• Boba does not have gluten in its natural form.
  • Boba is made from tapioca starch.
  • Boba pearls are the main ingredient in bubble tea.
  • Some boba brands contain gluten products. 

Boba, or bubble tea, is a famous beverage from Taiwan around the 1980s. Boba has become exceptionally popular in the United States and worldwide in the last decade. Every cafe or restaurant has included this unique beverage on their menu, and people seem to love it. 

But what exactly is boba tea? It is a drink made from sweetened milk tea with ice. The glass is shaken to form a foamy layer which creates bubbles. The chewy tapioca balls, also called boba, are added to the tea, making this tea even more special. 

One of the common questions gluten intolerant people have about boba tea is if it’s gluten free or not. We will answer this common query in this post, so do not skip and read until the end. 

What Is Boba, and how Is it prepared? 

Does Boba Have Gluten

Like we said above, boba is a tapioca ball dominantly used in bubble tea. These tiny pearls are made from tapioca starch sourced from cassava roots. Cassava is a popular plant in South America, and these plants are a major source of carbs. 

You can prepare boba by adding hot water to the starch and kneading it into a dough. Small balls are made from the cassava dough and added to a concoction of boiling water and brown sugar to get the final product.

Finally, these boba balls are added to the tea with different toppings to make the famous bubble or boba tea.

Does Boba have Gluten? 

As boba is made from tapioca starch, people think it might contain gluten. However, the tapioca starch made from cassava root does not have gluten because the starch is not sourced from grain. 

Ideally, cassava is a vegetable, so it does not have gluten in its most natural form. Tapioca starch is prepared by grinding the cassava root into a fine powder. So the chewy little balls that you see in bubble tea are absolutely gluten free. 

Does Boba Have Gluten

Hence, highly sensitive or allergic to gluten can have boba tea without any issue. However, there are multiple other ingredients added to the boba tea. Any ingredient that contains wheat bran or wheat makes the beverage not gluten free, so you should be mindful of the ingredients you’re adding to it.

 Most add-ons in bubble tea are fruit-based and are completely free of gluten. But sometimes, there is also the choice to add bran which has gluten. So you should be careful of what additives you have on your boba tea.

Gluten and Its Side Effects 

For those who don’t know, gluten is a substance in cereal grains like wheat. It gives an elastic texture to the grain, helping to make dough. Gluten can cause illness to people who are allergic to it. Also, people with celiac diseases should stay away from gluten. 

If people allergic to gluten consume it, they may experience illnesses like vomiting, nausea, a decline in their immune system, etc. 

Is Boba healthy? 

Boba on its own is healthy, and these little tapioca balls contain no gluten or sugar. However, the bubble tea with which boba comes is loaded with sugar. Nowadays, there are so many boba brands in the market, and not every brand prepares it in its most natural form. 

Some add artificial flavors, colors, binding ingredients (which many have gluten), and sugar to enhance the taste. Boba naturally has an unsweetened taste, so if the one you tried tasted sweet, it had an artificial sweetener. 

There are a lot of boba varieties available in the market, and here are two boba brands with the cleanest ingredients and healthier options. Let’s have a look at their ingredients…

Does Boba Have Gluten

Bob’s Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca 

The boba balls of this brand have only one ingredient, tapioca starch making them gluten free, sugar-free, and healthier.

Let’s see the nutritional benefit of Bob’s Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca…


Nutritional Fact Per 1 tbsp 

  • Calories- 30 
  • Total fat- 0g
  • Cholesterol- 0mg
  • Sodium- 0mg
  • Total carbs- 7g
  • Protein- 3g
  • Sugar- 0g
  • Dietary fiber- 0g 

Bolle Boba Bubble Tea 

Another healthier boba brand is the Bolle Boba bubble tea. These tapioca balls have a sweet taste that comes from maple and caramel.

Bolle Boba does not claim to be a certified gluten free brand, but its ingredients have no wheat or gluten products. 


Ingredients in Bolle Boba Bubble Tea

  • Tapioca Starch 
  • Water 
  • Maple syrup 
  • Caramel 

Nutritional Facts per 30g

  • Calories-80g
  • Total fat-0g
  • Cholesterol- 0mg 
  • Sodium- 0mg
  • Total carbs- 19g
  • Protein- 7g
  • Sugar- 0g
  • Dietary fiber- 0g 


  • Is Boba Tea Vegan? 

Most boba teas contain milk, so it is not vegan. But you can find vegan alternatives to boba tea with no milk or dairy derivatives. 

  • Is Boba Sugar-Free? 

Yes, boba balls are naturally sugar-free, but some brands add sugar or other sweeteners to enhance the taste. 

  • Does Boba Tea Have Caffeine? 

Yes, some types of boba tea, like matcha or black bubble tea, may contain caffeine.  

Final lines on does Boba have gluten

Boba tea is one of the popular drinks people are enjoying lately. As we can see, the natural ingredients used to make boba have no gluten. But some brands mix it with binding ingredients that may contain gluten. 

Therefore, whenever you buy boba from any supermarket, don’t forget to check the ingredient label. The fewer the ingredients, the better the boba will be. If you are drinking boba tea from a cafe or restaurant, don’t forget to ask them about the gluten content. 

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