I fell in love with boba or bubble tea back when G-Unit was on the come up and when the West Coast still called it pearl milk tea.
I would go on to drink a substantial amount of boba. In my teenage years, when I was consuming 5,000 calories a day trying to bulk up, drinking 2-3 bubble teas a day was not an issue. However, coming out of my late twenties, metabolism was slowing down and life was becoming more sedentary. I had to become more conscious of what I put into my body.
My initial research on boba recipes and ingredients were concerning. I discovered that boba shops commonly used premixed drink powders and artificial sweeteners, such as fructose or glucose syrup.
As an example, check out your average Taro Milk Tea. This was my go-to drink throughout most of high school.
Almost every boba shop makes this drink from a premixed powder. The unnatural deep purple color should have been a warning in itself but I was blinded by its deliciousness.
What this ultimately meant was that we were getting none of the good properties of tea and were instead consuming loads of preservatives and empty calories.
I knew this was unsustainable for me, for you, for any of us.
Here are a few snapshots of ingredient labels from some of the most popular bubble tea suppliers.
All of this culminated in how we curated and crafted the recipes at Kuma Boba. Our goal was to create a menu that not only tasted amazing but that was also good for you. We believe we're off to a good start.
1) Loose-Leaf Teas
We make our drinks out of loose-leaf teas, not powders. That way, you get all of the benefits of tea. Who knew that boba could be good for you?!
2) Cane Sugar & Honey
We make our drinks with cane sugar and honey, not fructose or glucose or other forms of artificial sweeteners.
3) Fresh Fruits
We only use fresh fruits from local markets in our drinks. Fruits add a lot of operational complexity as they go bad and have to be washed and cut. You can see why most boba shops go with powders.
Our drinks are a bit more expensive than other boba shops. I say a bit because we give you 10% off if you return the jar.
However, we believe that the additional value you get from our recipes is far greater than the extra cents that you pay. We wanted to provide you with the best product. We wanted to say in good conscience that you should have bubble tea with us every day, without having to worry about your health.
Boba is a movement. It is a way for us to share the Asian American culture with everyone around us. So let's make sure this is a product that we are absolutely proud of.
Let me end this lengthy post with this. Come to Kuma, taste the difference, and feel good doing it.