How many calories is a taro milk tea?

Taro milk tea has become an increasingly popular drink in recent years. This creamy and flavorful beverage is a twist on classic milk tea, made using taro powder or extract. But with its rich, sweet flavor profile, many wonder just how many calories are found in a typical taro milk tea order. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the calorie count of taro milk tea, looking at how factors like size, additions, and preparation can impact the total calories. We’ll also provide tips for lowering the calorie count of your taro milk tea order.

What is Taro Milk Tea?

Taro milk tea is a delicious twist on classic milk tea, combining brewed black or green tea with taro, a sweet purple root vegetable. The taro is blended into a powder or extract and added to the tea, giving it a creamy purple-grey color and signature nutty, sweet flavor. Taro has a similar taste and texture to potatoes.

The taro pairs deliciously with tea’s richness. Milk is also commonly added to taro tea drinks, making them even creamier. The tea is then sweetened with sugar, simple syrup or honey. Taro milk tea has a smooth, velvety texture and pleasing natural sweetness.

The drink originated in Taiwan in the 1980s. But it has exploded in popularity worldwide in recent years, becoming a favorite at Asian tea shops and cafes. It’s customizable like classic milk tea, with choices of toppings like tapioca pearls, pudding or red beans.

Nutrition Facts of Taro Milk Tea Ingredients

To determine how many calories are in taro milk tea, we’ll need to look at the nutrition facts of its main ingredients:


Taro is the star ingredient that gives this drink its name, flavor and color. In its raw root form, taro is high in carbohydrates while offering some fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. A 100 gram serving of raw taro contains:

– 112 calories
– 0.6 g protein
– 26.5 g carbs
– 3.7 g fiber

When made into an extract or powder, the fiber is removed. Taro powder contains about:

– 364 calories per 100 g
– 0.7 g protein
– 94 g carbs

So taro powder is very high in carbohydrates and calories. Even a small amount contributes significant calories.


Milk is usually added to taro tea, making the drink even richer. Whole milk contains:

– 148 calories per cup (244g)
– 7.9 g protein
– 12.8 g carbs
– 7.9 g fat

Lower fat versions like 2% milk have fewer calories, about 122 calories per cup. Non-dairy milks like almond, coconut or oat milk contain 30 to 60 calories per cup.

Brewed Black Tea

Without add-ins like milk or sugar, brewed black tea is very low in calories. An 8 ounce cup of brewed black tea has:

– 2 calories
– 0 g fat
– 0 g sugar
– 0 g protein

So the tea itself contributes minimal calories.

Sugars and Sweeteners

Where taro milk tea picks up most of its calories is from added sugars or sweeteners. Small amounts of simple syrup, honey, or sugar packs can quickly increase the calorie count. Here’s how different sweeteners compare:

– White sugar: 16 calories per teaspoon
– Brown sugar: 15 calories per teaspoon
– Honey: 21 calories per teaspoon
– Maple syrup: 52 calories per tablespoon
– Simple syrup: 13 calories per tablespoon


Mix-ins like tapioca pearls, agar jelly, red bean, grass jelly or pudding also boost the calorie count of taro milk tea. For example:

– Tapioca pearls: 150 calories per 3.5 oz serving
– Grass jelly: 28 calories per oz
– Pudding: 137 calories per 4 oz

So toppings can add anywhere from 50 to 300 calories or more to your drink.

Standard Taro Milk Tea Calories

Now that we’ve looked at the ingredients, how many calories are in a typical medium taro milk tea?

A 16 ounce taro milk tea with whole milk and toppings like tapioca pearls contains approximately:

– 250-350 calories

This is with a moderate amount of sweetener like simple syrup.

Here is the approximate calorie breakdown:

– Taro powder: 150 calories
– 2% milk: 110 calories
– Black tea: 5 calories
– Sweetener: 50 calories
– Tapioca: 100 calories

Of course, the exact amount can vary between different restaurants and cafes. But most standard taro milk tea orders fall within 300 to 400 calories.

Drink sizes make a major difference in taro milk tea calories:

Size Total Calories (with toppings)
12 oz (small) About 200 calories
16 oz (medium) About 300 calories
20 oz (large) About 350-400 calories

As you can see, larger cup sizes can add a significant amount of calories.

