee instead of tea leaves.

If you do not want the caffeine rush, you can go for boba teas made with herbal teas like chamomile, ginger, and peppermint teas.

Other factors that determine the caffeine content in your bubble tea are the amount of tea you add, the length of steeping time, and the temperature of the water while steeping.

The more tea you add, the higher the caffeine content. Similarly, the longer the tea steeps in hot water, and the hotter you steep, the higher the caffeine content.

Can bubble tea keep you awake?

Yes, bubble tea can keep you awake if you drink it just a few hours before your bedtime. Moreover, the effect of caffeine decreases in people with higher caffeine tolerance, especially those who drink a lot of coffee.

Also, you may feel sleepy after drinking bubble tea if you are very tired. Caffeine takes effect better when your body is not too tired.

Health benefits of drinking bubble tea

The ingredients in your tea determine the health benefits of bubble tea. Some common benefits are:

Antioxidants dose

Teas are loaded with antioxidants that protect against tissue and cell damage. For instance, the antioxidants in green tea can help slow down the damage caused by unstable oxygen molecules. Also, these antioxidants help to lower the risk of cancers.

May lower blood pressure

Drinking bubble tea made with tea leaves, such as green tea, may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

Stress management

Bubble tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps to reduce the effect of stress on your body and brighten your mood. Even with a tired body, drinking bubble tea can help to brighten your face.

Increased mental alertness

L-theanine again comes into play here. It promotes the release and action of calm neurotransmitters, increases focus and attention, improves the quality of sleep, and fights cognitive diseases.

A cup of boba tea might just be what you need if you are having trouble concentrating and getting tasks done.

Are there any side effects of drinking bubble tea?

Bubble tea is delicious and refreshing but not without its buts. This tea provides little to no vitamins and minerals in comparison to what the body needs daily. Some of the side effects associated with drinking bubble tea are:

  • Excessive weight gain due to the high sugar content
  • Risk of diabetes
  • Tooth decay
  • Lowered immunity
  • An increase in bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol result in increased risk of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular diseases
  • Excessive consumption of bubble tea can cause poor mental development in children because of the high intake of additives
  • Allergic reactions in people with cassava or latex allergies

How to drink bubble tea

Pick your base tea

Your tea base could be green tea, black tea, herbal tea, oolong tea, or a fruit tea like lychee, strawberry, or passion fruit tea. The base tea largely determines the dominant flavor of your tea. Also, the strength of the brew determines the caffeine content in the tea.

Black tea contains 50-90 mg of caffeine, green tea contains 40-50 mg of caffeine, oolong tea contains 50-75 mg of caffeine, white tea contains 6-55 mg of caffeine, and jasmine contains about 25 mg of caffeine. You can use this as a guide when picking your base tea.

Select your choice of milk

Your choice of milk is determined by your dietary needs and how creamy you want your bubble tea to be.

If you do not have any issues with dairy, you can use your favorite dairy milk. Otherwise, go for tasty vegan options like coconut, soy, or almond milk. Also, go for lactose-free milk if you are lactose intolerant.

If you are buying boba tea from a store, you can ask for the type of milk used and request that yours be made with milk that suits your digestive system. Preferably, make your boba tea at home if you can.

Select your toppings

Toppings or bubbles, whichever you prefer to call them. Popular options are chewy tapioca pearls, popping tapioca pearls, taro balls, jelly cubes, and basil seeds.

Bubbles vary with stores. Some stores have a broader menu and give you the luxury of picking something different.

Drink up

Store-bought bubble teas come with a plastic lid and straw. Pierce the lid with the straw and sip. The straws are usually broad enough to allow the pearls to come into your mouth with the tea. You can chew the pearls while you sip your tea.  

Accompaniments for bubble tea


dumplings - millenora

Dumplings are the perfect choice if you do not want the strong sweet taste of boba tea. Also, this can pass for a light and filling lunch or dinner.


sandwiches as accompaniment for bubble tea - millenora

If you are having sandwiches with boba tea, make sure you are going for spicy fillings to help balance the sweetness of the tea.


waffles - millenora

Waffles, preferably Belgian waffles, with fruits, ice cream, and honey are a great accompaniment for boba tea made with matcha or green tea. The rich sweetness makes a good complement to the bitter taste of matcha and the bland taste of green tea.


bowl of vegetable salad with berries - millenora

If you enjoy green tea with salad, you will also love green boba tea with your favorite bowl of salad. Add berries to your bowl of salad and drizzle with lemon juice.