How to Order Lower Calorie Taro Milk Tea

While taro milk tea is a treat, there are ways to order it with fewer calories:

Choose Lower Fat Milk or Non-Dairy Milk

Opting for nonfat milk, 2% milk, or a non-dairy milk like almond or soy can reduce calories by 50-100 calories per serving.

Easy On the Sweetener

Ask for less simple syrup or sugar, about half the normal amount. Skip flavored syrups as well. This can save 75+ calories per drink.

Reduce or Skip Toppings

Ask for light or no toppings like tapioca, jelly, or pudding. These mix-ins add at least 100-200 extra calories. Or just get a topping on the side and use a portion rather than the full amount.

Choose Smaller Sizes

Select a 12 or 16 ounce taro milk tea rather than a 20 ounce or larger size. Bigger sizes can pack in an extra 100+ calories.

Request Less Taro Powder

Since the taro contributes significant calories, ask for half or a quarter of the normal amount.

Split Your Drink

Order one taro milk tea and split it between two cups. You’ll get the flavors you crave with half the calories.

Highest Calorie Taro Milk Tea Orders

On the other side of the spectrum, here are some ways that taro milk tea can end up having the highest calorie counts:

– Large or extra large size drinks (24+ oz)
– Using whole milk or heavy cream
– Heaping the drink with full-sugar simple syrup
– Extra taro powder
– Topping it off with lots of mix-ins like boba pearls, red bean, grass jelly, and pudding
– Adding in a scoop of ice cream
– Opting for freshly blended taro instead of powder
– Choosing specialty high-calorie powders like taro latte or chocolate taro
– Pairing it with a baked good like a donut, scone or pastry

Giant specialty taro milk tea drinks with all the toppings and made with heavy cream can end up containing well over 500-600 calories.

How Many Calories in Taro Milk Tea Boba?

Boba, also known as bubble or pearl tea, is taro milk tea with chewy tapioca balls. The boba pearls are made from tapioca starch and are a popular topping choice.

A 16-ounce taro milk tea with boba contains about:

– 360-450 calories

Here’s an approximate calorie breakdown:

– Taro powder: 150 calories
– 2% milk: 110 calories
– Black tea: 5 calories
– Sweetener: 50 calories
– Tapioca pearls: 150 calories

The tapioca pearls add about 150 extra calories compared to taro milk tea without toppings. Boba is fun to chew but significantly increases the drink’s calorie count.

How to Make Low Calorie Taro Milk Tea at Home

You can also make healthy taro milk tea at home. Here are some tips for a lower calorie version:

– Use taro powder, not full-fat taro root blended into a paste. The powder has fewer calories.
– Brew green tea or oolong tea rather than higher calorie milk tea blends.
– Use a non-dairy milk like almond milk or light coconut milk.
– Sweeten with a zero-calorie sweetener like monk fruit or stevia rather than sugar.
– Top with homemade boba pearls using zero-calorie brown sugar substitute.
– Add fruits like mango or pineapple for natural sweetness instead of simple syrup.

Health Benefits of Taro Milk Tea

While taro milk tea is high in calories, it does provide some health benefits:


The liquid content helps keep you hydrated.


The tea contains protective compounds like polyphenols and catechins with antioxidant properties.

Vitamins and Minerals

Taro provides vitamins C, E, B6, potassium, magnesium, and more.


There is some fiber in taro powder and milk. Fiber aids digestion.


Some taro milk tea contains probiotic powders that offer gut health benefits.


Taro contains prebiotic fiber that feeds good gut bacteria.

So while high in sugar and calories, taro milk tea does have nutritional value when consumed in moderation.


Taro milk tea is undoubtedly a high-calorie treat with its creamy texture and sweet flavor. A typical medium 16-ounce taro milk tea contains about 300-350 calories. But the calorie count can range from as low as 200 for a small size to over 500 calories for a loaded large taro milk tea.

There are many ways to order lower calorie taro milk tea, from choosing nonfat milk to skipping toppings. You can also make healthy low calorie taro milk tea at home. Though high in calories, taro milk tea does provide some vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and prebiotics when consumed in moderation. So enjoy this delicious drink as an occasional treat in sensible portions.

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