Potato wedges

potato wedges - millenora

Hot potato wedges are perfect pairs for sweet boba tea. The saltiness of the potatoes and the sweetness of the tea will certainly appeal to your taste buds.

Bread or teatime cakes or crackers

teatime biscuits as accompaniment for bubble tea - millenora

Bread, teatime cakes, or crackers pair well with boba tea, just like with your regular teas.  

Scones or cookies

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Scones and cookies can be more filling than teatime crackers. They taste equally great with boba tea. Go for cakes, cookies, or crackers with strong flavors if you are drinking green tea boba.


sushi - millenora

If you like green tea boba but want to make its bland taste better without extra sweeteners, sushi is one great option. The sweet and salty taste of sushi and soy sauce will make the bland green tea taste almost noticeable.


tarts - millenora

The sweet, savory, and creamy flavors of tarts make them a great complement to boba tea. If you have never tried the combination, try it out for your next lunch.

Spring rolls

spring rolls - millenora

Spring rolls, your favorite dipping sauce, and a cup of boba tea (hot or cold) make a light but filling meal that will also appeal to your taste buds.


quiche - millenora

Quiches are savory dishes. They are baked tarts with cheese, meat, seafood, vegetables, and veggie fillings. The sweet and savory flavors are best enjoyed with sweet boba teas.


bagels with cream cheese - millenora

Bagels and fruit boba tea are an excellent pair. Top your bagels with sour cream cheese to create a complex tangy flavor.

Cinnamon rolls

cinnamon rolls - millenora

The woody, sweet, and spicy flavors of cinnamon rolls greatly complement very sweet boba teas like Thai boba tea.


pretzels as accompaniment for bubble tea- millenora

If you want to serve baked goods and tea at your next garden party or picnic, include pretzels and boba tea on your menu. Your friends will appreciate it.


popcorn - millenora

Popcorn and tea make a great snack for movie hangouts with friends. Rather than your regular teas, you can switch things up by serving boba tea of different flavors.


noodles as accompaniment for bubble tea - millenora

A bowl of hot noodles and a hot cup of boba tea is a perfect indulging combo for cold nights. The exciting flavors of the tea complement the hot and spicy flavors of the noodles.


croquettes as accompaniment for bubble tea - millenora

Sipping bubble tea as you snack on freshly made croquettes gives you a delicious blend of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors. It tastes even better when your croquettes contain cheese fillings too.


Will bubble tea make you sleepy?

Bubble tea may make you sleepy or not, depending on your caffeine tolerance. People with high caffeine tolerance might feel sleepy after drinking one or two cups of bubble tea. On the other hand, people with low tolerance will feel more alert with just one cup.

Can children drink bubble tea?

Children and pre-teens can take bubble tea with parental supervision. Keep their consumption to one cup occasionally. Bubble tea can be made healthier for kids by using decaf teas as the base. Moreover, homemade bubble tea

Can pregnant women drink bubble tea?

Pregnant women can drink bubble tea made with teas like green, white, or oolong tea. The caffeine content in these varieties is lower and more tolerable for the woman and her unborn baby.

Does bubble tea contain sugar?

Yes, bubble tea contains high amounts of sugar which makes it unhealthy. Drinking too many cups of bubble tea every day increases the risk of diabetes and obesity.

Is there decaf bubble tea?

Some stores offer decaf bubble tea using decaf teas as the base. However, these varieties are not as common as the caffeinated and caffeine-free bubble teas. You can opt for any of these varieties if you do not want caffeine in your tea.


If you want to add bubble tea to your list of caffeine-free beverages, you will have to look for the ones made with herbal tea instead of tea leaves. The amount of caffeine in bubble tea varies with the type of tea used as its base.

For instance, bubble tea made with black tea will have more caffeine than one made with green tea. The caffeine content is lesser in teas like jasmine tea. People who have had higher amounts of caffeine may not be responsive to the caffeine in bubble tea.

But if you are looking to cut down on your caffeine consumption, bubble tea is a good swap for coffee.

Check out this list of teas and their caffeine content and get familiar with your caffeinated teas.

Thanks for reading.